This month’s cool creation was built for Ranjit Uppal and his business partner/cousin DJ of Haul Masters Inc. out of Bellingham, WA. Immigrants from India, these two cousins are cool cats that like cool trucks, so we got along great. It seems no matter where you come from or where you’re going, if you like nice equipment, it’s like a disease. Many of us in trucking have it, but that is not a bad thing. The draw of cool rides is just too hard to fight – especially when things turn out right.
I do not know how to speak Punjabi, their native language from India, but Ranjit speaks good English, so we were able to communicate pretty well. Since my son Trucker has been learning foreign languages in the 6th grade, he’s been coming home from school and saying tons of stuff I don’t understand. So, for curiosity’s sake, I asked Ranjit to enlighten me on a couple things in Punjabi. I asked him how to say “hello,” which translates to “kiddon,” and then I asked him how to say “cool truck,” which translates to “gant truck.” But, if you see a bad ass ride, you would say it was a “gditch ride!”
Ranjit and his cousin DJ grew up in India. In 2009, both of their families decided to move to the United States for a better opportunity. After being here for a few months, they both started working minimum wage jobs, until one day, when another cousin of theirs in the States, told them about trucking. In 2011, DJ got his CDL and started running up and down I-5, driving for GT Logistics. After two years, he was finally able to buy his own truck – a Peterbilt 386.
A short time later, Ranjit got his CDL, and the two cousins started driving as a team. They always wanted a custom 389 and knew that the only way they were going to get it was to work hard – so that’s what they did. A couple months later, Ranjit got his own truck (nothing fancy), and the two cousins continued working, pulling dry vans and reefers. After two years, DJ ordered the 389 he always wanted. He drove that orange rig for a couple months and then got into a slight accident. At that point, he decided to send the truck down to Pickett Custom Trucks in Arizona to be fully customized.
Ranjit loved that orange Peterbilt and really wanted to get his own, so when he got the chance in late 2017, he called me to order this beautiful bright baby blue rig. The truck is a fully-loaded 2018 Peterbilt 389 with a 63-inch HR sleeper, an X15 Cummins with 2,050 ft. lbs. of torque, an 18-speed, “weed burner” exhaust, old-school battery boxes under the cab (on both sides), and Low Low Air-Ride suspension.
When the truck showed up, Jesus and the guys in the shop got to work and added a painted GED drop visor, a 20-inch rolled bumper, 8-inch dummy stacks, five bullet lights on the roof, and stainless Hogebuilt half-fenders on hidden brackets. They also painted the fuel and air tanks, window chops, body drop skirts, back of the headlights and door cups and, like all our cool builds, hid the urea tank. Ranjit insisted that we also add a bunch of lights underneath, for a bright amber glow, from front to back, so Bill in the body shop got it done.
My thanks go out to Ranjit Uppal and his cousin DJ for their business, and for being such cool cats to hang out with during the project. In the end, we built these guys one “gditch ride” that will turn heads wherever it goes.