Some kids grow up with dreams of becoming something, but as time passes it changes, and what they end up doing for a career is much different than their original childhood aspirations. I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was younger until I found out that I would also have to put animals down, so that idea was a no-go. It wasn’t until later in life I would find my way into the trucking industry, but for Will Frederick of Fredericksburg, PA, he caught the bug at only six years old. Throughout his entire life, his sights were always set on trucking, proving that some things never change.
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Will is the second generation of truckers in his family, with his father being the first. He recalled the moment when he knew he loved trucks, and that he would drive truck one day. When he was six years old, his dad woke him up one morning and said he could run with him to Illinois for a delivery, if he wanted to. His father, at the time, had a truck on with Daily Express out of Carlisle, PA and was loaded with Cat dozers. Will’s dad gave him the opportunity to ride in them while they were being unloaded. From that moment, there was no looking back! In 1978, at the age of 15, Will quit school, hopped in a truck with his friend’s uncle, and the rest, you might say, is history. He bought his first truck in 1985 and, over the years, has grown his company, Frederick’s Transportation Service, to the 11-truck fleet it is today.
I first met Will on September 21, 2018 in Albuquerque, NM, as he and his truck were involved in a project I was working on at the time. That afternoon we had a moment to talk, and it was then that I realized he would be a good candidate for a feature article. I found out I would be seeing him the following weekend at the 4 State Trucks “Guilty By Association Truck Show” (GBATS) in Joplin, MO where he not only attended, but was selected to be a part of the 4 State Trucks 2019 calendar. His head-turning truck was picked for the cover spot on the calendar.
The pictured truck here is a 2007 Kenworth W900L which was “built not bought” by Will himself, except for the paint work, which was done by Richard Klopp out of Rehrersburg, PA. The truck had a twin turbo 475 Cat under the hood when Will bought it in July 2016, but at the start of the restore process in January 2017, he rebuilt the motor himself, with the as-needed knowledgeable advice and guidance from long-time friends and veteran drivers (over 40 years each) Dell Weber and Steve Perlaky. Today, with the addition of marine cams, balanced pistons, Pittsburgh power box, mercury dampener pulley and a single ceramic coated Switchblade Turbocharger, the truck now sits with a C-15 Cat pushing 800 horsepower to the ground.
The turbo was an excellent choice for him after discovering it on a YouTube video when he was in the market for one. He was sold on the turbo after speaking with Switchblade owner Jim Blaylock, who provided Will with knowledge, customer service and professionalism. The benefits this uniquely-designed turbo provides is not only power and fuel efficiency (with an additional 1.5 miles per gallon), but in the throttle response, as well. With virtually zero lag, Will can get about 55 additional pounds of boost with the Switchblade! Rounding out the guts of the rig, it has an 18-speed Eaton Fuller Transmission, 3:23 gear ratio and a sleek 330-inch wheelbase.
With custom parts he made, along with purchased aftermarket parts, Will definitely made this truck into something unique and not what you see every day. The purpose behind building this truck was not to impress the public, but to build a rig that held his vision and ended up just the way he wanted it.
The truck sports stainless battery boxes from 4 State Trucks, Hogebuilt fenders, a Jones Performance Raptor hood, and a 20-inch Valley Chrome American Eagle bumper with 1-inch tapers. It also has a visor and mirror brackets from 12 Ga. Customs, amber to purple Dual Revolution lights from Trux, and 7-inch Lincoln Chrome stacks with Monster Stack clamps, brackets and 7-inch Pickett elbows. Will cut stainless inserts for the grill to give it a needle-nose affect, custom-made 8-inch stainless fuel straps, as well as the light panels between the fuel tanks. Adding to the charm of this truck, Will used 1932 Ford pedestals to mount the headlights on the fenders, and old-school yellow fog lights are mounted below them.
These days, the truck can usually be seen pulling a refrigerated trailer hauling chicken, but sometimes Will hauls antique furniture to New Mexico and then potatoes back east. The trailer shown in some of the photos is a 53-foot 2005 Utility refrigerated trailer with a sliding spread-axle and a Thermo King reefer unit. The restoration process on the Kenworth was completed in the spring of 2018.
Today, Will (57) is a proud father to Amanda, Kristine, Emily and Sarah, and a proud grandfather to Owen, Lucas and Abbie. As he explained, they are his world. The driving force behind Will is his longtime girlfriend Ashley, who is currently studying to obtain her CDL. Ashley rides along with Will whenever possible, especially on trips out to New Mexico. Ashley also has children – a son Blaze (5) and daughter Alex (18), who is in the early stages of law school.
Through our conversations, Will stated that he honestly loves what he does and still sometimes can’t believe he is doing what he loves and gets paid for it. He recalled when he used to haul produce down to Pompano Beach, FL, and how he would leave Pennsylvania on a 20-degree winter day. By the time he got down to Florida, he would see steam coming out of the trailer from the heat. He’d laugh to himself that everyone was freezing back home and there he was, down south, with a t-shirt on.
Over the years of hard work, Will never gave up on this dream of his, and now has the option to work as hard and often as he wants. He truly appreciates the drivers he has working for him. Will said he loves driving west – once he gets west of Oklahoma City, it’s like a whole different world out there, and he always makes sure to stop at various places along the way to take it all in.
Special thanks to Will for not only being a great person to talk to, but for showing me what love for trucking really looks like. He also provided the interior photo for this article. The photos of the truck were shot at El Cerro de Los Lunas in Los Lunas, NM, at Isleta Resort & Casino in Albuquerque, and along I-25 between Albuquerque and Los Lunas.
“Some things never change” is often said in a derogatory manner, but in some cases, like this one, it is positive. Will knew exactly what he wanted at six years old, and 50+ years later, nothing has changed! If you have a passion, embrace it and make it your own. And, as always, to all the drivers out there doing the deal, truck safe.