By Suzanne Stempinski
Sunshine, blue skies, warm temperatures, hot trucks. It was an award-winning combination as Pride & Polish presented the 12th Annual 75 Chrome Shop Truck Beauty Contest April 24-25, in Wildwood, FL.
If you run the East Coast corridor, and you’ve ever looked for ways to improve the style of your ride, there’s no doubt you’ve made your way to the place where “hot” is constantly being redefined and the latest, baddest accessories are at your fingertips.
Ron and Jan Huey could be poster folks for the trucking industry. The OOIDA members are hardworking, kind, family-oriented, dedicated to their business, good natured and always ready to lend a helping hand to others.
Life has not always been a picnic for them, but they’ve never complained and have always looked for the upside to a down situation. In December 2006, Jan was in an accident that led to a stroke and took her and Ron off the road. With big medical bills and insufficient insurance, they sold their award-winning 2000 International 9400 and 2005 reefer trailer. Ron took a “regular” job while Jan went through extensive physical therapy, and they stayed off the road. Jan loves spending time with her grandbabies, and her recovery has been a combination of hard work, love and determination.
But the road is a fierce mistress and the Hueys could not resist the call. Twenty months later they were back on the road. Ron runs full-time and Jan, who was cleared to return to driving, runs a little less often. They drive for their very good friend Larry Bradewater out of Greensburg, IN.
The Hueys rolled into Wildwood behind the wheel of a metallic gold 2010 International ProStar Limited with the MaxxForce engine under the hood. And yes, it is 2010 emissions compliant.
“I just love this truck,” Ron said. “It is the best riding truck I’ve ever been in. And the quietest.”
He’s just begun dressing up the truck, adding lights, a drop visor, mud flap hangers and a few other custom touches. It was the judges’ top scorer and earned Best of Show-Working Bobtail honors.
Also back in the winner’s circle after being absent for a couple of years was OOIDA Member Clint Dicks of Lake City, FL. Dicks, who started working in his family’s trucking business, is now out on his own, carefully managing his growing fleet. Good-looking, well-maintained trucks are his tools for customer and driver retention.
Dicks and drivers Tommy Doty, Jeff Hyde, Scott Levance and Alfredo Paz collected a whopping 15 total trophies from Interior to Engine, Working classes and Lights.
A working truck that took a little time off for renovation is turning heads everywhere it goes. Every year, there’s one truck that raises the bar to a new and more intriguing place.
In this case, the bar is a pole, and it’s mounted in the sleeper. And it’s not horizontal, it’s vertical.
Yep, there’s a stripper pole in the sleeper of OOIDA Member Todd Roccapriore and his wife Beth’s latest project, a 2004 green and black Peterbilt 379 pulling a 2010 40-foot Mac dump trailer and driven by Dennis Chupron.
Named “Widow Maker,” this truck is the epitome of a dressed-for-success ride. Spider web-styled brackets, repeating curved patterns and themes from the headlights to the feet on the landing gear, a stainless covered trailer underside, with an interior upholstered in black and green and the whole ride covered in hundreds of lights – this is no ordinary dirt hauler. But that’s what they do, hauling environmentally contaminated dirt out of Connecticut. Five first-place trophies made this the undisputed Best of Show-Working Combo.
As a DJ cranked the tunes and the smells of great barbecue drifted through the parking lot, crowds of truck drivers and bikers, their families and friends, strolled through the beautiful trucks and in and out of the chrome shop. It was as close to heaven as you could find for truckers. An enormous chrome shop, installation and service bays, truck wash, polish shop, showers and great food. It was Southern hospitality at its finest. LL