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Discovery’s ‘Diesel Brothers’ star Heavy D talks military inspiration, how show has changed

Heavy D of Discovery’s "Diesel Brothers." (Discovery)

Discovery’s “Diesel Brothers” have promised one heck of a ride for both fans and curious viewers.

In an unlikely plot twist, custom vehicle builders Heavy D and Diesel Dave have partnered with MLB Network for a two-night special, which starts on June 19. They’re also gearing up to launch season three of their hit series this fall where audiences will get to witness their legendary, sought-after trucks.

Heavy D spoke to Fox News about the duo’s love of the American military and working with Chuck Norris:

Fox News: The ‘Diesel Brothers’ are big supporters of the military.
Heavy D:
We’re huge supporters for a number of reasons. Diesel Dave and I both come from very heavy military backgrounds. Diesel Dave tried to join the military, but he tried to do it a little bit later on in life and he had some health issues. The military looked at him and said, ‘What you’re trying to do, join the air force, isn’t a great fit.’ I on the other hand, started my business really young and I became so committed to it that I didn’t have the chance to really break away from it. But my dad was a Green Beret. Diesel Dave’s father was an Air Force pilot. Both of my grandpas were in the Air Force… And outside of that, we just love what the military does.

Fox News: When it comes to your trucks, does the military provide inspiration?
Heavy D:
The military provides a ton of inspiration. Not every military vehicle you see is fancy… They’re big, they’re rugged and they just work constantly. They don’t necessarily have to be big-show trucks. They just need to do a really good job at what they’re designed to do. We view our trucks like military vehicles. So our inspiration absolutely comes from the military.

Fox News: You also created a truck inspired by Chuck Norris. Where did that idea come from?
Heavy D:
When we got the phone call that Chuck was coming out, we thought, ‘We’re going to line up some of our biggest, craziest, coolest trucks because that’s what Chuck is going to expect and we’ll see what he thinks.’ He didn’t have time for us to build something from scratch because that can be a pretty long process. He needed something quick and it had to be done. We only had a few days really to work on it.

So when he came out, we lined up all of our big trucks and said, ‘Chuck, what do you like?’ He said, ‘These are really cool, but I saw one that caught my eye while on the way in.’ He was referring to my personal truck that I had put in a ton of time and a ton of love in a year alone. I had finally got to the point where I loved it, I wasn’t going to do anything else on it, I was just going to drive it… but Chuck said that truck screamed his personality. I didn’t have a choice. I guess I did have a choice. I could have said no to Chuck, but they never found the body of the last guy who said no to Chuck Norris. I wouldn’t want to be in that situation. So we let him have my truck. We did make a few changes to it, nothing major. He loved it.

Fox News: And you survived.
Heavy D:
I lived to see another day. I didn’t get to face his roundhouse kick. But I’ll tell you… Chuck is even a better person than what you see on TV. He took the time to meet my wife, my kid, give hugs, and I didn’t see him say no to anybody. We actually got to become pretty good buddies with him. He wants us to go down to his ranch later this month. It’s kind of become a lifelong friendship.

Fox News: There’s been a lot of talk about the environment. Does that impact your work?
Heavy D:
In the early days of doing what we do, before we were ever really a company, we were mostly just a bunch of young guys, a group of truck enthusiasts, taking videos of their trucks and showing them online. Some that was us and some of that was other people, but you would see trucks blowing smoke. That wasn’t something we wanted to become. It was just a natural byproduct of what a young kid does with their truck. But we moved on from that stage really quickly because we realized we had a lot of eyes on us.

And not only that, I don’t like blowing black smoke. I don’t think it’s cool; I don’t think it’s fun; I don’t think it’s healthy. We live in Utah where every year we get this thing called an inversion. It’s basically pollution that gets trapped in our little valley here for the whole month… It can run through December, January, February. And the air quality gets really bad. So the last thing we want to do is contribute to a problem our state has. It damages the air quality…

But we are big proponents of a healthy environment and trucks that run clean. We believe and we’ve demonstrated numerous times you don’t have to pollute, blow smoke, and do that kind of stuff in order to have a high-performance truck. Over the last couple of years, we’ve spent a lot of time studying the Clean Air Act… I’m talking about every single day, trying to be conscious of making sure that what we do doesn’t hurt the environment…

And we don’t want kids, younger generations, or anybody really looking at us and going, ‘Well, they do it, so it’s OK if I do it.’ We don’t want to set that example. We want to actually turn the table and say, ‘It’s cool not to do that stuff.’ We’re trying to make people understand black smoke is not good for you. It’s not good for your truck. It doesn’t create any more power.

Fox News: The ‘Diesel Brothers’ have a two-night special coming up. What can audiences expect?
Heavy D:
You’re going to see me and Diesel Dave extremely out of our comfort zone. I said that because it’s really been a long time since either of us played sports or even dabbled in the sports realm because we’ve been so busy working on trucks… You’re going to see a lot of crossover… You’re going to see major baseball players be in our shop and drive big, crazy trucks. And then on the flip side, you’re going to see us now going to spring training, taking fast balls, and trying to learn how to pitch… and there’s nothing more American than trucks and baseball.

Fox News: How important was it for the ‘Diesel Brothers’ to team up with MLB?
Heavy D:
When this was presented to me, I did asked ‘How does this make sense? Wouldn’t it make more sense for us to team up with the Army?’ But a lot of our viewers also happen to watch baseball… and the actual baseball players themselves, a lot of them love trucks and love us. I don’t have the exact number, but it’s safe to say that more members of the MLB watch our show than probably any other professional sport. They’re guys that love vehicles and love what we do… So after we met these guys, it just made sense.

Fox News: How will the upcoming season be different?
Heavy D:
I think the fans are really going to like this upcoming season… A lot of people look at our show and say, ‘Oh, those guys just build trucks,’ and wouldn’t necessarily move in. But… when you see the sneak preview, [those same people] are going go, ‘Wow, I didn’t know they can build hotrods and low riders and tanks…’ You’re also going to see a little bit of a family… You’re going to get to know my wife and my kids. You’re also going to meet Diesel Dave’s new baby girl. And that’s our whole life, our family.

Fox News: How has your relationship with Diesel Dave changed since the show launched?
Heavy D:
I don’t think it has other than he finally moved out of my basement. We’re still best buds… It’s been good that our friendship has persevered through the success. And I just don’t think there’s any reason why or how that could change because we’re in it because we’re doing what we love… It’s just gotten better.