«Previous    Next»
Mini Semi Is Exact Replica Of Real Thing
"It's something I always wanted to do," says Jim Cowell, McGregor, Iowa, who handbuilt a "mini" semi truck and trailer to 1/4 scale. The only difference between it and a regular rig is its size. It's licensed and insured to drive on the highway, and is the headline attraction in a dozen or more parades every year.
Patterned after a 1971 Ford tractor-trailer unit, the "mini" semi is made of parts salvaged from old cars, trucks and other sources. The engine and first transmission are from a jeep, and the second transmission from a Chevy truck. Two transmissions allow the vehicle to move at crawl speeds in parades without overheating. Top speed on the road is 40 mp. The frame, along with the front and rear axles, come from a 1-10 GMC.
The trailer, also built 1l4 scale, features a sliding tandem axle. It's 4 ft. wide, 18 ft. long, 2 ft. deep and holds 112 bu. of grain. Dollies on the trailer are from a house trailer and are connected by a roller chain and tandem axle.
"I figure I've got approximately 2,000 hrs. of labor and $3,000 in parts and materials invested in the rig," says Cowell. That price includes a few extras, such as a CB. "It took me about a year to build it," says Cowell, a former truck driver and blacksmith who now works for an elevator company in McGregor.

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
1978 - Volume #2, Issue #4