Thankfully there are those among us that are willing to run INTO a burning building to save those of us who are trying to run OUT. Firefighters are truly some of the bravest everyday heroes among us. Jeffrey Longcore is one of those people. A volunteer firefighter for the past 13 years and a trucker for 11, Jeffrey is the recipient of the latest build done by the boys at DB Kustom Trucks, which is a tribute truck honoring firefighters, in general, as well as those first responders who lost their lives in New York on 911.
Jeffery (32) of Lawton, Michigan, is a third generation trucker. His grandpa Clarence Longcore, who is 86 years old and retired, drove for over 25 years with the Teamsters, and his dad, Jeff Longcore Sr., is a 40-year veteran of the road. Jeffery learned a lot from his dad while riding along during the summers. Not long after high school, in an effort to stay out of trouble, Jeffery joined the Volunteer Fire Department in Lavance, MI. Wanting to become a truck driver like the generations before him, he knew that he would have to stay out of trouble and keep his driving record clean. What he didn’t know was how much he would love being a firefighter. He fell in love with the job, and has been volunteering ever since.
Once he turned 21, Jeffrey began his driving career. Over the years he has driven for many companies and done just about every type of trucking you could imagine. About a year ago, he decided it might be time to get his own truck. After hearing about the purchase program DB Kustom Trucks and Quality Carriers offered, he hit them up and began the process. Wanting to have them build him a firefighter tribute truck, Jeffrey had two main requests – that it be Fire Engine Red and have genuine gold-leaf accents, like a real fire truck.
Taking delivery of the 2003 Peterbilt 379 around September 1st of this year, it took DB about eight months to build it. The truck, which has a 63-inch standup sleeper, is powered by a 550 Cat, hooked to an 18-speed transmission and 3:36 rears. It also features aftermarket fiberglass front fenders, painted Hogebuilt rear fenders, seven-inch exhaust, painted cab and sleeper extensions, a polished stainless visor and grille surround, and old-style single round headlights on Double JJ brackets, in addition to Double JJ blinker bars with directional signals.
One of the things that makes this rig really stand out is its graphics. The truck is wrapped with various firefighter images and logos, including some from 911. The back of the sleeper features the Fireman’s Prayer and a muted picture from an actual barn fire that Jeffrey fought in frigid -15 degree temperatures. After they got that fire out, the hoses instantly froze once the water stopped pumping! Roll the hood, and you’ll find a picture of a horse-drawn steam-powered fire engine. On the fuel tanks is the number 343, which has been placed in remembrance of the 343 first responders who lost their lives on 911, and just above that are the words “Our Fallen Heroes” on the sleeper’s drop panel.
After going to his first fire, Jeffrey was hooked. He remembers pulling an 18-year-old out of a house fire in Traverse City, MI, and he has stopped and helped at several crash scenes out on the road. Over the years, many have benefited from Jeffrey’s help. On one occasion, he and his wife saw people stopped on the side of the road and looking over the edge at a river. Knowing something was not right, he pulled over and found that there was a truck in the river with the driver trapped inside. While others were not willing to help, Jeffrey jumped in and rescued the driver. He’s stopped at several car fires to help, and once even helped rescue two German Shepherds out of a car.
As much as he loves fighting fires and trucking, Jeffrey’s newest love is his baby daughter Charlotte. Born on last Christmas Eve (2015), she is not even one-year-old yet, but Jeffrey and his wife Kristina could not be more smitten with this precious early Christmas gift. Jeffrey tries to be home as much as possible, but since taking delivery of his new truck, Quality Carriers has been keeping him very busy, pulling a tanker throughout the Midwest and beyond. Jeffrey had several invitations to bring the truck to various events centered around 911, but he has just been too busy trucking to make it to any of them. He does, however, hope to take the truck to some shows, various fire houses, and, when time allows, to the 911 Memorial in New York City.
If you see this beautiful Fire Engine Red Pete rolling down the road, wave and say “hello” and “thanks” to its honorable owner, Jeffrey Longcore, for all the work he has done helping other people. I would personally like to congratulate him on finally making his dream of being an owner operator come true. These days, that is not an easy task, so I commend him for his efforts and determination. And to be able to drive such a “hot” truck, well that is just the icing on the cake.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks to Ryan Cusentino of Frozen Time Photography and DB Kustom Trucks for supplying the pictures for this article.