Although this cool truck is called “Counterfeit” by its owner and builder, there is nothing fake about it – it is the real deal. A truck is what you make it, and Gary Disher of Hi-Plains Leasing in Commerce City, Colorado knows this. First gaining notoriety on the truck show circuit for his bright red, one-of-a-kind “Gone Postal” cabover MR Mack, Gary has put together yet another stand-out rig from similarly humble beginnings. Being a former dirt-hauling truck, the two-tone green stub-nosed 1990 W900B Kenworth seen here is now an integral part of the Hi-Plains heavy-haul fleet.
Starting life in a local dump truck fleet, Gary’s “Counterfeit” Kenworth has certainly come a country mile (and then some) since he first got it. Originally painted dark-green with white stripes, the rig featured a plywood frame cover, rusted air-cleaners, steel wheels, hardly any chrome, and little in the way of shine at all. Yet, Gary new underneath the years of dirt work, scratches, cracks, and acidized aluminum that there was a truck waiting to be built, so he got to work. Needing to keep it working during the entire rebuild, almost all of the work on the truck, excluding the paint, was done in-house at the Hi-Plains shop.
Work was done a little at a time on the truck. Originally outfitted with a frame-top, painted hydraulic tank for the wet kit, Gary changed the wet line tank to a polished, saddle-mount tank, as well as pushing the passenger-side fuel tank back from its position under the cab to behind the cab, adding a tool box to balance out the look of the truck. The plywood deck cover was replaced with a proper aluminum cover and the ribbed half-fenders were first swapped out for polished half-fenders, eventually ending up with the deep-radius stainless steel rear fenders you see on it now. The truck would go on to get a stainless steel drop visor, a stainless steel boxed-end front bumper, 6-inch miter-cut exhaust tips, polished and smooth exhaust pipe heat shields, polished elbows, and the necessary accessory for any heavy-haul truck, a headache rack.
With the original paint fading and cracked, it was time to get the truck repainted, as well. As Gary had much of the equipment on the truck now that he wanted, he had the truck sent to Juan Maldonado at MG Auto Detail for new paint. Wanting to keep the old-school Seminole paint scheme on the truck, Gary opted to have the truck sprayed with a two-tone forest green and pale, near mint green scheme with gold outline stripes. Gary also had the frame painted to match, as well as the headache rack, the fuel and hydraulic tanks, and the air cleaners. Nearly complete now, the truck was sent to Auto Weave of Denver, Colorado to have its interior reupholstered in matching trim and color while ColoGraphic, Inc. produced the Western-looking vinyl lettering for the truck. The interior would also receive new chrome gauges and switch covers, while the original, old-style three-spoke Kenworth steering wheel was refinished and refurbished.
During all of this work, Gary still had the Kenworth out and working, as well – and this truck certainly has the guts to get some work done. Outfitted with an XT-generation 444 Big Cam Cummins that Gary’s turned up to over 500 hp, the mechanically-powered KW features a 6-speed main box and 4-speed deep-under auxiliary transmission, routed through 4.56 rear gears on air-ride, with 24.5 tall rubber all the way around. In fact, one of the first loads Gary’s W900B hooked to after he bought it was an 800-series Hitachi excavator, grossing some 200,000 lbs. in the mountains! The old mechanical Cummins, turned-up and running hot, picked the load up and got it to its destination with ease.
Primarily handling heavy-haul services, Gary Disher started Hi-Plains Leasing, Inc. in 1989. Based out of Commerce City, Colorado, Gary has built the company into what it is today. With equipment to handle the smallest skid-steer on up to 100,000-lb. loads and more, Hi-Plains Leasing has become a premier heavy-hauling and equipment hauling outfit in the Rocky Mountain region. With eight trucks, as well as three lease-operators, and trailers ranging from flatbeds and step-decks, to lowboys with capacities up to 75 tons, Gary has the equipment to get the job done.
With a knack for the unusual or impossible, Hi-Plains Leasing, Inc. has earned a reputation as a go-to operation for the loads that nobody else can haul. In fact, millions of people drive right underneath one of Gary’s most notable loads – a pedestrian bridge-arch that spans the entirety of I-25 between Speer Boulevard and 20th Street in Denver, Colorado. Gary hauled the entire arch in as a single piece. Weighing about 200,000 lbs., the load was over 30’ wide, 50’ tall, and more than 300’ long!
Gary would like to thank Auto Weave Upholstery of Denver, as well as Juan Maldonado of MG Auto Detail, the Light House for providing much of the illumination for the truck, and his many drivers and employees for not only their service at Hi-Plains Leasing, but also for helping him build the truck. Gary would also like to thank Bob Ewing for his mechanical work on the truck, and most of all, his wife of 28 years, Sandy, for, at a minimum, tolerating his truck habit. Some build cars, others do landscaping, but Gary builds (and drives) big trucks. Having seen his fair share of the industry, if Gary isn’t in the office bidding jobs, in the shop tinkering on trucks and trailers, or out hauling a load, he enjoys taking things easy with his wife and spending time with his grandkids.
We at 10-4 Magazine would like to thank Gary and his crew at Hi-Plains Leasing for their time in making sure the truck was ready for the photo shoot. It can be difficult to find the time to shut a working truck down and get it ready for a photo shoot, and we appreciate the effort that goes into preparing these trucks. We were impressed with Gary’s first truck we featured (the “Gone Postal” Mack), and his latest “Counterfeit” Kenworth, is just as impressive – and in regards to work trucks, it’s the real deal. There is nothing fake about this classic rig. With an unusual taste in trucks, we are certain this won’t be the last truck Gary Disher will build, and we are looking forward to seeing what his slightly-twisted eye comes up with next time.