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  • Douglas Towne

Reliance Trucking: Phoenix’s “Atomic” Mega-Mover

Arizona has its share of monsters lurking in the great outdoors. There’s the Gila monster, a venomous reptile with steel-trap jaws. There’s allegedly the Mogollon Monster, a relative of Bigfoot with an offensive body odor. Perhaps the most intimidating beast, however, is “The Monster,” a creature that could lift 125 tons, was 78-feet long, and could travel at 40 mph.

“The Monster” wasn’t created by a mad scientist, but rather Cecil A. Pelts to transport massive loads. A heavy haul whiz, Pelts came to Arizona and started a trucking company with a single vehicle. He parlayed this humble start into what became Reliance Trucking, a company that went on to specialize in moving large and unusual loads, especially for nuclear power plants. Besides trucking, the company performed crane and rigging operations.

“Cecil used to say, ‘We could pick up the world if we had a place to put it!’” former Reliance employee Jim Tambash recalls.

This “earthmover” was born in Roswell, New Mexico and always had a love for trucking, according to his son, C.T. "Buddy" Pelts. He moved to Arizona in the 1940s and started the Cecil A. Pelts Trucking Co. with a single vehicle. The company and Pelt's house was located at 2500 N. 24th Avenue. Apparently, the 7-acre yard was a bustling place.

To read the rest of this article, you are invited to purchase the digital issue here.

This article originally appeared in the Arizona Contractor & Community magazine, Mar/Apr 2019 issue, Vol. 8, No.2. The Arizona Contractor & Community magazine is a bi-monthly publication.

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