Clair Wilson, Hillview, Ill., decided that the best way to get a truly heavy-duty pickup was to build it himself. He did just that and he thinks he has a truck which will last him "forever".
It's a tow truck, dump truck and run-about truck and is designed to be easy to get into and out of.
"I started with a 1966 Chevrolet 3/4-ton heavy-duty truck. What I have now is essentially a new truck from the ground up. I took it down to the bare frame, then reworked the bearings and the brakes. The 250 6-cyl. Chevy engine is in good working order," says Wilson.
He has heavy-duty cutting shears that can handle heavy steel and used them to make the jeep-like boxy cab out of 10-ga. steel that's almost 1/8-in. thick. Wilson also has a heavy-duty metal break which allowed him to mold the cab. He also made removable doors out of the same heavy steel. The hood lifts from the back, giving him full and easy access to the engine.
The dump box was made out of an old wagon hoist designed to lift 10,000 lbs.
"Truck has a heater but the air conditioning is 260 -- you roll down both windows and drive 60 mph."
There are three tanks and boxes behind the cab, positioned below the truck box. The one on the right side holds 28 gal. of gas. The middle tank is a reservoir for hydraulic oil. And what looks like a tank on the left side is actually a tool box.
Wheels are conventional with 16-in. rims. The truck weighs 5,400 lbs.