Rolling history into the future
As the trend toward older working trucks continues to grow, some of the veteran drivers are rediscovering the enjoyment they had years ago

By Jeff Barker, contributing writer

Doug Flowers, an OOIDA member from Iroquois, S.D., came from a family of truckers. He began his career as a truck driver in 1976 and then worked his way into being an owner-operator. He has since owned many different trucks but recently decided to take a step back in time.

In June of 2013, Doug got word of this 1985 Kenworth K100 cabover that was stored in a barn. The truck was originally owned by a candy company in Minnesota until a friend of his bought it in 1989. The truck was eventually sold to a farmer in 1993 who kept it for the next 20 years until Doug bought it several months ago with just over 400,000 miles on it.

It is powered by a Cummins NTC Big Cam IV with 400 horsepower. The truck currently has an Eaton-Fuller nine-speed transmission. But Doug intends to swap it out for either a 13- or 15-speed in the near future. It is backed by 3:55 ratio rear ends on a Kenworth eight-bag air ride. A Link Cabmate cab air ride kit has also been installed to help smooth things out a bit.

The truck is mostly original, but Doug installed a Switzer turbocharger on the engine. He also did a few minor repairs to ensure its roadworthiness. The interior is still original, and he intends to keep it that way. He does most of his own upkeep and repairs where and when it’s practical.

Doug diversifies his business hauling different types of cargo to keep generating revenue throughout the year. He owns a grain hopper and a dry van for various agricultural commodities, but also pulls a cattle trailer when the opportunity arises. He operates in a four-state area around eastern South Dakota and generally stays close to home.

After being around the trucking business ever since his dad got his start back more than 50 years ago in 1962, Doug will enjoy racking up the miles in the years he still has ahead of him and doing it in true old-school style. LL