By Jeff Barker, contributing writer
Many who grow up in trucking families and have aspirations to drive often become attached to a particular make and model of truck.
Gene MacCormack of Williamstown, NY, is a prime example. His dad, Gene Sr., a longtime OOIDA member, has owned quite a few different makes of trucks since he started his own trucking company in the mid-1970s.
The GMC Astro cabovers were always his favorites. He still keeps five trucks on the road year-round, hauling flatbed, refrigerated and other types of freight.
Gene is currently serving in the United States Navy Seabees, stationed in Gulfport, MS. He is an equipment operator running a variety of machinery, including road graders and scrapers, as well as driving tractor-trailers.
He bought his GMC Astro to work on in his “spare” time. Gene has spent the past three years rebuilding the truck including replacing the air lines, re-bushing the Hendrickson walking beam suspension, and rewiring the entire electrical system. He was mostly interested in getting the truck into roadworthy condition but will be doing some cosmetic work as time and money allows.
The cab is a 1982 model, but the original Detroit Diesel 8V71 engine, Eaton-Fuller 13-Speed transmission, frame, and Rockwell rear ends (4:11 ratio) were built in 1972. Gene has already finished most of the interior, and the truck even still has its original vertically mounted AM/FM radio in the old-school wraparound dash.
Gene will be wrapping up his service with the Navy in April 2013 and plans to haul flatbed freight with his Astro during the summer months.
“I knew early in life that I wanted to drive a truck for a living and am looking forward to it,” he said. LL