This month’s “creation” was built for Dave Anderson of Salisbury, Maryland. This is only Dave’s third truck, but he waited a long time for it. Rome was not built in a day, and neither was this amazing ride, but he now has the truck of his dreams, and he wouldn’t want it any other way. Dave is a very happy guy, for sure, but not just because of his beautiful new Peterbilt – he is happy and content for many other reasons, as well. At only 36 years old, Dave has already experienced much of what life has to offer – good and bad – and he appreciates it all.
Born and raised in Ft. Pierce, Florida, Dave grew up in a trucking family. His dad, Robert, has been driving truck for close to 50 years, and for the last 30 or so, he has owned his own. Dave’s mom and dad split-up when Dave was pretty young, and his dad remarried Linda, who has been his step-mother for a long time now. After making some poor life choices, Dave had a wake-up call in 2006 and decided to turn his life around, choosing trucking, like his father did, as his new profession. His dad gave him a few contacts and then his grandfather Ike helped him buy a truck, saying, “You got to have something to be proud of.” Dave never forgot that.
Following his grandfather’s advice, Dave found his first dream truck – a slightly used 2005 Peterbilt 379 extended-hood with Cat power, painted Viper red. Unfortunately, that truck was wrecked in September of 2009 when someone made a U-turn in front of Dave’s fast-moving rig. He was lucky to be alive, as both his truck and trailer were totaled! Needing something fast, he bought another Viper red 2007 Peterbilt off a lot which was nice, but nothing close to the one that got wrecked. Running up and down 95th Street with some big names like Shane Stoner, Lonnie Williams and Ron Groff, Dave started wanting a new truck. Remembering that sage advice from his grandfather, Dave knew he had to get another big ride that he could be proud of, so after sitting down with his friends Cory Jones and Shane Drummond and coming up with a basic blueprint for his next truck, he called Clint.
When it comes to building a perfect dream truck, patience is one of the greatest things you can have. This truck took a long time to finish because it was always evolving – but Dave was not in a hurry, anyway – he wanted it to be right. Throughout the entire project, Clint’s boss, Mike Carothers, became good friends with Dave and helped hold it all together. But when a project gets this big and goes this long, everybody starts having really high expectations, and when that happens, you have to bring it. With that in mind, Clint and the boys brought it!
The 2013 Peterbilt 389 was ordered with a 70-inch high-roof sleeper, a 600 Cummins ISX with 2,050-ft. lbs. of torque, an 18-speed, a 310-inch wheelbase, Low-Air suspension, an air-ride front end with a car-hauler axle, and a Platinum interior package (in tan) with all the good stuff. When the truck showed up, Kipp out in the shop installed a Phoenix battery-powered APU, hiding it inside the bunk, to insure that no one knew it was there. Some of the add-ons included Shift fenders, a stainless I-panel with screened vents between the fuel tanks (from RoadWorks), invisible LED cab lights, painted cab and sleeper panels, as well as painted tanks, steps, visor, breathers, mirror brackets and deck plate. The urea tank was hidden, dummy 8-inch stacks were installed, the headlights were swapped out with double-rounds with painted buckets, and custom shock covers (behind the sleeper) were fabricated out of highly-modified 5-inch turnout stack tips sitting on a custom-built aluminum box. There are even red lights in the wheels that shine through the holes! Leonard in the shop and Clint’s dad really came through at the end of this project, and if it weren’t for their efforts, the truck might still not be done.
As the truck started to take shape, Clint went to work designing the perfect stripes. Using the 1987 drawing program on his computer, he did the best he could and came up with the colors (black stripes with an orange outline) and a general shape. To finalize the design and perfect it, Jim Higgins at 12 Ga. Customs was asked to help out. Higgs perfected the stripes and made a mask for Rick in the paint shop to use, and once the stripes were done, the plain red truck came to life. Carl at Rockwood made lots of interior pieces and all of the chrome dash trim, while the folks at Thunder Grafix in Joplin, MO did all of the final custom lettering.
Near the end of it all, Dave mentioned that he was going to be getting a sweet, matching, 54-foot stainless steel Great Dane reefer with spread axles, and was wondering if there was room on the dash for a few more switches to operate the trailer’s drop axle – there wasn’t, so Clint came up with a unique and ingenious idea. Having previously met a guy from an outfit called Base Engineering that makes wireless remotes for refined fuel tank trucks, Clint came up with a wireless system, operated by a small hand-held remote, to control Dave’s lift axle on his new trailer. It was a tremendous amount of electrical work, complete with a wired back-up system, but Clint got it done – and it works flawlessly!
Dave has an undeniable love for his family and his children – all of them! He truly believes that children are the greatest thing in life, and the reason we live. Dave feels so fortunate for the opportunities that life has to offer, and makes sure every day not to take anything for granted. From his Grandma Helen and Grandpa Ike, to his mom Arnetta Lucas (who graciously takes care of so many in her family), and from his dad Robert and step-mother Linda to all of his kids, he feels blessed to have such wonderful friends and the greatest family a guy could ever ask for.
Dave may not have always made the best decisions when he was younger, but he feels fortunate to now have a different outlook on life, and he sees things a lot clearer than most. But, sometimes, he feels that he might have missed his god-given gift and calling – playing baseball. He still has a love for the game, but he doesn’t get to spend much time watching it, concentrating more on work, now. As Dave explained it, “I was really good. If things were different, and I knew then what I know now, I would have made it in baseball. Things would be very different, but everything that happens to you and the people with you make up who you are. Everything happens like it should. Life is great!”
The reaction of people when they show up to pick up their new truck is one of Clint’s biggest rewards, and one of the many reasons why he loves his job so much. At that moment, when the customer can’t smile any bigger or say “thank you” any more sincerely, the countless hours and sleepless nights all seem to be worth it. When Dave finally came to pick up the truck it was really close to his birthday, so Clint and the guys in the shop tied balloons to the front and put a big bow on it. Now that is a cool birthday present! After seeing the truck, Dave was visibly taken aback, and the first words out of his mouth were, “This truck is the most beautiful truck I have ever seen, and even more than I could have ever imagined. I love it – it was worth the wait!”