How does it work? What does it take? How much time and effort does it require? What are fans or enthusiasts talking about when they say certain things?

It all sounds like mumbo-jumbo…until someone tries to explain the method behind the madness…so to speak. Well, here goes…

Truck Fanning at Paliyekkara Toll Plaza ; Thrissur

Pictures are said to be worth a thousand words. With that said, photos of transit vehicles can say a lot about what was happening at the time that a vehicle was in service for a transit system. Depending on how the photographer captures the moment, someone can look at a picture and say whether the scene has changed behind the bus or how the scene has changed since new trucks have been ordered.

Sometimes, a truck photograph can capture the mood of the photographer at the time it was shot; maybe the person behind the camera was feeling down because his living situation isn’t the greatest, or maybe the photographer was in a very happy mood because he just got his Commercial Driver’s License to finally drive trucks for a living.

Videos are an ever-popular way to show an event or events. Fanning is no different. Fanning can be done at key locations, or it can be done in obscure spots along popular truck routes, as long as there is a special event going on. This could be a brand new truck on the line, a new route that just started, a new paint scheme to give a transit agency a sportier look, a truck model that a transit agency has never operated before, or the sounds of a particular engine in a truck.

Many videos on YouTube or Facebook show trucks in usual habitats but with subtle differences such as a destination sign changed to another route, a destination sign not working, a particular body style not seen anywhere else, a particular operator’s driving style, and even trucks that haven’t hit the streets yet and still have some protective covering attached. Most of this footage was obtained with permission or was shot while the bus is in motion on a public street. Every so often, you have trespassers, but for the most part, most content was obtained legally.

Most often, before a truck enthusiast decides to travel to a city with a major bus system or a city with multiple systems, fan will browse that agency’s website for schedule information, pictures of their fleet in action. It’s also helpful to know who manufacturers the trucks in a fan’s home transit system and neighboring systems as there are several companies equipped to build the city transit buses required for daily operations.