This month’s cool “creation” was built for Ben Vernier of Derailed Inc. in Bennington, NE. This glider kit project was a consolidated effort by just about everyone at Kansas City Peterbilt, and is another great example of why Clint loves his job. Originally, this truck was to make its debut at the truck show in Louisville last March, but when they realized that deadline was not going to work, they reset it for the show in Las Vegas in June. After making its debut at that show, Ben is going straight to work with it, and he can’t wait!
While growing up, nobody in Ben’s family was involved in trucks or trucking. Ben (31), the son of Pierre and Karen Vernier, graduated high school in 1999 and then went to work for Cat Machinery at one of their warehouses. Later, he got a job at a moving company and then got his CDL. Running local loads with the movers is how Ben got hooked! Today, he still hauls household goods, but he does it with a stainless spread-axle reefer because it looks cooler.
Ben’s first truck was a used 1999 Volvo he purchased from an owner operator. He ran that truck for two years and then bought a new 2005 Peterbilt 379 with a 70-inch high-roof sleeper. After only one year, Ben decided that he wanted a flattop with a long wheelbase, so he called Clint, who just happened to have a truck like that sitting on the lot. Cleverly named “Praise the Lower’d” this 2006 Pete 379 had a 48-inch flattop and a 312-inch wheelbase. Ben still runs this truck today, but just before the Las Vegas truck show he will be swapping the tag to the new one (seen here) and then, after the show, he’ll be takin’ it to the streets to start earning its keep.
When it came time to update, Ben acquired a good C-16 Cat engine and transmission out of a wrecked Freightliner, and then had Clint order him a new 2013 Peterbilt 389 glider kit. The new kit came in all black with a black frame (Peterbilt would not paint the frame the color Ben wanted so he decided to just let Clint’s guy’s do it). The truck also had a 63-inch high-roof sleeper, a whopping 321-inch wheelbase, a car-hauler front axle, Low-Low-Air suspension and 22.5 rubber. This rig started out low, but it got even lower when the guys bagged the front end.
When the truck finally showed up, the boys in the shop pulled everything down to the bare rails and then took it to be blasted inside and out. Then, they brought it back to the shop and spent countless days smoothing out the chassis, removing all of the emblems from the suspension brackets and air to air – they even ground the fifth wheel smooth. Rick and Rob then sprayed the custom green PPG paint on the chassis so good that Clint could see the reflection of his shoelaces in the rails when they were finished!
After Charlie in the service department fit the kit with its new drivetrain, it was time to hang all the goodies. From there, it got one of Clint’s painted visors, body skirts with hucks to match, flush cab lights, 8-inch Lincoln Chrome pipes, a custom “I” box between the tanks with recessed lights, a smooth deck plate, Shift fenders with custom bulletproof brackets, and a rear light bar (also with recessed lights). The truck also got a flip bumper, tapered step boxes to match the body drop panels, and strapless breathers. The guys also moved the air tanks to the inside of the rails, reskinned the right door, painted all of the doors and jambs, as well as the door handles and the fat 26-inch fuel tanks, and had the mirror brackets and grille screen powdercoated.
Standups like this don’t seem very low until you look close – but this baby is low and good to go! Ben is a determined guy, so when he sets his mind on something, he doesn’t stop until he succeeds. Projects like this, where everyone comes together to help, makes Clint proud to be involved. Not all trucks are created equal – this one is bad to the bone – and Ben will be working her full-time after her debut in Las Vegas, when she becomes an official member of the lower class!