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OT - Careers in Trucking... Seriously


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Tried corporate and hated it.

 

Tried my hand at design to learn the good agency jobs go to the sons of that agency's biggest client's marketing directors. Aaahhhh, reciprocation... much harder to document than nepotism.

 

Went back to school to learn that my new industry (IT) is seriously screwed, unless I'm willing to relocate to India and work for chickens and cous cous.

 

I feel that I'm capable of any work asked of me, EXCEPT for faking interest in stuff that doesn't really interest me.

 

I'll blow you away with my cost/benefit, technical feasibility, return on investment, and statistical analysis on paper, but when I hand you the reports and see my soul-less reflection in you eyes, I won't hesitate to ask "What the hell happened to you?" I guess I don't have "people skills".

 

There is a certain romantic appeal of the open road for people like me and as I understand, some very lucrative positions that don't require you to be the "bad cop" middle manager.

 

Ever feel like ditching the 9-5 routine and becoming a road warrier? As long as I have Reason, Cubase, a laptop, my minidisc recorder to capture Americana, and my special girl to come home to, I think I can be happy.

 

So how about it? Any truckers out there? What do I need to do? Any advice?

 

No mullet jokes, please.

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I have several friends who drive, once it gets in your blood it doesn't seem to come out. Good money (I dated a nurse years ago who left the field and went to trucking).

The only caveat is your phrase "a sweetie to come home to"; lots of women wouldn't like that lifestyle, make sure you know what she wants too. Good luck!

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

www.puddlestone.net

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My cousin was (is?) a trucker, pulling $700+ a week. At first it was nation wide, then it was statewide (Wisconsin). He then got into NDT - Non Destructive Tech - working in nuclear plants I think, and the program he went through is 6 months on = $60,000, then 6 months off - nationwide. Free training. I was gonna join at the time, but I didn't know if I wanted to make that commitment, even for the $60k.

 

Anywho, truck driving... it seems easy to get into, I considered it very mildly once - the pay, the ease of getting in... but my cousin once had jackknifed his truck, and when I was visiting him in La Crosse, around that time a truck driver got into an accident, went through the windshield I believe, and was decapitated.

 

So it's no longer a mild choice for me, but not even a choice at all. Plus what about being home moderately? I don't think it's a musicians kinda job.

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East bound and down, loaded up and truckin',

We gonna do what they say can't be done.

We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there.

I'm east bound, just watch ol' "Bandit" run.

 

Sorry, I couldn't resist a little Jerry Reed...

Double Posting since March 2002

Random Post Generator #26797

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Ive been drivin all night my hands wet on the wheel

 

Theres a voice in my head that drives my heel

And my baby calls that she needs me here

Its half past four and Im shifting gear...

There are two theories about arguing with a woman. Neither one works.
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I got this from another obscure forum I go to, I don't have any other info on this

 

Hello All.

Good point about the lack of rail capacity for increased

traffic.....of any thing. I work for Union Pacific and they have

been trying to hire 3,500 people this year to fill the shortage of

trainmen (mostly engineers) and haven't made much headway. Some

engineers make over 100k a year, and you don't need any special

skills! They often have to park trains in sidings, somewhere, for

days because there's not enough people to run the trains! Go figure.

WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
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It seems to me that you haven't found your calling yet.

 

One of the guys (bass player) I do a lot of work with drives a truck in Florida. He'd rather play music 24x7, but trucking pays the bills and keeps his kids in college.

 

My only advice to you is, whatever it is that you do, you have to be focused, logical (know if & when to quit) and PERSISTENT.

 

NYC Drew

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I pulled out of Pittsburgh,

Rollin' down that eastern seaboard.

 

I got my diesel wound tight,

And she's rollin' like never before

 

There's a speed trap ahead, alright.

But I don't see a cop in sight

 

Six days on the road, and I'm gonna make it home tonight.

band link: bluepearlband.com

music, lessons, gig schedules at dennyf.com

 

STURGEON'S LAW --98% of everything is bullshit.

 

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: The Jackhammer of Love and Mercy.

Get yours.

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Been there, done that, hated it.

 

Seriously. I hold a Class A CDL, with Doubles/Triples, Tanker, and Haz-mat endorsements. I drove OTR for 5 or 6 years. You can forget playing music, except the radio; having any kind of life at all, except maybe weekends, and only then if you're lucky enough to find a company that'll gice you weekends off. It's a very difficult life, living in a truck, showering when you can (Usually when ya fuel up, and sometimes even then, the freight has to be moved, so you don't get the chance. You have to deal with adversarial police departments, dispatchers that have absolutely no realistic idea of what it takes to get from point A to point B, (I had one that wanted me to use a time machine so that I could cover his ass because he failed to book the freight on time, and it still had to be somewhere by a certain date and time. It just wasn't legally possible. I told him so. He argued with me.), logbook laws that are easy to understand, but nearly impossible to follow, if you actually want to make a living. It's tough. Plus, if you hire on with one of the big-turnover outfits, it's really easy to get screwed over by the company. Here's a good one, usually when a driver gets paid by the mile, (and if you're OTR, you will) the company pays milage out of the Household Mover's guide, not actual milage. The Household mover's guide is generally almost 10% fewer miles than actual. Sometimes even fewer. Yes, you can make a living as a driver, but I won't ever do it again, unless it meant starvation and homelessness not to.

 

If you do decide to go for it, please do yourself a favor. Ask around about what the good companies are, and stay away from the companies that will sell you a truck and lease it back. They'll hose you every time. See, they buy the truck, and sell it to you on payments (overly easy credit terms). Then, they run you pretty good at first, so you make some money, and they make some money, (and you make your truck payments out of your share, so they make an even larger percentage of the gross). Then they start failing to keep you busy, you aren't making enough money to keep making your truck payment, so you default on the "loan" and they repossess your truck, they "sell" it to someone else, and you become another failed business statistic. I've seen that happen many times.

 

To conclude, don't do it. If you do, be extremely careful which companies you associate yourself with.

**Standard Disclaimer** Ya gotta watch da Ouizel, as he often posts complete and utter BS. In this case however, He just might be right. Eagles may soar, but Ouizels don't get sucked into jet engines.
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I know one guy who had been in tech since the mid-80s, but in the tech bust, decided to try the 18 wheeler thing. He couldn't take being away from home so constantly.

 

The trucking industry has been squeezed by the gas price increases. So the pressure to haul more over shorter time spans is there. If you have to invest in your rig, it's pretty risky.

 

I agree with the post above about trucking getting into your blood. Not from personal experience, but from people I know who are long-time truckers and would never change. It seems some folks are just cut out for the lifestyle. They make a network of friends, they take buddies or family members with them on some runs, they work for decent companies, they chat on the radio on the road, and love it.

 

But I think it's a pretty small minority of people that have that trucking gene or whatever it is.

 

There are some other driving jobs that call for a far less radical lifestyle change. I know one retired guy who ferries cars between dealerships in the region. He'll drive one up, bring another one back. The jaunts are anywhere from 3 to 10 hours roundtrip. Seems a lot more reasonable to me...

 

M Peasley

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In1972 or '73, I had a very short career as a trucker. Worked for a "friend" who offered me the job when I got jacked around by a family-owned restaurant that welcomed back their prodigal son to take my job after his huffy departure earlier that year had left them in the lurch.

 

Anyway, the trucker was hauling mostly Kansas blue stem hay, a treasured feed for horses and sick cattle because of its ideal protein balance. The first day, we went to the pasture he had rented around 6:30 AM to load up the trailer. It was close to a hundred degrees by noon. My new boss had a little conveyer that brought the hay up a ways, but the top few layers we tossed and stacked by hand, at sixty to eighty pounds a bale. After eating lunch, we headed for Albuquerque in the '64 White Freightliner his mom had purchased after he wrecked a previous GMC straight truck. Not long into the drive, he pulled out a baggie of white cross and offered me some. I took one, he did two or three. This happened several times on our trip. We got to our New Mexico destination that evening and had enough light to unload and stack the hay into some dentist's hay loft. I can't remember eating, but the farm hand/gardener/handy man who worked there invited us to his house. He offered us a plate of peyote buttons, which we didn't do on the spot, but took some for later, which turned out to be the next day on the way home.

 

That old tractor had no shocks, bad air conditioning and was incredibly noisy. Deadheading (no load) made the ride even worse. I chewed my button, hoping Mescalito would distract me from the misery. It was exciting in a rugged, macho kind of way, but I was totally drained at the end. I drove one more load with him, this time to the Texas panhandle with each of us driving a truck - he had a large straight truck, too, that I piloted. He did teach me how to drive a rig, shift without the clutch and to never trust a speed freak again.

 

A lot of truckers now are simply drivers - they don't do the loading. They also appear to have had a head start on the obesity epidemic, a product of sitting day after day and having few nutritious food choices where they can park. It's often an all-consuming lifestyle with little permanent home life.

 

Pulled my Diamond Reo into a truck stop down the road

I asked for toast and coffee and the waitress told me "no".

 

So pour me another cup of coffee,

For it is the best in the land.

I'll put a nickle in the juke box

And play that truck drivin' man.

 

... Mason Proffitt

He not busy being born

Is busy dyin'.

 

...Bob Dylan

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I too contemplated becoming a trucker for a little while..but the whole trucking scene is very different here in India. There were no 18 wheelers around here until Volvo opened shop here and starting selling the FH12. The truck industry is pre dominantly made up of 6 and 10 wheelers and your tractor trailers.

I got into Live sound and so either way was doing a little bit of driving between venues and stuff like that.

Vinay Vincent,

BASE Studios

 

"Live Jazz friday nights at The Zodiac Bar"

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On the "sweetie to come home to" front...

 

One of the newer phenomena in the trucking industry are the "husband/wife" teams. I think I'd like to drive a truck for a living...but, only if my wife was interested. Long haul wouldn't be family oriented at all. If you're thinking on having a family...I'd rather do short haul...beer truck type stuff.

 

Crap. Now I've got Dave Dudley songs rollin' around in my head. :D

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Uh, Breaker One-Nine, this here's the Rubber Duck

You got a copy on me Pig-Pen? C'mon

 

Uh, yeah 10-4 Pig Pen, fer sure, fer sure

By golly it's clean clear to Flag-Town, C'mon

 

Uh, yeah, that's a big 10-4 Pig-Pen,

Yeah, we definitely got us the front door good buddy,

Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a convoy

:D

 

Might be cool to be a trucker. I love driving at night.

But honestly, I'd get lost. I can't find my way out of a paper bag! Just ask my wife! :mad:

Super 8

 

Hear my stuff here

 

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Actually, "Convoy" was done by Chip Davis, who, believe it or not, is now the drummer for Mannheim Steamroller. At the time, he was an ad man for a Jeep dealership...and came up with this character for Jeep ads named "C.W. McCall". The ads caught on, and Davis did one or two albums as "C.W. McCall".

 

Dave Dudley's big hit was "Six Days on the Road".

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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  • 1 month later...
Originally posted by Ouizel:

Been there, done that, hated it.

 

Seriously. I hold a Class A CDL, with Doubles/Triples, Tanker, and Haz-mat endorsements. I drove OTR for 5 or 6 years. You can forget playing music, except the radio; having any kind of life at all, except maybe weekends, and only then if you're lucky enough to find a company that'll gice you weekends off. It's a very difficult life, living in a truck, showering when you can (Usually when ya fuel up, and sometimes even then, the freight has to be moved, so you don't get the chance. You have to deal with adversarial police departments, dispatchers that have absolutely no realistic idea of what it takes to get from point A to point B, (I had one that wanted me to use a time machine so that I could cover his ass because he failed to book the freight on time, and it still had to be somewhere by a certain date and time. It just wasn't legally possible. I told him so. He argued with me.), logbook laws that are easy to understand, but nearly impossible to follow, if you actually want to make a living. It's tough. Plus, if you hire on with one of the big-turnover outfits, it's really easy to get screwed over by the company. Here's a good one, usually when a driver gets paid by the mile, (and if you're OTR, you will) the company pays milage out of the Household Mover's guide, not actual milage. The Household mover's guide is generally almost 10% fewer miles than actual. Sometimes even fewer. Yes, you can make a living as a driver, but I won't ever do it again, unless it meant starvation and homelessness not to.

 

If you do decide to go for it, please do yourself a favor. Ask around about what the good companies are, and stay away from the companies that will sell you a truck and lease it back. They'll hose you every time. See, they buy the truck, and sell it to you on payments (overly easy credit terms). Then, they run you pretty good at first, so you make some money, and they make some money, (and you make your truck payments out of your share, so they make an even larger percentage of the gross). Then they start failing to keep you busy, you aren't making enough money to keep making your truck payment, so you default on the "loan" and they repossess your truck, they "sell" it to someone else, and you become another failed business statistic. I've seen that happen many times.

 

To conclude, don't do it. If you do, be extremely careful which companies you associate yourself with.

Am making a trip out to the US in a couple of months. Was wondering what are the chances of doing one leg of my jouney there, getting a ride in a 18 wheeler.

Have some thoughts:

- any one a cousin or uncle who is a trucker or knows a trucker with whom i can contact

- would i be required to pay anything

- It's more just to get a feel of the highways there..catch a little bit of scenery...and to get to ride in them big mother 18 wheelers

 

any tips/ suggestions folks

Vinay Vincent,

BASE Studios

 

"Live Jazz friday nights at The Zodiac Bar"

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You'll have to hook up with a trucker that doesn't work for a company. Most companies have a "No Riders" policy, due to insurance. Even some of the Owner-Operators are leased to companies that won't allow riders, so your best bet would be to find a true independant trucker. Personally, I don't know any. Be careful.
**Standard Disclaimer** Ya gotta watch da Ouizel, as he often posts complete and utter BS. In this case however, He just might be right. Eagles may soar, but Ouizels don't get sucked into jet engines.
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Originally posted by Ouizel:

You'll have to hook up with a trucker that doesn't work for a company. Most companies have a "No Riders" policy, due to insurance. Even some of the Owner-Operators are leased to companies that won't allow riders, so your best bet would be to find a true independant trucker. Personally, I don't know any. Be careful.

Shit ..that's rough. Finding an independent trucker is going to be a task and then there's the safety factor...

Maybe i should just board a greyhound and make do with all the scenery that comes with that journey..li'll asier and safer think..

any thoughts..or alternatives?

Vinay Vincent,

BASE Studios

 

"Live Jazz friday nights at The Zodiac Bar"

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They have Grehounds in India?

 

Anywho, my trucker cousin called me recently. He said he's been eyeing to buy a truck (he freelances now) that has:

 

- fridge

- STOVE

- bed

 

I don't recall if he said it had a shower, but I wouldn't be surprised! I think he has at least a bed or little fridge in his current truck though.

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Originally posted by Phait:

They have Grehounds in India?

 

Anywho, my trucker cousin called me recently. He said he's been eyeing to buy a truck (he freelances now) that has:

 

- fridge

- STOVE

- bed

 

I don't recall if he said it had a shower, but I wouldn't be surprised! I think he has at least a bed or little fridge in his current truck though.

Oh no..there are no greyhounds here in India. I mentioned that with regard to my trip there. I would probably just board a greyhound there in the US and do a li'll bit of travelling by road..that way.

 

Out here, travel by bus used to be a disaster until a few years back. Now we have some buses that are being built by Volvo that are rippin it up on our highways and there are a whole stack of highways and multi lane expressways comin up ..so long distance road travel is improvin. But no 18 wheelers and semis from Peterbilt & Mack as yet...just a few Volvo 18 wheelers..that's all..

 

Do you know of any truckers drivin their onw trcuks, that are reliable and would allow someone to hitch a ride??

Vinay Vincent,

BASE Studios

 

"Live Jazz friday nights at The Zodiac Bar"

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Truck driving can probably be a good profession, but beware. Many companies are ruthless and shamelessly take advantage of their drivers. In some ways the trucking industry can belike organized crime.

 

Especially beware of companies that target the new driver, often with classified ads that say things like, "No CDL?? No problem!!"

 

Here is a web site by and for truckers where they post reports about the working environments at different companies.

 

The companies stick together. The drivers should stick together too.

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The trucking industry (specificiallyl OTR/longhall trucking) has been forced into a major mverhaul by the Federal Dept of transportation and the Nathional Highway Safety commission over the past 10 years. Logbooks, while still handwritten and potentialy forged, are now usually simply backup for sophistcated GPS tracking that logs your limes, speed and exact route and loction to the main office. Typically these stats, not the dirve log books are use dfor company records.

 

By federal law, you cannot drive mroe than 10 hours or 500 miles at one time, at which point you must go offduty for 8 hours...plenty fo time to shower, relax and sleep. the only exception is if you hit exceptionally bad traffic due to accident or weather, inwhich case you can do an additional 2 hours of driving, but you cannot exceed 500 miles. No longer ar ethe days of truckers driving from LA to NY in 3 days. Weigh stations across the USA are all interconnected, and many are now open 24 hours. If you get to point B before you should have (ie: driving the speed limit and obeying the CDL driving laws on hours) you will be cited and held for an 8 hour period, the required time between shifts.

 

I've held a CDL since I was in my mid 20's (I'm 46 now) and wokring in sound reinforcement it has been a great asset financially. I typically get a large increase in my day rate if it requires I drive the rig as well as tech and mix, as many smaller companies do not have enough staffed CDL drivers. In years past, when the winter brings slow times in the SR business, I've picked up part time work driving locally, ofwhich there is always work available at a good rate of pay.

 

OTR lifestyle is a loney one if you are not used to isolation, but can be very rewarding, and a fabulus way to see this great land of ours.

Hope this is helpful.

 

NP Recording Studios

Analog approach to digital recording.

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Originally posted by where02190:

The trucking industry (specificiallyl OTR/longhall trucking) has been forced into a major mverhaul by the Federal Dept of transportation and the Nathional Highway Safety commission over the past 10 years. Logbooks, while still handwritten and potentialy forged, are now usually simply backup for sophistcated GPS tracking that logs your limes, speed and exact route and loction to the main office. Typically these stats, not the dirve log books are use dfor company records.

 

By federal law, you cannot drive mroe than 10 hours or 500 miles at one time, at which point you must go offduty for 8 hours...plenty fo time to shower, relax and sleep. the only exception is if you hit exceptionally bad traffic due to accident or weather, inwhich case you can do an additional 2 hours of driving, but you cannot exceed 500 miles. No longer ar ethe days of truckers driving from LA to NY in 3 days. Weigh stations across the USA are all interconnected, and many are now open 24 hours. If you get to point B before you should have (ie: driving the speed limit and obeying the CDL driving laws on hours) you will be cited and held for an 8 hour period, the required time between shifts.

 

I've held a CDL since I was in my mid 20's (I'm 46 now) and wokring in sound reinforcement it has been a great asset financially. I typically get a large increase in my day rate if it requires I drive the rig as well as tech and mix, as many smaller companies do not have enough staffed CDL drivers. In years past, when the winter brings slow times in the SR business, I've picked up part time work driving locally, ofwhich there is always work available at a good rate of pay.

 

OTR lifestyle is a loney one if you are not used to isolation, but can be very rewarding, and a fabulus way to see this great land of ours.

Hey where02190...thanks for the post. Looks like maybe i should just tag along with you when your doing a bit of driving to and from gigs that are a fair distance away. That's if your driving round about the time i make it there. My travel dates aren't fixed and are all subject to the usual financial woes....thanks for the useful post though

Vinay Vincent,

BASE Studios

 

"Live Jazz friday nights at The Zodiac Bar"

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"NEW 2005 PETERBILT 379EXHD, C15 Caterpillar 475 HP, 18 Spd OD, Engine Brake, Pete Low Air Leaf Suspension, 3.36 Ratio, 300" WB, 120" Sleeper, 24.5LP Tires, Polished Aluminum Wheels, Tandem Axle, White, Holland Air Slide Fifth Wheel, Dan Spicer Axles, Dual Exhaust, Dual 150 Gallon Fuel Tanks,

 

American Class Interior, Leather Seats, Legacy II ARI Sleeper, ONAN 5500 Watt Generator, Coleman A/C & Heat, Microwave/Convection, Satillite System, Flat Screen TV/DVD, Stand Up Shower, Sink, Refrigerator, Too Much To List!"

 

and

 

"2000 KENWORTH W900L, 525 Cummins 525 HP, 18 Spd OD, Engine Brake, 8 Bag Air Ride Suspension, 355 Ratio, 310" WB, 126" ICT, 22.5 Tires, Aluminum Outside Wheels, Tandem Axle, orange, 1 OWNER 1 DRIVER, Texas bumper w/ light, Power mirrors and windows, Breather lights, SS 1/2 fenders SLPR=> Generator, roof air(8 months old), shower, toilet, microwave, Flat screen TV, DVD player, Big Fold up bed with table and booth, pull out pantry, wardrobe, sink, refrigerator, all oak cabinet fronts. Odometer reads- 657,515 *DISCLAIMER-MAY NOT BE ACTUAL MILES, Stk #X3160, $95,000"

 

Pics at http://www.truckpaper.com

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Originally posted by Phait:

"NEW 2005 PETERBILT 379EXHD, C15 Caterpillar 475 HP, 18 Spd OD, Engine Brake, Pete Low Air Leaf Suspension, 3.36 Ratio, 300" WB, 120" Sleeper, 24.5LP Tires, Polished Aluminum Wheels, Tandem Axle, White, Holland Air Slide Fifth Wheel, Dan Spicer Axles, Dual Exhaust, Dual 150 Gallon Fuel Tanks,

 

American Class Interior, Leather Seats, Legacy II ARI Sleeper, ONAN 5500 Watt Generator, Coleman A/C & Heat, Microwave/Convection, Satillite System, Flat Screen TV/DVD, Stand Up Shower, Sink, Refrigerator, Too Much To List!"

 

and

 

"2000 KENWORTH W900L, 525 Cummins 525 HP, 18 Spd OD, Engine Brake, 8 Bag Air Ride Suspension, 355 Ratio, 310" WB, 126" ICT, 22.5 Tires, Aluminum Outside Wheels, Tandem Axle, orange, 1 OWNER 1 DRIVER, Texas bumper w/ light, Power mirrors and windows, Breather lights, SS 1/2 fenders SLPR=> Generator, roof air(8 months old), shower, toilet, microwave, Flat screen TV, DVD player, Big Fold up bed with table and booth, pull out pantry, wardrobe, sink, refrigerator, all oak cabinet fronts. Odometer reads- 657,515 *DISCLAIMER-MAY NOT BE ACTUAL MILES, Stk #X3160, $95,000"

 

Pics at http://www.truckpaper.com

Used Truck heaven....none of these plying Indian highways though. Makes for some real interesting info..never know what might materialize

Vinay Vincent,

BASE Studios

 

"Live Jazz friday nights at The Zodiac Bar"

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