Roll Out the Barrel!
The Cole Pub truck promises to be a barrel of fun at trade shows
By Jim Kneiszel
When Bob Kendall envisioned a centerpiece for his company’s major trade show, the annual Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo International at the Kentucky Exposition Center, his goal was to build something that would get people talking.
The Cole Pub truck, combining a Peterbilt 330 with a sleeper and a giant cedar whiskey barrel, turned out to be just the conversation piece he was looking for. Designed by the Chrome Shop Mafia, the rig debuted at the show serving the liquid waste industry, and made a second appearance at the Mid-America Trucking Show.
“We’re creating an area for relaxed networking, where people can laugh and talk and open up. And we wanted to do something unique,’’ says Kendall, founder of Cole Publishing in Three Lakes, Wis. The truck will eventually be transformed into a multimedia center and gathering area, thanks to the addition of a PA system, flat-screen TVs and a sectional bar that will encircle the rig.
The chassis of the 2008 Pete with a 220-hp PX-6 engine and Allison auto transmission was purchased from Peterbilt of Greenville and transported to CSM in Joplin, Mo., where Bryan Martin and the crew got to work. The Barrel Mill, in St. Cloud, Minn., built the cedar 2,700-gallon whiskey barrel and base for the back. The company had built barrels used in the movies Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Beer Fest, but never one this large. It was built like any watertight aging barrel, but of northern white cedar instead of traditional oak. It has a floor on the inside and a door was cut in what would be the top (back end of the truck) of the barrel. At some point, it may be outfitted with taps to dispense beverages out of the barrel sides.
Ultimately, the truck will have a matching trailer to haul equipment and supplies to the Pumper & Cleaner show. And the party truck may even find other uses.
“Initially there was no thought of what else we could do with it,” Kendall says. “But there are a lot of events sponsored by distilleries, and wine festivals in California. Down the road this might have a life of its own.”