Montana Treasure: 50 Years, 50 States of trucking for Larry Spiekermeier

He's earned the nickname 'Trusty Trucker' and rightly so.

Larry Spiekermeier of Plains, Montana has logged 4 million accident-free miles carrying heavy truck loads.

Angela Marshall takes you on a ride to meet this week's Montana Treasure.

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You might recognize this smile and laugh.

Larry Spiekermeier became an instant celebrity as the 'Trusty Trucker' to haul the 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree.

His call to the open road began in 1968 as a way to pay for college.

"And once I'd seen how much money I could make driving truck, I never went back," Larry Spiekermeier said. "And here I am, driving truck, for 50 years."

Fifty years of passion for hauling large loads of specialized equipment, with each payload weighing upwards of 130,000 pounds and adding up to almost 8 million payload pounds per year.

"I hauled quite a few of the beams for the new bridge across the Flathead River up at Hungry Horse, Montana."

The beam itself measured 130-feet in length.

To put that into perspective, the Capitol Christmas Tree measured 108 from tip to tail.

And with each long load, tall load, and large load came quite the challenges.

"I had a trencher on going to New Mexico. And one of the places I had to go, I couldn't get under the interstate bridge. And so, they had me drive into the ditch, down into this thing and back out. And I'm 17 feet tall and top heavy. And it was muddy, so it wasn't a very good program. But we got-er done."

'Got-er done,' he did.

And that's not all.

From mud to mammals, Larry has encountered it all.

"An entire herd of buffalo came around me, because I was standing close to the bridge and they were going to cross the bridge. So they had to get to the bridge to go across. So I can truly say that I skated in a buffalo herd."

He's motored 4 million miles with not one crash - despite sometimes seeing hundreds of deer in a night.

His impeccable driving record has earned him 'Motor Carriers of Montana Driver of the Year' in 2009 and 2015.

And he's toured by truck all 50 states, most recently delivering food sent in shipping containers to people in Hawaii.

"It was tight quarters. We were unloading on the street or in a back alley, because there isn't near the room as there is in MT right there."

His crown jewel is still journeying the 3,400-miles from Yaak, Montana to Washington, DC to deliver the People's Tree.

"I've never had so many thumbs up and pictures. Being able to meet the people and the positive attitude that we had from all across America, because of what we were doing, it was awesome. It was just unbelieveable."

Larry Spiekermeier...

"The railroads moved America..."

CB name 'Sneaky'...

"... but the trucks delivered it."

Trucking across America.

This week's Montana Treasure.

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So what's next for Larry?

Certainly not retirement.

He wants to drive a road train in Australia. It's a type of truck that pulls at least four trailers across the continent.

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