Roger Herrington has always had a fascination of big trucks, and pretty much always wanted to drive. Dare I say, he was a “Superfreak” about trucks from a very young age! However, his “Superfreak” Mack Superliner seen here got its name a different way, which we will explain later. His love of trucks was so strong, when growing up, Roger wasn’t allowed to sit by the window at a restaurant because whenever a truck passed, he would say a word his mother didn’t like (one that rhymes with truck). Today, operating Roger’s Transportation in Mantua, Ohio, Roger uses this Mack in the summer and a Peterbilt he has in the winter months, hauling stone and sand, in an end dump.
Growing up in Twinsburg, Ohio, Roger’s father, Dick Herrington, got his son hooked on trucking when was just nine years old. The truck that Roger’s dad was driving didn’t have a passenger seat, so Roger’s father got a folding chair and put it where the passenger seat would go, and away they went. At around 16 years old, Roger started working at a Napa Auto Parts store, after school, delivering parts to customers. After graduating high school, he worked at the auto parts store during the day and at night started towing cars part time for Denholm’s Towing.
Starting out driving a 1-ton Chevy wrecker, Roger learned the ins and outs of towing. Later, he went to a company named Interstate Towing, which was also in Twinsburg, where he got into bigger and heavier equipment, as well as bigger jobs, all while learning more about the towing industry. Eventually, he went to R & J Trucking of Boardman, Ohio, and began driving a trash wagon. A trash wagon is a refuse trailer that is used to haul municipal solid waste from a transfer station out to a landfill. Roger would later get into hauling scrap metal (aluminum), which is where he got the taste of over-the-road trucking.
Stopping by Interstate Towing one day for a visit, Roger walked by one of their dispatchers, Jennifer. As he passed her and headed toward the back room, she said, “You can’t go back there!” But Roger just kept walking and never introduced himself. Later, she asked Jay (the owner’s son) who he was, and Jay said, “Don’t worry about it!” Then, on New Year’s Eve 1998, going into 1999, Roger asked Jennifer if she wanted to go out, and she first said no. Later she agreed, and the two began dating. They dated for a while before going separate ways, and then reunited at the end of 2017. Shortly thereafter, in 2018, Roger popped the big question, and then they got married in October of that year.
Roger typically drove a Kenworth or a Peterbilt, but he always wanted a Mack Superliner, with their west coast styling cues, because they were different than anything Mack had ever built. The Superliner is an iconic rig. When Roger was a kid, he would tag along with his dad to R.W. Sidley, a Mack dealership in Thompson, Ohio, where he would check out the trucks they had on the lot while his dad was at the counter, getting the parts he needed for his Mack. A couple years later, around 1984 or 1985, Roger was at the Richfield Coliseum at an indoor truck pull and saw a gentlemen named J.R. Collins using a red Mack Superliner as a pulling truck. J.R. had a V8 Mack engine in that Superliner, and it definitely made a big impact on Roger’s fascination with these unique rigs.
In 2013, Roger had a chance to meet J.R. Collins. While at that truck pull in 1984 or 1985, Roger had taken some pictures of J.R. Collins and his truck. As it turned out, that was the first year that J.R. began pulling, and he didn’t have any pictures from that season. A year later they would meet again at a pulling event in Bowling Green, Ohio, and Roger brought J.R. the pictures that he had taken way back when and offered them to J.R. under one condition – that he would sign a few of the pictures for Roger to keep. J.R. also had a nice hauler to transport the pulling truck, which just happened to be another Superliner, and it would definitely light up the night as it went down the road.
Back in 2018, Roger saw this 1989 Superliner in Binghamton, NY on an online auction website. The owner was selling the truck, and, at that time, it was a single axle with a tag, and had a Peterbilt 63” flattop sleeper, a roof-mounted air conditioner, and a turbo wing. With still no offers, the owner bought a Freightliner Airliner rear suspension and replaced the single axle and tag system. But still, no offers. Roger waited a bit and then made an offer. The Superliner was originally equipped with a V8 Mack, but over the years, various other Mack motors had been installed between its frame rails. Before Roger bought the truck, the seller installed a rebuilt CAT motor. Roger eventually went to Binghamton with a tow truck and brought back what would later be his dream come true.
As work began on the truck, many issues were discovered. The roof vent was not sealed well, so it had leaked, and the roof was dented pretty bad. There was also a dent on the back left side of cab, and a huge hole from where the Peterbilt walk-in sleeper had been. While working on the wiring for the electronic CAT engine, it was found that there was extensive damage under the dash, which was caused by a possible fire at some point. So, it was evident that Roger would need a replacement cab.
Searching for a truck on an online forum for Macks, Roger found a guy in Kansas that was restoring a Superliner who had more than what he needed to fix his truck. Roger only wanted the cab, but the guy didn’t want to sell just the cab – he wanted it all gone! This guy had begun going through his Superliner and spent over $3,000 on the frame alone, replacing the bushings, having it sandblasted, and then getting it painted. The cab had also been gone through and painted, inside and out. The truck had a V8 Mack motor in it. The guy who was selling the Superliner had fallen in love with Peterbilts and lost interest in the old Mack. So, Roger and his friend John drove to Kansas with a Landoll trailer and picked up the Superliner, along with a bunch of other extra Mack parts.
This beautiful Mack Superliner now has a 1997 CAT 3406 5EK motor, with an Eaton 18-speed transmission, 3.58 Meritor rears, and a Freightliner Airliner suspension. Kenworth battery boxes are mounted under the cab, along with Peterbilt fuel tanks, and fiberglass full fenders from Bad Ass Custom Truck Parts sit over the drives. Roger made his own rear light bar for the Superliner, the air cleaners are from a Western Star, and it has an 8-inch Dynaflex exhaust system. The cab and hood are from the parts truck he got in Kansas, and the frame was doubled, starting from behind the cab (all the holes in the frame were filled and smoothed out). The truck was also fitted with many “Dual Revolution” LED lights (red and white) from Trux, and the Mack rides on 22.5 rubber.
The restoration of the Superliner started in June 2018 and was completed in late 2019. The truck hit the road in April of 2020 and is strictly Roger’s summer ride. The name “Superfreak” (which is on the back of the cab) came from the fact that this truck is kind of like Frankenstein’s monster – it was built using parts from all types of trucks! In the winter, Roger drives a black 2006 Peterbilt 379. Pulling the 2017 East Genesis smooth-sided aluminum 32’ tri-axle dump trailer seen here, Roger hauls stone and sand from Mantua out to Avon or Sheffield, Ohio, along with a few loads of stone back to Cleveland, and then back to Mantua. He usually runs between 350 to 500 miles a day. His dispatcher, Heidi Benjamin at Wm Benjamin Trucking, keeps him rolling. Heidi said, “We are very proud to have Roger as part of our team and family here at Wm Benjamin Trucking.”
Roger’s wife Jennifer handles the behind-the-scenes stuff it takes to run a small trucking company, including all the paperwork, but she’s not afraid to get underneath and degrease the bottom of the trucks with her manicured nails. Nor is she afraid to assist Roger on polishing the trucks. When she is not assisting Roger and doing all the paperwork, she works at Andrews as an agent for United Van Lines, doing billing there. Roger’s stepdaughter Kaelynn Brown (18) takes care of the chrome and the interior of the trucks, and she also designed all the apparel for the company. Working with a t-shirt company, Kaelynn designed the logo that you see on the trucks and helped create the apparel that is worn by many across several states and borders, including Roger’s friend Jamie Davis, from the Weather Channel’s “Highway to Hell” program, who has worn their apparel during filming on occasion.
I would like to say thank you to Roger, Jennifer, and Kaelynn for their time on a Saturday to allow me to take these pictures and chat about their life, collecting information for this article – I had many laughs with them that day! I would also like to thank Joey Ols for telling me about Roger’s Mack. Roger would like to make a special shout-out to Andy Smosarski, saying, “Andy was the genius behind the wrenches and made this project complete. It is because of his excellent craftsmanship and awareness to detail that made this truck what it is today.” Andy understood Roger’s vision and made it a reality. Lastly, Roger would like to thank his beautiful wife Jennifer and his stepdaughter Kaelynn for their support, dedication, and love.
Some trucks are built from the ground up using proper parts from the correct manufacturer, but some are just a “Superfreak” like Roger Herrington’s Mack Superliner. But, freaky or not, this is an iconic truck in the trucking industry, and it is awesome to see it still being used almost every day. Keep up the good work, Roger, and keep helping these cool old trucks to remain relevant, useful, head-turning, and fun. Rigs like these are a reminder of what trucking once was – and can still be!