Pair of champs: Father-son Petes compete for national title

| August 13, 2014


Iowa-based owner-operators/small fleet owners Ron (right) and Dan Brubaker

Iowa-based owner-operators/small fleet owners Ron (right) and Dan Brubaker

Iowa-based Ron and Dan Brubaker represented two generations of the family with unique, respective 1988 and 2014 Peterbilts, Ron’s a 379 and Dan’s a 389 glider powered by the Detroit 60 series engines Tenn.-based Fitzgerald Glider Kits typically puts in their glider kit units.

Both rigs are in no way short of custom touches, Ron’s “One of a Kind” most definitely earning its name, from the flying swine hood ornament (fitting given the creatures Brubaker typically hauls) to newly redone tile flooring and other interior elements.

Perhaps the most special change, and one that required a hefty dose of sweat equity, was the change to the hood of what was a 1993 short-hood 379 Ron bought new in October of 1992. As he notes in the video below, he’s given it the long-hood squared-off look after cutting about eight inches from long-hood panels and further engineering work to make the new hood fit. 

7Ron’s also taken some cues with some recent changes from his sons, who insisted the unit’s styling with make more sense with flat-top rather than the stand-up sleeper that was on it prior to recent changes. 

Ron Brubaker's two-stick interiorGiven the many miles put on the rig over two decades hauling livestock with it, Brubaker’s also changed the power under that hood from the original engine to a 3406B, entirely mechanical Caterpillar, run through a 15-speed two-stick transmission. 

With his own sons now involved in the trucking business, Ron himself follows two prior generations of livestock haulers — his grandfather, Oscar David Brubaker, started out hauling livestock in 1934 right there in the same Iowa county where Ron lives today — Sigourney, Iowa, is Brubaker’s hometown. Interestingly, Oscar David, Brubaker says, bought the first Wilson possum-belly trailer — the belly “raised and lowered on cables” at that time — sold in Eastern Iowa. 


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He tells you more about “One of a Kind” in the video below, and you can check out a gallery of images of the unit — along with some photos of his son Dan’s — just below the video. Both rigs took home Best of Shows a few weeks back in Tennessee are competing for Overdrive‘s Pride & Polish National Championship, in Working Bobtail (Ron) and Working Combo (Dan), respectively, at the Great American Trucking Show next week.

Find more on Ron’s son Dan Brubaker’s 2014 Peterbilt 389 glider kit and 2015 Wilson three-axle livestock trailer via this link. 

  • Mike Smith

    Like so many of Overdrives articles, it fails again.

    I have written about this a number of times before. In this case the important info, that is, how much it costs to customize these trucks is missing. This leaves the reader wondering what the heck it costs to do the customizing, along with other questions like where does one start, and long does it take. These questions are what need to be answered in articles.

    Maybe it’s just me but I have learned that if I’m thinking something there are many more people thinking the same thing.

    On a slightly different note, Overdrive needs to think more about their articles and less about True American Citizens making justifiably angry statements, reflecting racism , and using vulgarity. This is life and communication. There was a time when there was no vulgar language, and there were TABOO subjects on TV, but that’s all over with; as it MUST be in written media, here and with all reader opinions. We are steeped in a country of chaos and confusion and we must have a written media out let.

    In a discussion of violent criminals, who are mostly minorities, it could be said that one is racist, when bring this up, when in fact it is true. There are many foreigners who come from countries with horrible driving habits, and it can be concluded that they are the majority of people causing the accidents by virtue of logic and reason. The government hides these facts to protect the foreigners in our country because business profits off of them, by selling them stuff and there cheap labor.

    This said, now we have Overdrive dictating to us how we should communicate our anger and discontent. You are nothing but a bunch of corporate slobs forcing your pathetic control over righteous indignation. I have much less respect for you PC kiss a$$es than I did before with your weak kneed articles.

    It’s only after I castigated OOIDA for being weak, on support for trucking issues over and over, did OOIDA start making hard hitting comments. It may have been coincidence of course.

    I don’t have access to your data, but I don’t seem to recall many people writing comments here when I first started writing here. Now you get a whole string of comments and therefore readers. Something you might want to think about before threatening your commentators with your H S.

    Maybe post your threat as an article so you can get responses to your censorship.

  • The Kid

    Hey Mike Smith the reason why you have no clue how much these custom parts cost is because they dont make these kind of parts for your Freightliner Cascadia. ALOT of people drive long hood Pete’s and I do personally, they are bad@ss trucks that follow along the same lines as the old Pete 350 etc. However you wouldn’t know about that because all of the pictures of your Hank Truck Picture site are probably full of oarnge Freightliner’s. Anyways the lug nut covers cost more than you make in a week, the straight pipes you ask? You wouldn’t want them thet wont sound good in you emissioned company motor. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.