The "BIG" Truck
1997 Kenworth W900L





The engine is a Caterpillar 3406E which puts out 550 HP at 2100 rpm and 1850 ft. pounds of torque at 1440 rpm.

The drive line is an 18 speed transmission to 44,000 lb. rear ends at 3.55:1 ratio.

The wheelbase is 330 inches with a 150" custom built ICT sleeper.

Under the sleeper is a 7kw diesel generator and an extra set of 4 golf cart batteries. 



This was the day I cleaned out the truck to give the new owner his keys! My friends nick named the truck "the battle ship'! However the name on her sides is "They Call Me the Breeze" (by Lynyrd Skynyrd).




Forward, from a
rear entrance door, is a refrigerator/freezer, laptop computer, 2 basin sink, 2 eye electric stove, surround sound, in motion satellite TV, GPS,  microwave and a large closet. Not seen is another skylight and on the right is a large pantry,  large bathroom with shower, and a queen sized bed that converts to a table and bench seats. Lots of storage overhead. All interior doors are handcrafted solid sculptured walnut.


On top of the dash is a rarely used CB radio. Below that is the head of the vhf radio and further down is the head of the HF rig. Both seats have 6 air comfort controls! The controls for dimming or flashing the headlights and/or the trailer lights, the 3 stage engine brake, and cruise control, are all on the steering wheel. There are 18 gauges and many switches for the heated mirrors, electric windows, door locks etc.!


 

It was some season in 1972 that I had completed a delivery of a Morgan 46 from Clearwater, FL to the US Virgin Islands. There were many deliveries before this but this one was a rough passage with 40 knots winds and 22 foot seas, this made me decide that I was tired of everybody else's boats and their schedules. I wanted my own sailboat to go where and when I wanted to go, then I could pick the weather. I flew back to my home town of Atlanta and signed up for the next class at the Ryder Truck Driving School. I had the GI Bill from 4 years of the U.S. Air Force so it only would cost me $100 total to enroll. I thought, if anything, it would be a career I could fall back on. Now I thought this is where I can make and save some serious money to buy my boat!

To make a very long (30 years worth) story short, I drove and learned about the trucking field but didn't make all that money I had heard about, so I went back to boats. There again deliveries were sporadic and I wasn't good at saving anyway. I went from boats to trucks about 4 times when finally I discovered where the real money was in trucking. One of the areas is "vans"! That is hauling under contract to the customer house hold or electronics. I wasn't interested in house hold so I went with North American Van Lines, located in Ft. Wayne, IN, and into their High Valued Products division. Eventually I wound up hauling Trade Shows exclusively. What a wonderful company! This is where the driver is treated like he is in fact an important link to the company. NAVL pays by the contract, pays all road tolls, phone calls, fuel surcharges, tractor and trailer washes, gives $150 credit to order Lion clothing every year, a 5-10% bonus if all your paper work is in order, lets you know where you are going for 10-14+ days, etc. I could go on and on but the bottom line is that after all my expenses including the truck payment, fuel, absolutely everything and my personal expenses like food, I was saving $1200-1500 weekly! Now I was getting closer to that boat.

I requested contracts to go to different cities in the country so I could look at boats for sale that I found on the Internet. I bought my dream in February of 1999 and sold the truck in late May of 1999!

June 3rd, 1999 (amended) -  After along time running for North American Van Lines, Peter had purchased a sailboat in February (completing a long time dream) and has now sold the big Truck.

The living space and accommodations on "Norrøna" are a little more than the truck, and the freedom to roam at will is GREAT!