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Over the last decade, Indian Americans have launched trucking schools, truck companies, truck washes, trucker temples and no-frills Indian restaurants modeled after truck stops back home, where Sikhs from the state of Punjab dominate the industry.Three interstates — the I-5, I-80 and I-10 — are dotted with Indian-American-owned businesses catering to truckers.Today, he has his own company, two trucks between himself and his brother — also a driver — and bids on shipments directly with suppliers.Nationally, the average pay for a trucker is just above ,000. He uses the money to pay for the house he shares with his wife, Harjeet Kaur, 4-year-old son, brother and sister-in-law, nieces and parents.Across the street from Spicy Bite, dozens of arriving drivers form a temporary village of 18-wheelers in a vast parking lot by the interstate. Clockwise from top left: A sign is spray-painted on a concrete roadblock outside Spicy Bite in Milan, N.M.; Palwinder Singh prays inside his cab before leaving New Mexico for Oklahoma; Singh prepares to shower at a truck stop in Milan; and at Spicy Bite, he dines on familiar foods.There’s also the seemingly endless fast food and Tex-Mex of Amarillo and the 19-story cross of Groom, Texas. After hours of solitude on the road, it excites him.

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times) Three years later, he started driving a rig he didn’t own while getting paid per mile.He’d scribbled the word “ISIS.”Still, Hindi- and Punjabi-language newspapers in the Eastern U. regularly run ads promising better wages, a more relaxed lifestyle and warm weather as a trucker out West. When Pal first started, Dhindsa — now a close friend but then an acquaintance — gave him a

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times) Three years later, he started driving a rig he didn’t own while getting paid per mile.

He’d scribbled the word “ISIS.”Still, Hindi- and Punjabi-language newspapers in the Eastern U. regularly run ads promising better wages, a more relaxed lifestyle and warm weather as a trucker out West. When Pal first started, Dhindsa — now a close friend but then an acquaintance — gave him a $1,000 loan to cover training classes. the next day when the Petro Stopping Center switches from quiet darkness to rumbling engines.

Talk to any group of Sikh drivers and you’ll find former cabbies, liquor store workers or convenience store cashiers who made the switch.“Thirty years ago, it was hard to get into trucking because there were so few people like us in the business who could help you,” says Rashpal Dhindsa, a former trucker who runs Fontana-based Dhindsa Group of Companies, one of the oldest Sikh-owned U. Pal flips on the headlights of his truck, a silver ’16 Volvo with a 500-horsepower engine.

Inside the rig, he heats — spiced potatoes and cauliflower — that his wife prepared back home.

He checks the thermostat to make sure his trailer isn’t too warm.

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(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times) Three years later, he started driving a rig he didn’t own while getting paid per mile.He’d scribbled the word “ISIS.”Still, Hindi- and Punjabi-language newspapers in the Eastern U. regularly run ads promising better wages, a more relaxed lifestyle and warm weather as a trucker out West. When Pal first started, Dhindsa — now a close friend but then an acquaintance — gave him a $1,000 loan to cover training classes. the next day when the Petro Stopping Center switches from quiet darkness to rumbling engines.Talk to any group of Sikh drivers and you’ll find former cabbies, liquor store workers or convenience store cashiers who made the switch.“Thirty years ago, it was hard to get into trucking because there were so few people like us in the business who could help you,” says Rashpal Dhindsa, a former trucker who runs Fontana-based Dhindsa Group of Companies, one of the oldest Sikh-owned U. Pal flips on the headlights of his truck, a silver ’16 Volvo with a 500-horsepower engine.Inside the rig, he heats — spiced potatoes and cauliflower — that his wife prepared back home.He checks the thermostat to make sure his trailer isn’t too warm.

,000 loan to cover training classes. the next day when the Petro Stopping Center switches from quiet darkness to rumbling engines.Talk to any group of Sikh drivers and you’ll find former cabbies, liquor store workers or convenience store cashiers who made the switch.“Thirty years ago, it was hard to get into trucking because there were so few people like us in the business who could help you,” says Rashpal Dhindsa, a former trucker who runs Fontana-based Dhindsa Group of Companies, one of the oldest Sikh-owned U. Pal flips on the headlights of his truck, a silver ’16 Volvo with a 500-horsepower engine.Inside the rig, he heats — spiced potatoes and cauliflower — that his wife prepared back home.He checks the thermostat to make sure his trailer isn’t too warm.

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