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Hey Good Looking
Trucking is all I know and all I ever wanted to do. My father is a driver and opened his own trucking business, Rabbit River Transport, in 1993. I started wrenching on trucks at our house when I was 14. I did it all – changing the oil, fixing lights, washing out trailers and trucks. I started driving at 18, and for a few years I could only run in Michigan, but as soon as I turned 21 I went over the road.
I’m a jack of all trades at the company, supervising maintenance and repairs, dispatching sometimes, helping with the purchase of trucks and spec’ing all new trailers. And I drive. I like being on the road, getting away from it all for a little while.
About five years ago I bought this 1986 Peterbilt 359 from a rancher in South Dakota and for the first six months just hauled freight with it. Then we started fixing it up. We stretched it first then added a few things here and there. We started showing it three years ago and it’s really been a work in progress since then. We enter seven or eight shows each year and I try to do something a little different to improve the truck for each show. At MATS this year the truck won a second place NAST Truck-lite trophy. That was a great feeling. It was the first time we won.
It’s a working truck. I still run 75,000 miles in it. Now, our company trucks are nice and we’ve taken them to shows in past years, but I never worked on a truck for show like this before. We do all the work in-house. That’s me, my brother, the mechanics at the company, my wife and my mother — it’s a family affair.
You see a lot of the same people at the shows, and everyone helps everyone else out, but on judging day they’re still your competition. That’s why you want everything on the truck to be perfect. We take three people to the show, and spend two and half days to get the truck clean. We’ll work up to the minute until the officials say it’s time for “rags down.” It’s one of those things that can never really be done because you’re never satisfied that it’s perfect. But we’re not going to show the truck unless it looks 100 percent.
Yes, you end up spending a lot of time with it. I’ve got two kids. The truck is basically my third.