It’s a known fact that how much time and dedication you pour into any project will determine how good the end product will be. Anyone who has ever built a custom truck (or watched the process) knows this fact very well. It takes a lot of patience and time to perfect every bolt and chrome piece put onto these trucks, but when the day finally comes to pull into that show lot for the first time, it’s worth it – just ask Claudio Scetto of Ontario, Canada!
Like the majority of us, Claudio Scetto (52) has had the love for trucks since childhood. Growing up in Canada, Claudio’s dad hauled general freight with a 1972 Kenworth cabover. Anytime there was an opportunity to ride along, Claudio never had a second thought about going. When the time for Claudio to start driving finally came, he began running long distance from Canada to Florida and back, hauling furniture south and then produce back north to Toronto. Back then, Claudio was known as “Night Rider” to drivers on the CB radio – he always preferred driving through the night due to the reduced amount of traffic and smoother running.
After driving for about thirteen years, Claudio decided that he could make a better living in the construction business – but that didn’t mean that his trucking career was over for good. In 1990, Scetto Construction Company was born. Today, Scetto Construction is a foundation, framing and steel erection contractor, with their primary operations within 100 miles of their home in Washago, Ontario, Canada.
In 2010 Claudio saw an ad from an old friend who had a 1990 Peterbilt 379 day cab for sale. The truck had a 425 mechanical Caterpillar engine and 15-speed overdrive transmission with a 3:10 gear ratio. Being the Peterbilt fan that he is, Claudio purchased the truck for shows and some light work. During August of 2011 the truck was completely disassembled so the custom work could begin. Done in-house, the wheelbase was stretched from 244 inches to 310 inches, a cool (and useful) lift bumper system was installed, and a custom drom deck was put together. The drom deck was built using polished aluminum for the framing and blue-stained maple wood for the deck.
If you look closely at the truck’s grill, the pattern that you will see is not your typical oval or square-punched hole pattern, but maple leafs, instead. Claudio searched high and low, looking for that one thing that could be completely different from anyone else, but he just couldn’t find it. Finally, an idea hit him when he saw the stars on the American flag – he decided to design his grill after the Canadian flag. The grill, which was custom-fabricated by JVC Precision in Orillia, Ontario, really helps the truck to stand out from the crowd.
After taking up garage space for almost two years, the truck was finally ready for show. Its maiden voyage was down south to the 2013 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky. Being a show spectator for years, it was a dream-come-true for Claudio to finally show a truck of his own at this monumental event. In Claudio’s words, “It was very exciting to be competing with others on such a large stage.” At the awards ceremony on Saturday, the truck was awarded 3rd place in the “First Show Lights Bobtail” class. But don’t think that this truck is all show and no work – almost every day you will find it out pulling Scetto’s equipment from job site to job site. In Claudio’s words, “It’s gotta pay for itself somehow.”
Like most of the drivers of custom trucks out there, Claudio keeps coming up with new ideas for his custom ride. Over the summer, an abundance of new lights are being added to the already 160 ambers for new lighting effects. Next on the list is to find a bell from a train to compliment his already-installed Nathan Airchime K5L locomotive horns. Also, another addition this fall will be a new lowboy with dark blue accents to match the truck, with plans to install over 90 extra lights on the trailer, too. So, be looking forward to seeing these extras at the 2014 shows and beyond.
This truck is more than just a worker and a show piece – it’s also a rolling testament to autism and autism awareness. If you look at the truck’s rear mud flap weights you will see the words “Autism Awareness” cut out. Claudio, knowing first-hand about this disorder with his son Cody being Autistic, wants people to be aware. Autism is a developmental disorder that appears during the first three years of life which affects the brain’s development of social and communication skills. Some people with Autism can live near to normal lives, while others must have special care during their entire life. In recent studies, it was found that 1 in 88 children and 1 in every 54 boys are affected by autism (on average, boys are five times more likely to be autistic than girls). As of now, unfortunately, doctors still have not found a true cure for this disorder. To learn more about this disorder, visit www.autismspeaks.org.
I would like to personally thank Claudio and his family for taking the time on such a short notice to do the photo shoot. This was my first full-on shoot and I appreciate the patience that Claudio had with me during the process. Also, I would like to thank my mentor, Troy Miller, as well as Kim Grimm, for teaching me about trucks, photography, and for just being an all-around support system to me. Lastly, I want to thank my mom, my dad and my little brother for “putting up with my obsession” and being so willing to drive me around to shows and photo shoots (I am only 15 years old, so I am just getting started).
Claudio wanted to thank everyone who helped him make this dream come true, saying, “You know who you are.” A lot of thought for a long period of time went into building this truck, and it has definitely proven to be well worth it. I am sure that Claudio Scetto will continue to pour his creativity and talents into this working show truck and never fail to please the crowd. In life, great things take time and a lot of effort to create, and this truck has certainly been no different. After all, perfection takes time!