Who said there is no work in this great country? Who thinks you can’t get ahead in the trucking industry today? Eight months ago, we had the opportunity to meet two young brothers who own a small trucking and construction business. These two brothers happen to be 25 and 22 years old and are now the proud owners of a Pittsburgh Power-built 389 Peterbilt Glider Kit. Their names are Brad and Josh Deeter of Deeter Farms and Construction in Cooperstown, PA.
The Deeter boys were raised on the family farm of 900 acres, growing soybeans and corn. Their grandfather, Paul Deeter, and their father, Craig, not only worked the farm, but they also decided to drill oil wells in the 1970s and purchased some trucks and lowboy trailers to haul their own equipment. Back then, the oil and gas industry was doing pretty well in Franklin and Oil City, PA, and the Deeters would do construction for the industry. Once the oil industry left that part of the state, the father decided to close down the trucking and construction business and just work the farm. So, with bankruptcy looming in 2009, Paul Deeter called his grandson Brad, who at the time was a junior at Penn State University studying mechanical engineering, and said, “If you want the business, come and get it!” Brad Deeter decided that he wanted the trucking and construction business, but he also still wanted to finish his degree at Penn State.
Having a full-time job trying to resurrect a defunct business, along with studying to become a mechanical engineer, Brad had his hands full. His commute to the business was 150 miles each way, but he did it. After finishing college, Brad went on to marry a beautiful woman by the name of Allison and continued to rebuild the family trucking and construction business. With hard work and intelligent decisions, Brad avoided bankruptcy and saw the business begin to grow.
When Josh was a junior in high school, he joined the company, working in the evenings, weekends and summer breaks, building ponds for frack water for the oil and gas industry in the Washington, PA area. The boys moved their office to Hickory, PA, and since 2009, they have accumulated 28 trucks, bull dozers, excavators, skid steers, and 58 employees. Of the 28 trucks, 17 are 2008 and newer models equipped with DPF filters and EGR systems. Two or three of the trucks are in the shop for warranty repairs constantly, and five more are running with the “Check Engine” light on, waiting to get into the truck dealership. Some of their earth-moving equipment also has the “Tier 4” emissions package, and these units drive the boys crazy because they are constantly having to wait for them to complete their re-gen cycles so they can go back to moving dirt. What a waste of time!
Fed up with all of the emission equipment on their trucks and in need of a new heavy-haul rig, they contacted us at Pittsburgh Power to build them a new 389 Peterbilt glider kit. This truck is equipped with an ISX 600 Cummins, a Pittsburgh Power computer, a FASS fuel system, a mercury-filled engine balancer, 46,000-lb. rears geared at 3:70, an 18-speed transmission, and 8” stacks with quiet spools in the pipes. Great care was taken by the mechanics and service manager of Pittsburgh Power to make the engine install as clean as possible – we wanted to keep all of the wires and hoses hidden as much as possible for the clean look, and I think we achieved our goal.
Keep in mind, this truck was not financed by a bank or loan institution – the Deeter boys paid cash for this truck! Like all growing companies, they are in need of a few good local truck drivers and they are an all-Kenworth fleet except for this one new Peterbilt. If you would like to work in the Washington, PA area and be home every night, send an e-mail and/or your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. The days will be long and the work will not be easy, but from what I have seen, these would be some great guys to work for.
Switching gears, let’s talk about Caterpillar exhaust manifold gaskets. If you are changing the exhaust manifold gaskets on a C-15 Cat and the gaskets have the sleeve that protrudes into the exhaust port, I recommend that you don’t use those gaskets. What often happens is that the sleeve breaks off and then wipes out the turbine wheel (which destroys the turbo), and there is no warranty on those gaskets. Always install the Cat gaskets without the sleeve. The cost of the sleeved gaskets is $22.84 each ($137.04 for 6), while the sleeveless versions are only $3.30 each ($19.80 for 6). So, if you needed another reason to go with the sleeveless gaskets, there it is!
It has been brought to our attention that the Kenworth T-660 and T-800 are now available as glider kits. This is great news! Two years ago, I had several conversations with the vice president of Kenworth and explained to him the high demand for glider kits. I’m glad they saw the light! But please, don’t think that building a glider kit is more economical than buying a new truck – it’s not. In fact, it’s more expensive. However, you WILL NOT have the problems associated with the new trucks, so your truck will be virtually “trouble free” and have more power with no breakdowns. If you have any comments or questions, I can be reached at Pittsburgh Power Inc. in Saxonburg, PA at (724) 360-4080 or via e-mail at email@example.com.