This month’s cool “creation” was built for Ned Vander Ploeg of Lynden, Washington. Ned was thinking about retiring but then decided to just buy another truck and keep runnin’ instead. He was reluctant about buying a new Peterbilt 389 because he hated that ugly plastic urea tank hanging on the side. Clint said that he had an idea that he’d been wanting to try to hide the tank, so Ned said, “Go for it!” And when it was all said and done, Clint had hit a home run.
Ned (55) was always fascinated with trucks, but he did not grow up in a trucking family – his father, Elmer, was a Minister. After high school, Ned earned a degree in Business from a school in Azusa, CA and then went to work at a “regular” job. About that time, in the late 1970s, he met and became friends with a hay hauler and started running hay in eastern Washington at night. In 1978 he bought his first truck – an International conventional – and never looked back.
After running up and down the west coast for a year, he met his wife Tami and became more interested in staying around the house, so he sold his truck and went to work for a guy hauling hay locally. After about six years, he got tired of running over the snowy mountains and went to work for another local company. He stayed there as a driver for 12 years and then bought his own truck and stayed for five more years. For the last 11 years, Ned has been pulling a flatbed in and around Washington, Oregon and California – and wherever else the work takes him. Ned takes his job seriously, and is proud of the fact that he has over 3 million safe driving miles under his belt.
Back in 2006, Ned called Clint and ordered a cool 2007 extended-hood Peterbilt 379 with a flat top sleeper. Painted Viper Red and slammed on the ground, Ned ran this rig for 485,000 miles with an average idle time of only 6.2% – with no generator! Clint called this truck the “Nedsled” for obvious reasons. When it came time for Ned to either retire or keep going, he decided to “go some more” and then called Clint.
Wanting to change things up, Ned decided to order his 2012 Peterbilt 389 with a 63-inch HighRoof standup sleeper, sit it on bigger tires, give it a 3-color paint scheme and weed-burner exhaust. The truck has a 550 ISX Cummins, an 18-speed transmission, a car-hauler front axle on air, a 280-inch wheelbase, and low low AirLeaf suspension. Needless to say, the “Nedsled 2” sits extremely low to the ground.
When the truck came in, the guys installed 8-inch dummy pipes, 9 painted bullet lights on the roof, cab and sleeper skirts, Hogebuilt low ride half fenders on a set of Clint’s brackets, and one of Clint’s drop visors, trimmed on the lower edge with a piece of polished stainless. They also chopped the screens on the air cleaners and painted the dash panels to match. When the truck first arrived, it was just red and black. Rick in the paint shop added the white stripes, Charlie worked on the air-ride front axle, and Jesus did most of all the other work. But the coolest thing Clint did to this truck was hide the urea tank.
Using two fuel tanks, Clint created a split tank with a cover for the urea tank section and then used a combination of painted and polished straps to create the illusion of just one big tank. JR at Lifetime Nut Covers helped Clint out with a chrome urea filler cap. In the end, it not only looked great, but it was functional, too.
Ned and his wife Tami have been married for 31 years and have two grown children. When Ned isn’t busy piloting his “Nedsled 2” down the road, he enjoys working around their beautiful mountain home, which is perched atop a hill and offers spectacular views on all sides. Although Ned considers himself to be a “boring” guy, we think he’s pretty cool – and as for his truck, well it is nothing short of amazing!