“Tool Truck One”

What do you do with a one-of-a-kind show truck prototype that can't be sold on the market? What Freightliner did was turn it into an “engineering support vehicle.” This special Coronado prototype, designed originally as a logging truck, got a new body and an onboard diesel generator and, presto, the engineers had a rolling workshop to assist them when putting test trucks through their paces on cross-country runs.[ Editor's Note: the ‘007’ serial number on the truck's nose is no accident.]

Just don't call ‘em late for dinner

In Western Canada, “Chuck” is short for chuckwagon and there are few things as stirring as a chuckwagon race. Yes, horses pulling cowboy chuckwagons at breakneck speeds around a dirt track are a feature attraction at big rodeo events in Alberta including the Calgary Stampede and Edmonton's Klondike Days.

Today's chucks are stripped down for speed compared to what passed for a diner on the cattle trails of yore but are still horse-powered. And the competition to be first to make camp — or in this case, the finish line — is still mighty intense.

No wonder the folks at Calgary-based CSI Wireless got the call this summer to outfit veteran racer Mark Sutherland with a wireless GPS tracking unit to monitor his speed and relay data to cheering spectators. In one race, the system showed Sutherland clocking 15 mph on the first turn, 32 mph on the backstretch and 27 mph across the finish line.

Show-me showoffs

Husband-and-wife Tony and Robin Bartels took “Best of Show” honors at the 22nd annual Shell Rotella T SuperRigs Truck Beauty Contest held recently at the Bosselman Travel Center in Grand Island, NE. The decision was made after judges reviewed over 90 working trucks representing 24 states and three Canadian provinces. The Kahoka, MO-based couple scored with their orange and white, meticulously detailed ‘94 Peterbilt 379 with matching ‘02 Fontaine low boy. Later this year, look for the ‘05 Rotella SuperRigs calendar to become available for purchase at www.rotella.com

“High fuel prices are proving to be another nail in the coffin for a lot of smaller fleets; whether it's the final nail remains to be seen.”
Clifton Parker, president & gm, G & P Trucking Co.

No gas pains

A Ford F-Series Super Duty, detailed to resemble the “Ford Power Stroke Diesel by International” NASCAR racer, is lead dog in this convoy of 70 Power Stroke-powered Fords pulling into Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant outside Louisville last month for the Power Fest Rally. The oil burners began the road trip in Indy at the plant where International builds the light-duty diesel. The rally marked the ten full years Power Stroke has been offered in Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks.

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