Who’s Driving Weinermobile? ‘Hotdoggers,’ Of Course
(CBS) – Ever wonder how you get to drive one of Oscar Mayer’s iconic Wienermobiles?
For Molly Segall and Hannah Carlson, it was a chance of a lifetime.
“I went to University of Wisconsin-Madison, and I used to see the Wienermobile drive around campus all the time. And I always thought I’d love to have that job — it was my dream job,” Segall says.
Segall and Carlson are two of 12 so-called “Hotdoggers” who are specially trained, full-time Wienermobile drivers.
The “Hotdoggers” have to go to “Hot Dog High” and learn how to drive the 27-foot-long vehicle.
“A big part of the training is dedicated to learning how to drive the Wienermobile. We were put in a deserted parking lot with dozens of orange cones and for 40 hours, police officers taught us how to drive it,” Carlson says. “Wide turns, plan ahead and use the mirrors, because the biggest thing to get used to is that you don’t have a rear-view mirror in the Wienermobile.”
The drivers spend a year on the road. Each team of two is assigned one of the six regions to travel.
“You get to meet a ton of new people, you get to see things you’d never get to see. I’m loving every minute of it,” Segall says.
The Wienermobile has been around since 1936 and makes appearances at parades, festivals and retail events. The inside is actually pretty plush, with a few captains’ chairs and giant plastic hot dogs on the dashboard, an audio system and a flat-screen television.
“We hand out coupons, Weiner whistles and serve as ambassadors for Oscar Mayer and Kraft,” Carlson says.
Each team is in a different city each week.
As part of a new promotion, the Wienermobile can be yours for a day.
Oscar Mayer is handing over one of its iconic vehicles to the winner of a social-media contest that the hot dog brand is billing as “the first time ever a vehicle of any kind is available for lease exclusively through Twitter.”
To enter, fans must tweet using the hashtag “#Tweet2Lease.”
On Feb. 7, Oscar Mayer will randomly pick a winner. But there is one catch: While the winner will get “hand’s-on access to the Wienermobile,” they won’t be able to drive it. That duty will be left to a “Hotdogger,” the drivers who will act as a personal chauffeur for an eight-hour day.
The Wienermobile will be at the Great Lakes Naval Station on Saturday and in Lindenhurst and Prospect Heights on Sunday.