A lot of things have changed since 1998 – some good, some not – but one thing that hasn’t is the ownership of a particular 379 quad-axle dump truck that currently calls Germantown, WI home. This truck has lived through plenty of changes, not only in the industry, but with her appearance, as well. Having undergone a few major facelifts over the years, this classy dump truck, owned and operated by Price Transport, looks as good (or better) today as the day she rolled off the assembly line.
Price Trucking, Inc. was formed in 1991, entering into the dump trucking business, in Sussex, WI. Terry and Karla Price, having been married since June 22, 1985, opted to venture into trucking after the welding company Terry was a salesman for was sold, and the changes weren’t what Terry wanted to continue with, so he left. Together, Terry and Karla have two grown children, David (28) and Kari (25).
In the trucking industry, Price Trucking, Inc. became a known name in 2006 due to their 32 well set-up flattop Peterbilt 379 semis. Due to the FMCSA regulations at the time, it was easier to keep the semis of the over-the-road venture in Price Trucking and move the locally-ran quad-axle dump trucks to a different company. As most know, should a company get an audit by the Department of Transportation, it would be extra paperwork to have everything all together under one company. So, in 2007, Price Transport, Inc. was created. As a business man, in order to make it in trucking, one needs to keep changing with the times, so Terry did.
Price Trucking, Inc. and the semis mentioned before took over a five-year contract and finished out the remaining three years with an overseas company doing business in the United States. Once the contract was completed, the overseas company opted to pull-up stakes and took their business out of the United States and moved it back overseas. At that time, Terry sold all the highway semis, including the four day cabs he owned, and continued on to where it all started – the quad-axle dump trucks. Price Trucking, Inc. was closed at that time, but Price Transport, Inc. continued… and it still operates today.
Over the years, trucks have been purchased, traded, restored and rebuilt. The matriarch of the fleet is a 1993 Peterbilt 378 quad-axle dump truck, which is Terry’s favorite, and won’t ever leave the company. But, she isn’t the only one that will never leave. The triplets, sporting Caterpillar motors, are 2005 Kenworth W900s with consecutive serial numbers. Though they are each special in their own way, another truck in the fleet raises the bar on unique – Truck #79 – the 1998 Peterbilt 379 quad-axle dump truck featured here.
So, why is this truck so unique by comparison to other 379 dump trucks across the country? This truck was set-up for off-road applications. Most 379 dump trucks are seen running steer tires like what you’d see on a highway-hauling semi-truck, but this one is fitted with front float tires. The difference? Taller tires for more ground clearance on those off-road job sites. Is this practical? Some would likely argue, with the 379’s bigger hood and poor turning radius, that it is not. But, this truck isn’t just for looks, she is a work truck that hauls aggregate, hot asphalt and millings throughout the season, so they have made it work.
How did the truck come to be? In 1998, Terry ordered three brand new Peterbilts from Peterbilt of Winona, MN. In this three-truck order was a lavender 378, a blue 378 and the aforementioned 379. The two 378s have since been sold and replaced with new trucks. The 379 started out with a Radiant Fire red cab with a polished aluminum Cobra box, which made several appearances at the Waupun Truckers Jamboree (now called the Waupun Truck-N-Show). In April of 2012, the dump truck received her first makeover, when the cab was repainted a black cherry color with a similar stripe pattern to match the rest of the trucks in their fleet. The polished aluminum box was then replaced with a new unpolished aluminum box made by Schien.
Fast forward to the Fall of 2016. After the truck had finished the working season and was shut-down for winter, it was decided at that time that work would begin on her second makeover, beginning with a new R/S Godwin steel box, painted to match the black cherry cab. This transformation was to be done so she was show-ready. Some of the makeover was done in time for the World of Wheels show in Milwaukee, WI, but her official unveiling was scheduled for the invite-only Peterbilt of Denton, TX show in October 2017. Price rented a detachable trailer, and then Terry’s friend and previous driver, Kenny Kreier, owner of Double K Trucking, hauled the trailer, loaded with the 379 dump truck, down to Texas, where it was well-received by the crowds.
What are the details on this truck? All the paint work was done by TA Truck Painting in Pewaukee, WI and Richfield Trailer of Richfield, WI. The RLK visor came from AMCAN Truck Parts out of Pewaukee, WI. All the chrome parts came from Homer’s Custom Chrome out of Milwaukee, WI. On the exterior, you’ll find a Valley Chrome Texas-style bumper and Dynaflex exhaust pipes. As you look at the truck head-on, you’ll be quick to notice the RoadWorks grill and grill bars, along with the custom mirror brackets created by 12 Ga. Customs. With 784,000 miles on the odometer and a CAT 3406E under the hood, this truck pushes 550 hp. It has an 18-speed Eaton Fuller transmission and, to assist with the previously-mentioned off-road jobs, heavy-duty 46,000-pound rear-ends.
Today, Price Transport, Inc. runs 39 trucks, of which 20 are company-owned, and continues to hold the title of largest company-owned fleet of quad-axle dump trucks in southeastern Wisconsin. And this company isn’t just a one-truck-make outfit, either. More recently, in the last few years, Price has added a number of Western Star 4900s to the fleet, along with the already existing Kenworths and Peterbilts. Why Western Stars? Well, since Caterpillar stopped making truck engines, Terry’s next choice is Detroit.
In August 2017, for the first time, Price bought their first building/property and will be moving into the new location in spring of 2018. Multiple times they were on the verge of buying property, but they were always in a lease at a facility that met their needs, so they felt comfortable at those locations at the time. Every time the bank approved a loan for more money, Price grew the company and purchased more trucks, instead of property. Today, most of their trucks are paid for, so it seemed like the right time to find a permanent location, which just happens to be only two roads down from their current yard. The new location will provide the amenities and space that they require, including plenty of shop and storage space, which is very necessary, considering they do all their truck maintenance in-house.
I’ve known Terry and Karla since 1998 and have remained close friends with them throughout the years. Though not my first job in the trucking world, back in 1999, they were my second job. They also previously owned the two trucks that formed my addiction to big trucks that I have today, so this outfit holds a special place in my heart. A lot has changed with this dump truck, and the trucking industry, but not as much as one might think. Trucking, at its core, is still about the same, and so is this classy 379. As always, to all the drivers out there doing the deal, truck safe.