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Ram Truck Now Has 2.5 Million Miles
In 2011 FARM SHOW interviewed Howard Clayton of Waterloo, Iowa, who had driven his Dodge Ram 3500 pickup nearly 1.7 million miles (Vol 35, No. 2). We checked in with Howard this August and were astonished to learn hes still driving the same truck. It now shows nearly 2.5 million miles on the odometer.
  Clayton rolls more than 130,000 miles a year as a contract driver for Bennett Trucking of McDonald, Georgia. Although he lives in Iowa, technically he lives in his truck, delivering 5th wheel camper trailers from Indiana manufacturers to dealers across the country. Ive been in every state of the lower 48, and several provinces in Canada, Clayton says proudly. I ordered the 3500 1-ton dually with a 5.9 engine in 2000 and Ive been driving it ever since. Its never caused me a lick of problems because I pay attention to regular maintenance and change the oil and filter every 10,000 miles. The engine has been overhauled once with new pistons, bearings and a crank.
  Since we last visited with Clayton hes put in a new transmission and rear end and installed several sets of tires. All of his service work is performed by Forest Cunningham from Hallsville, Missouri. He says the engine just purrs along and he uses high quality synthetic fluids. Its just a super vehicle thats comfortable and it has plenty of power, Clayton says. It has a 6-speed manual transmission and enough power so Clayton can tow trailers up to 42 ft. long. Loaded he gets around 13 mpg but on return trips that number jumps to over 20. He gets paid by the loaded mile and travels primarily on freeways. Clayton works 12 months a year and is often on the road 5 to 6 weeks at a time. His wife sometimes accompanies him, but mostly its just he and his Ram Truck, a CB and XM radio.
  Ive been doing this so long I know the good places to stay and eat and have truck stop friends all over the country, Clayton says. Even though hes 74, he still puts in a full days work, leaving early in the morning and parking by mid-afternoon so he has a place to get a good nights sleep. Theres more and more trucks on the road every year, and Im just one of the old-timers, Clayton says. Ill keep at this as long as I can and as long as my truck keeps running smooth.
  In 15 years running this rig and another 10 driving semi, Clayton has never had an accident.
   Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Howard Clayton, 3212 Ryan St., Waterloo, Iowa 50701.


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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #5