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How to blow off steam – and the driver next to you

"Rolling coal" is a way to offend motorists around you and have fun doing it: over-fueling a diesel pickup engine produces thick black smoke. Calvin Fields shows how it rolls in Williston, North Dakota, an oil boomtown.

Tens of thousands of workers have flooded into rural North Dakota to take jobs created by the state's oil boom. Now, there's a shortage of housing and there's a shortage of restaurants. There's a shortage of workers for non-oil businesses. And at the end of the day, there's not a whole lot to do.

Some guys, though, have brought one hobby with them: tinkering with their pickups and showing them off. Todd Melby talked to a customizer shop about one distinct way to show off.

Listen to his story in the audio player above.

Diesel engines can be tuned so they pour out black smoke. In Williston, North Dakota diesel pickup truck owners turn to Mark Pyatt at Killer Diesel Performance.


Todd's series "Black Gold Boom" is an initiative of Prairie Public and the Association for Independents in Radio.

About the author

Todd Melby is a North Dakota-based reporter covering the oil boom for public media project Black Gold Boom: How Oil Changed North Dakota.

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