Wide Open

Driver Randy Supak Only Has One Speed

Heavy-haul driver Randy Supak never stops. In fact, he runs wide open with everything he does – except driving. Not one to get speeding tickets or tear things up, Randy drives at a slow pace, but when it comes to everything else, look out – he’s always moving, and it is usually at breakneck speeds! Driving for his lifelong friend Truett Novosad, Randy runs heavy-haul loads for Novosad’s newest company, Equipment Express. Randy has had the opportunity to drive several cool Peterbilts over the years – but, surprisingly, he likes his new Kenworth the best.

Randy Supak (34), like his friend Truett, was born and raised in Caldwell, Texas, which is about 200 miles south of Dallas, between Austin and Houston. Growing up in Caldwell, Randy’s father was a welder that worked on oil rigs. Truett’s parents were also in the oil business (they built the pads for oil wells and did other oil-related construction and service work), so the families knew each other. Randy and Truett not only went to school together, but they also played pee-wee football together – Randy was the quarterback and Truett was the center.

After graduating from high school, Randy started working part-time for a local lumber company, making deliveries in their 2-ton truck, while attending the local junior college. This was his first time really driving, and he loved it. After a couple years, Randy decided that college was not for him and quit. He left the lumber company and then went to work for his dad on their cattle ranch. After a year of bailing hay and messing with cattle, he went to work with Truett at his family-owned trucking and construction outfit, Novosad Enterprises, in 1998. Back then, they only had a few trucks – Randy mostly drove an International 4300 daycab hooked to a small trailer he used to haul around their small dozer and grader. He also drove some dump trucks and, on occasion, a KW pulling an end dump.

In 1999, Randy purchased a brand new 2000 Peterbilt 379 and went out on his own, but he had no idea who he would be hauling for. His champagne-colored truck was pretty stock, but after adding a drop visor and 7” stacks, it looked pretty good. Because of his age and lack of
experience, it took Randy some time to find a job, but he eventually leased on at Rite Way Transport out of Dallas, Texas and began pulling a dry van throughout all 48 states.

After about a year of running all over the country, Randy found a job closer to home and signed on with Dove Transport, hauling aluminum ingots for Alcoa from Rockdale to San Antonio or Dallas (Rockdale was only 30 minutes from his house). This new job required him to buy a flatbed, but it also allowed him to be home most nights. Again, after about a year, he left Dove and began pulling a cattle trailer. He only did that for six months, quickly realizing that bull-hauling was not his forte. In 2002, he decided to sell his truck and go back to work for Truett.

Two years later, in 2004, Randy left Truett again. Seeking job security, better benefits and a retirement plan, Randy went to work at the Post Office as a rural route letter carrier – but he hated it. He only lasted about a year there, and then, for the last time, went back to work with Truett. He has been working with Truett ever since then, and has no plans to leave.

Every time Randy came back to Novosad Enterprises it had grown. In 2008, as their trucking division grew, they formed Equipment Express, which is the company Randy runs for today. Equipment Express currently has five trucks (including Randy’s KW), several trailers, and primarily hauls heavy equipment for the pipeline industry throughout all 48 states.

Over the years, Randy has been able to drive a lot of cool rigs, and most of them have been Peterbilts. But, when it came time to order Randy a new truck, Truett wanted to do something different, so they began to scour the internet, looking for inspiration and ideas. What they found was a doctored photograph, of a stretched-out Kenworth with a cool paint scheme, done by a guy from Canada named Jim Higgins.

Jim began creating cool truck images using Photoshop just for fun, but as his designs gained popularity, it became a lucrative side-business. Today, if someone wants to see what their truck will look like with a certain paint job or certain modifications, Jim, for a small fee, will mock it all up in Photoshop so they can see how it will look before the work is actually done. And he does some awesome work! When Randy and Truett saw Jim’s Photoshop creation of a cool dark blue Kenworth with outlined silver scallops, they knew they had to build it for real.

Now that they knew what they wanted, the boys just had to figure out who they were going to order it from. Because they wanted to spec it out a certain way for heavy-hauling, they had to talk to three or four different dealerships before they found a salesman that was willing to work with them – they found Buddy Harrelson from MHC Kenworth in Atlanta, Georgia. The truck was ordered in January of 2009 and did not arrive until December of that same year. When it finally came in, it was pretty ugly. Since they knew they were going to put a lot of things on it, the truck was ordered stripped down, so it had no extras whatsoever – Truett said it looked like a T600!

After taking delivery of the KW in December of 2009, it sat inside the shop until April of 2010 because Randy and Truett were just too busy to work on it. The 2010 Kenworth W900L, painted Luxo Blue with a Metallic Silver frame, has a 311” wheelbase and is powered by a Cummins 565 hooked to an 18-speed transmission with a 4-speed auxiliary. Equipped with a pusher axle and a 72” sliding 5th wheel to maximize payload, this baby was set-up to pull heavy loads.

Both Randy and Truett wanted to have the truck done by the SuperRigs show in June, but they were running out of time. After they added a few extras to the truck and did all they could do, they sent it up to their friend Jake Lindamood in Irving, Texas for paint. While at Jake’s shop, they realized that the paint on the frame was already peeling, so they had to send the truck back to Kenworth to have the chassis repainted. When it returned, Jake’s painter sanded down the entire truck and then painted and mounted all of the exterior pieces. He then proceeded to paint the truck’s signature scheme – a silver outline of scallops that go all the way from the front of the truck to the back, even crossing through the steps and tanks. After that, Jake’s painter clear-coated everything, including the newly-sprayed metallic silver chassis. By the time the truck came back to Randy and Truett, there was not a lot of time left to properly finish everything, so they threw it all together and headed to the SuperRigs show, where they did not place or get chosen for the calendar.

After the show, they spent another three months redoing everything that was not properly done the first time. The truck was finally finished and put into full-time service in October of 2010. Since then, Randy has logged almost 150,000 heavy-haul miles and this year, at the SuperRigs show, was picked for their 2012 calendar!

When the truck was completely finished it had 8” dummy stacks (it has a weed-burner exhaust underneath), eight Pete-style cab lights and WTI single hump fenders, hung with custom brackets made by the guys at Lindamood. The truck also has a painted visor, tanks, steps and deck plates, a custom rear tail plate with four lights, sixteen “load lights” on the back of the 72” sleeper, painted cab and sleeper panels, and a painted visor over the window on the back of the sleeper. The rig was ordered with a front drop axle, which was later air-bagged, as well.

Kenworths are known for their plush and comfortable interiors, and this rig certainly has a lot of nice features inside. They liked the factory diamond-tuck interior, so they left that alone, but replaced the stock seats with cool leather seats (grey and blue) from Qualitex, and then had all of the “wood” pieces inside (including the steering wheel and shifter knobs) painted a marbleized blue color by Randy’s cousin. It really looks nice and clean inside, and Randy loves the fact that he can actually stand up in the sleeper.

When Randy is not tearin’ up the pavement, he enjoys staying home and spending time with his wife, Tessa, and their two kids – Preston (4) and Tatum (almost 2). Randy met Tessa in 2001 and the two were married in 2004. Tessa, who also grew up in Caldwell, graduated from Texas A & M University and is now a 6th grade math and science teacher. Randy is a huge college football fan, and he always roots for his beloved Longhorns (University of Texas at Austin). Every Saturday, during the football season, Randy likes to have everybody over to their house to watch the games and cook for them.

Randy and Truett may spend a lot of time building their trucks, but once they are done and leave the shop, they don’t come back – they go to work. Such is the case with Randy’s Kenworth. Unlike most people out there who are constantly changing and/or rebuilding their trucks, once Randy’s ride was finished, they were done. In fact, Truett just bought another rig and the two of them are already making plans (Jim Higgins has even mocked-up a cool paint scheme for this new project, and it’s gonna be cool). Truett also plans to get help from his friends at 4 State Trucks and ACW Specialties on this project.

With Equipment Express on the grow, Randy won’t have to slow down anytime soon – which is a good thing – since he likes to run wide open all the time. Truett says Randy never walks; he is always running or jogging. And Randy hates to wait on a load – when he is ready to go, he is ready to go. Every minute he sits waiting is just another minute lost on the road – and that drives him crazy. But don’t get behind him on the highway and expect him to blaze a trail in the hammer lane, because once he gets rolling, its slow and steady for Randy Supak. Just be sure to get out of his way when he gets out of the truck, because he’s back to wide open from there!

About Daniel J. Linss - Editor

Daniel J. Linss has been with 10-4 Magazine since the beginning in September of 1993 and has been the Editor and Art Director since March of 1994. Over the years, he has also become one of the main photographers for 10-4 and is well-known for his insightful cover feature articles and honest show reports. Married for over 25 years with three children, Daniel operates a marketing and production company (Daniel Designs) which produces 10-4 Magazine each and every month from his office in Squaw Valley, CA.