There’s no denying the fact that the classically-styled Peterbilts and Kenworths are great looking trucks – and a great place to start when building a tricked-out ride. But, there’s no saying that you have to go along with the masses. Nate Hoskinson (30) of Hutchinson, Kansas chose a less-traveled path when he built his latest ride. Owner and driver of the cool Western Star LowMax seen on these pages, Nate wanted to prove that the other brands of trucks could be cool, too. And we think he made his point!
Born and raised in Haven, Kansas, Nate has loved trucks since he was little. As a kid, his best friend’s father drove trucks, and that’s where the bug began. Having trucked for 12 years now, Nate taught himself how to drive. Having hauled grain, lumber and other flatbed loads locally, refrigerated freight long distance, cattle and oversized loads, Nate has seen (and hauled) a wide range of the various aspects this industry has to offer, but most recently, he began hauling gas and other fuels to be home more often.
About three years ago, Nate bought the Western Star seen on these pages. A different choice by any means, and especially for the region, Nate started working the truck and building a unique, low-slung ride. Sitting on a 265-inch wheelbase, the 4900EX LowMax is painted with a classic striping style in white and metallic red. Featuring Dynaflex 7-inch pipes, the truck also has a 22-inch American Eagle bumper, a drop visor, and numerous LEDs throughout. The truck is also outfitted with train horns and a homemade deck plate, and sits on low-profile-rubber-wrapped 24.5 aluminum rims. Motivation for the truck comes from a C-15 Cat backed by a 13-speed transmission and 3.46 rear gears. Featuring a painted-to-match dash and accents, the rig’s interior is also outfitted with Bostrom seating and has an extended shift tower, a hardwood floor, and a painted steering wheel. Though generally understated, simple and clean in its modifications, Nate’s Western Star is an eye-catching rig nonetheless.
Pulling multiple trailers, Nate’s ride looks just as good hooked to a cattle pot as it does attached to a gas tanker. When not out hauling gas or an occasional load of cattle, much of Nate’s free time is spent working on the truck, but not alone. Nate’s wife April (24) of almost three years can often be found in the shop helping Nate work on the truck. Raising three kids – Kody (12), Brecken (10) and Lincoln (7), Nate called himself a family man. When not fishing, shooting or camping, Nate enjoys, in his words, “being lazy” and just watching movies and hanging out with his kids and wife at home.
Wanting to find just the right spot to shoot Nate’s truck after the Busted Knuckle Truck Show in Oklahoma late last year, we searched nearby Ponca City for a suitable location. After touring the Marland Mansion estate, we (April and Nate came along for the location hunting) knew we had the right setting for the truck. An enormous mansion complex built in 1925, the fancy house and its grounds stand as a monument of sorts to the oil wealth that Ponca City is built upon. Built by oil baron Ernest Whitworth Marland, the complex features Mediterranean-Revival architectural styling. Subsequently owned by both monks and nuns, the complex is now owned by the City of Ponca City and has been a registered National Historic Landmark since 1977. Massive, unique and extravagant, the elegant mansion and complex provided a fantastic setting for the photo shoot.
Getting up bright and early and leaving before dawn to have the truck ready for the shoot (we only had a three-hour window of shooting in the morning before a wedding was set to begin on the grounds), Nate and April, along with Nate’s longtime friend Barry Unruh and his kids, all set out to help with getting Nate’s truck ready for the shoot. Squeezing in and out of entrances, gates and down paths never designed with trucks in mind, Nate showed no qualms putting his truck wherever we asked him.
Always working very hard, Nate hasn’t forgotten where he came from. Nate would like to thank both of his parents for instilling his work ethic and desire to do things right. Nate would also like to thank his wife, April, and their kids Kody, Brecken and Lincoln for their love and support in what he does. Nate would also like to thank Barry Unruh for all of his help in building the truck and getting it up-to-snuff. Special thanks also go out to the entire crew at Wilkins Oklahoma Truck Supply – Nate’s exclusive source for chrome! The Wilkins family has always treated Nate like part of their family.
Nate would also like to thank Paul Westfahl for taking him in for his CDL test in one of his trucks when he was only 18 years old. Nate would also like to thank all his friends and family for their continued help and encouragement with his truck. Whether it’s mechanical or moral support, he has always been able to count on his family and friends to be there. But, above all else, Nate would like to thank God for all He has done for him. Nate believes he is truly blessed, not only with his truck and wonderful wife and kids, but everything, saying, “Without Him I would be nothing and have nothing.”
We at 10-4 Magazine would like to say thanks to Nate and April – we love seeing dedication and commitment in the people we choose to feature, and Nate and April certainly have it! We’d also like to extend a very special thank you to the Marland Estate for allowing us to use their fantastic location for the photo shoot. We would also like to say thanks to Barry Unruh for his help, as well as Tanner Wilkins and the entire crew at Wilkins Oklahoma Truck Supply for their help (be sure to pick-up your free copy of 10-4 at their chrome shop at exit 211 off I-35 in Tonkawa, OK each and every month).
Hard work, strong faith and a good family are great ways to find success in the trucking industry, and Nate Hoskinson of Hutchinson, Kansas obviously knows this. Wanting to do something different and set himself apart from the crowd, Nate built a unique and cool Western Star, and we’re glad he did! We see plenty of slick Peterbilts and Kenworths out there, but a Western Star certainly stands out. Nate’s out-of-the-box thinking and amazing work ethic prove that he is in this business for the long haul – and that taki