OOIDA member’s truck a tribute to Chiefs football

January 17, 2020

Greg Grisolano


Robert Hardwick, and his big truck homage to the Kansas City Chiefs
OOIDA member Robert Hardwick with his 2008 Kenworth 900L homage to the Kansas City Chiefs football team. (Photo courtesy Robert Hardwick)

Robert Hardwick says he’s been a lifelong fan of the Kansas City Chiefs football team. His 2008 Kenworth 900L tractor is called “Warpaint” – just like the team’s mascot. And it’s certainly a painted wagon. The nose of his KW is decorated with a full-on Indian headdress, as well as matching pair of portraits of its namesake sorrel and white Pinto on both sides of the sleeper.

Hardwick credits sports broadcaster Jeff Rickard and the custom graphics on another trucker’s KW 900 with inspiring him to deck out his truck in tribute to favorite team.

“I was talking to Jeff Rickard on NFL radio on Sirius XM. And I always called in. You know, the call screener would answer the phone. They would ask me who I was. I would tell them I was Tomahawk, and that I was riding across the kingdom,” he said.

“And when Jeff Rickard answered the phone, he said, ‘And here we have Tomahawk, and he’s riding across the kingdom on his trusty steed, Warpaint.’ I’d never thought about it quite like that before, but a light bulb went off when he said that.”

Hardwick says a few weeks later, the inspiration he needed appeared in the form of another trucker’s red Kenworth, with a customized flame paintjob on the hood.

“I said, I see your flames, bud. And I raise you feathers,” he said.

Hardwick says he worked with a local graphic design shop – Impact Signs and Lighting in his home of Sedalia, Mo. – for months before finally being able to debut the finished product just before the start of this year’s season.

He says the response the new look has gotten has been overwhelmingly positive. His truck was recently featured in a segment on KMBC 9 News in Kansas City.

“I get a lot of compliments on it,” he said. “People wave. They do the ‘Tomahawk Chop.’ They. do all kinds of stuff.”

If the Chiefs defeat the Tennessee Titans on Sunday afternoon in the AFC Championship game at Arrowhead Stadium, the team will be heading to Miami in two weeks for their first Super Bowl appearance since 1969. Hardwick says he’s planning to watch the game from the comfort of his couch, unless of course, the Chiefs need any help hauling equipment to southern Florida for the big game.

“(Chiefs owner) Clark Hunt, if there’s any equipment you need hauled to Miami, I’m more than capable and I’m ready to go,” he said.

Rovert Hardwick's "Warpaint"
OOIDA member Robert Hardwick’s a 2008 Kenworth 900L, which he has named “Warpaint,” is a real head-turner. (Photo courtesy Robert Hardwick)