This month’s cool “creations” were built for Scott Ballard (36) of Guilford, Connecticut. Scott did not grow up in a trucking family, but he did have one friend and an uncle that trucked, which was enough to cause a spark that ignited a fire. Today, Scott runs 14 sweet rides that pull tanks and end dumps in the Northeast, including his latest editions, the two Pete 389s seen here.
Scott’s father worked for the Post Office and then the railroad for 20 years. Growing up, Scott just figured he’d get a job at the railroad, but that just didn’t happen. Scott’s trucker friend helped him to get his CDL and then Scott bought his uncle’s 1985 Western Star and went to work. And he hasn’t looked back ever since!
Sometime last year, Scott’s hard-working operations Manager Jon Donadio called Clint and said they were thinking about ordering a couple glider kits (they had a 2003 Freightliner and a wrecked 2001 Peterbilt 379 with good Cat 6NZ engines). The purpose of a glider kit is to renew an older truck with a new cab and components, and that is exactly what Scott wanted to do. Scott ordered two solid yellow trucks and then had black and silver stripes added to one of them by Rick and Rob in the paint shop (with some help from George, the PPG paint guy).
The “rolling kits” (they have wheels, tires and rear-ends but no motor, transmission or drive shafts) were ordered as 2012 Peterbilt 389s with 48” flattops. It is not easy to get everything to fit right and work properly, but Charlie, out in the KC Peterbilt shop, was up for the challenge.
The striped truck, which was built for Jon, has a 285” wheelbase, while the solid yellow rig features a 275” wheelbase. Both of the trucks got powder coated (black) tanks and brackets, along with one of Clint’s visors, painted yellow to match. They were also fitted with low-rider seats (slid back), painted Fisher half-fenders with Clint’s hidden brackets, smooth and flush deck plates, 7-inch Pickett elbows and straight stacks, bullet lights on the roof, chopped lids, load lights, cab and sleeper extensions, and strong, older, 6NZ C-15 550 Cats with 18-speed transmissions.
Scott and his wife Lori have been married since 2004 and they have three kids – Nick (10), Russ (7) and Rachel (5). Scott’s fleet consists of Peterbilts, Freightliners and KW’s, and most are painted in the company colors (yellow with black tanks and deck plates). In addition to Jon, Scott gets a lot of help from Nate Henderson, the crew at Tri State Diesel in Enfield, Connecticut, his wife Lori, and all of the guys out in the shop.
Right now, if you want to order a glider kit, the wait is long and the price is rising. But, if you have an older piece of iron lying around that isn’t dead but needs to be renewed, these two sweet rides prove it can be a viable option.
~ Clint is happy to report that he was able to find a good home for the “Extra Credit” truck, built by the high school kids at the Clarion County Career Center in Pennsylvania, that was featured in his June 2011 column. The kids built this truck as a project and are hoping that another career center out there (on the high school level) will challenge them to a “build-off” next year at the Paul K. Young Truck Beauty Championships at MATS in Louisville, KY. East versus West? If any schools out there are interested, please call Bud Farquhar at (203) 226-6066. 10-4!