One Sweet Ride

Chrome Shop Mafia and J.B. Hunt team up to help trucker chase his dream
By Laura Pitts

Todd Dailey doesn’t consider himself lucky. So when Mindy Baker at Midnight Trucking Radio Network called and told him he had won a free custom Freightliner from J.B. Hunt Transport, he needed convincing.

“I thought she was a telemarketer,” Dailey, 24, says. Dailey, an owner-operator for four years, sold out after Hurricane Katrina and now drives for Covered Wagon Trucking in Jackson, Ga. He’s wanted to become an owner-operator again for some time, and now he can, with a sweeter ride than ever.

Dailey says his decision to enter the giveaway was “very silly” however practical it ended up being. A few days before he registered, he broke his logbook ruler. When he and a friend arrived at the TravelCenters of America stop in Jackson, Ga., he noticed the Chrome Shop Mafia Sweet Freedom truck and a table full of freebies – one being a logbook ruler. “I thought, ‘Well, at least if I enter the contest, I’ll get a new ruler,'” he says. “I ended up with much more than a ruler, that’s for sure.”

J.B. Hunt supplied the Joplin, Mo.-based CSM with a 2005 plain white Freightliner they then transformed into Sweet Freedom. Bryan Martin, CSM boss, says the truck reflects the true freedom trucking brings to the driver.

“What made us feel good about the project was that we were giving someone who didn’t own his own truck the opportunity to become his own boss,” Martin says. “It’s very rewarding to be changing someone’s life, someone’s destiny.”

CSM partners with Used Truck Association to fund scholarship
Giving back to the educational community is an important aspect of the Used Truck Association (UTA). Eddy Walker, President Emeritus of UTA, says the goal of the organization’s scholarship fund is to change the lives of promising students. In three years, UTA has awarded 10 scholarships, one valued at $1,000 and nine valued at $5,000.
“We would love to give away ten scholarships each year,” Walker says. “It’s a long way to go, but if we can help more kids then we’ve made the place a little better.”

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For 2008, UTA board members auctioned off a truck customized by the Chrome Shop Mafia to raise funds for the scholarship. The truck came to be known as the Red Baron, and its canvas was No. 39 of the 1987 Peterbilt 359 Classic Series. Sponsors donated parts to refurbish the truck and NTP Warranty donated a 3-year/ 300,000-mile warranty on the engine and 1-year/100,000-mile on the transmission.

The Chrome Shop Mafia donated an additional $5,000 to the scholarship fund.
Kenny Doonan of Doonan Peterbilt in Wichita, Kan., won the bid, and he plans to resell the truck and return the profit to the scholarship fund.

For more information on the UTA scholarship, visit

Entrepreneurial Spirit
Trucker balances driving full-time with promoting intermodal nose cone he invented
By Laura Pitts

Two years ago Mitchell Brothers driver David Binz from Vancouver, Wash., began experimenting with different money- and fuel-saving methods while hauling intermodal freight.

“Intermodal containers are the most non-aerodynamic pieces of equipment you can haul,” Binz says. After a few false starts, Binz, a 32-year industry veteran, decided to create a portable nose cone that would attach and reattach to intermodal containers to help reduce wind resistance. Now, with the help of the NoseCone company, Binz has a patent on his portable nose cone, and WW Trailers Inc. in Portland, Ore., is the sole distributor of the product.

Binz is not alone in his endeavor. His brother-in-law Eric Hall, who drives for FedEx, helps promote the project. Jim Whynot, a driver for the West Linn, Ore., Public Works Departments, assists Binz with fabricating and ironing out mechanical details.

“Between them they get the frames done and moved around. I do all the assembly on the weekends or at night during the week if needed,” Binz says.

Balancing his trucking career with the new manufacturing demands isn’t hard. Though he spends Monday through Friday in the cab, he says the carrier he leases to helps him with flexibility “when I need to get somewhere to see someone. I just let my dispatcher know, and he gets me a load there, or at least close.”

Binz has used the portable nose cone on his truck for 10 months. During this time, his fuel mileage has increased from 6.32 mpg to nearly 7. The nose cone is aluminum and comes at a cost of $1,850. It’s designed to fit both the front and back of the container and adds 16 inches to the container’s length. Binz says a driver can expect a return on investment within six months, depending on the price of fuel.

“Containers are used all over the world. This product has the potential to lessen energy cost and pollution all over the world,” Binz says. “This is a motivational lesson to all people that you can do something in your life that will impact the entire world.”
Anyone wanting more information can contact Binz at (503) 572-9914.

Fikes Truck Line Launches Upgrade Recruiting Contest
Fikes Truck Line in partnership with the Chrome Shop Mafia announces the Fikes Truck Line Upgrade! Recruiting Contest. The contest will reward the winner with more than $20,000 in truck upgrades completed by CSM professionals.

Fikes Contractors will receive one entry into the Fikes Truck Line Upgrade! drawing for each new contractor that is referred and leases to Fikes. The contest runs through July 31, 2009.
The upgrade package includes a two-tone paint job on the cab, hood and sleeper; stainless half fenders, custom bumper; full chrome package complete with in-dash toggles, knobs, switch trim and much more.

Once the winner has been chosen, Fikes will provide a truck to the contest winner to continue working while their truck is being transformed. Individuals who drive for a fleet owner at Fikes are not eligible for the Fikes Truck Line Upgrade! Contest. Instead, Fikes will be offering those drivers a prize for each referred recruit that leases by July 31.
For more information on Fikes Truck Line and the contest visit or call (800) 643-6611.

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