A glance around trucking today would lead you to believe that it takes deep pockets and months or years of work to build a wild ride. But Steve and Jim Disher of Commerce City, Colorado have built two of the wildest race trucks you’ll see out of nothing more than a couple scrap-yard tractors. And not only did they do it on a tight budget, but they did it in a matter of days. But don’t be mistaken – they aren’t show trucks – they’re simply toy trucks the brother’s built to race.
Jimmy and Steve’s trucks, known as “No Buk$” (Steve’s conventional) and “Low Buk$” (Jimmy’s cabover), began as trucks that were bought and only needed a couple mechanical repairs to be ready for work, but morphed into a couple wickedly-fun toys for the drag strip. The plan was simple – make them fast by making them lightweight. With just a quick look at each of the trucks, you will immediately notice that many pieces have been removed or modified – the exhaust is cut down, extra fuel tanks, battery boxes and tool boxes have been removed, the fifth wheels have been cut off – anywhere and everywhere they could save weight, they did. Jim, Steve and their crews have stripped the rigs down to basically nothing more than the driveline, chassis and body panels. But both rigs have some noticeable alterations.
No Buk$, a 1985 Peterbilt 359 which will run mid-17-second quarter miles at around 75-77 mph, was built in less than a week to its original form. Steve brought the truck in on the Friday before the 2009 Phoenix race. They immediately began stripping excess parts and cutting out all the weight they could. By Monday, the truck was finished except for paint. The next day, the truck was painted, and by Thursday they were in Phoenix, AZ prepping for the race.
The No Buk$ conventional features a stock 350 Cummins backed by a 10-speed transmission, 3.55 rears, and super-single tires for traction. Although the drivetrain is largely unaltered, with a truck well under 10,000 pounds, there isn’t a big need for heavy changes to the engine to get the truck running fast. In fact, in its current form, the truck can start a burnout in first gear and finish in overdrive before moving anywhere! The most noticeable change to the exterior is the extended grille with split bumper, as well as the laker-style exhaust exiting out of the cowl and running under the cab. The truck also features an intimidating blower scoop, rising up out of an opening in the hood.
Jimmy’s Low Buk$ cabover, running similar elapsed times to No Buk$, began life as nothing more than a 1971 Kenworth K100 mobile home toter that needed some simple clutch work. In the words of Jimmy, however, “things got carried away.” Two weeks later, the KW had turned into the heavily-chopped, short-wheelbase brute it is today.
The Low Buk$ cabover is powered by a stock 335 Cummins backed by an Allison automatic with 2.78 gears. Unlike Steve, however, Jimmy runs shaved down dual slicks on the back. Most cabovers are tall, but Jimmy’s truck has been radically shortened, a total of 26 inches, with plenty of chopping and lowering being performed. The cab received a massive twelve-inch chop, then the entire truck was lowered an additional eight inches, and then six more inches were cut out of the springs. With all this chopping and lowering, the truck now sits lower than most regular conventional trucks and has an absolutely sinister appearance. Low Buk$ weighs in at an astonishing 8,000 pounds. Finished off in the same flat-black paint as No Buk$, the two trucks are certainly an intimidating looking pair wherever they arrive.
Not surprisingly, neither truck can be said to have what would be called “cushy” interiors. With just enough gauges to know what’s going on, a seat or two, and nothing more than the bare essentials in regards to controls, the trucks were deemed ready to race. No Buk$, however, retained most of its original dash. With chained rear-ends to prevent wheel-hop and a couple suicide handles to hold on to inside the cab, the ride is absolutely terrible. Yet, with all the discomfort these trucks afford, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a rig that will put a bigger smile on your face, or one you will have a better time riding in, than either of these two budget racers.
As much as Jim and Steve enjoy their rivalry, there is a more important reason why they take their trucks to shows and races. Jimmy and Steve want the kids (and adults) to know it is not about speed, but the spirit of competition – that you can go out and have a great time and race safely on a budget. When they bring their trucks to shows and races, they don’t do it to show-off but to bring people a great time. Everyone is welcome to look over their trucks, to open the doors and take a look inside, or sit their kid up on the seat for a photo. They’ll answer all your questions, and maybe even pick your brain for some new ideas, too.
Jimmy and Steve Disher were both raised in trucking, much like their brother Gary (owner of the “Gone Postal” Mack cabover I featured in the June 2010 edition), and have always made their way in life. With a father who believed his kids should work hard at all things, they currently own and operate Jim Disher Trucking and Steve Disher Trucking, respectively. Steve and Jim, like Gary as well, are heavy haulers who are known for not only knowing how to move machinery but houses, railcars, locomotives and other unusual and seemingly impossible loads, too. Jim and Steve don’t beat around the facts – they both speak their mind and strive to provide good service, with both their entertainment (the race trucks) and their trucking operations.
I would like to thank Jim and Steve and Steve’s son, Alex (17), seen peeking over the engine in one of the photos, for their time and having the No Buk$ and Low Buk$ trucks prepared rather quickly for the photo shoot. I had a great time riding around in No Buk$, complete with stoplight shenanigans, while we tried to beat the rain. It’s not uncommon for people to stop and ask questions during a photo shoot, and this shoot was no different. People were staring everywhere we went and asking questions about the trucks. Their trucks are loud, fast, and even a little hairy at times, and people absolutely love them!
Neither Jim nor Steve are done having fun, either. Both have some wild tricks up their sleeves that will undoubtedly make you scratch your head. Keep your eyes peeled as Jimmy has plans to build a new racer for the Super Truck class, as well as a few other projects, coming in the near future.
You’ll be able to catch the Disher boys and their trucks at a number of events this year, including the upcoming Truckin’ for Kids Show & Drags in Irwindale, California in September (one of their favorite events to compete at). You can also catch them at the NHRDA (National Hot Rod Diesel Association) finals in Topeka, Kansas, and at the Cummins Rocky Mountain TruckFest at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado. To learn more about their trucks and their businesses, visit Steve Disher’s website at www.stevedisherent.com and Jim Disher’s website at www.jimdishertrucking.com. If the past is any indicator of the future, the shows certainly won’t be a disappointment! Come out and watch a couple “budget racers” tear up the track, and have a great time doing it.