It’s a sharp truck, this 1992 Kenworth T600, Detroit 60 Series-powered and with a 149-inch ICT sleeper owner-operator Montgomery Morgan’s father, Don Morgan, had put on when the rig was new. When Don passed in 2001, his son inherited the truck, about all his father had left in terms of worldly possessions to pass on, Montgomery says, and keeps it running today as a way of honoring his memory.
Don Morgan had been running another truck — a late-’70s-model Kenworth cabover with an Aerodyne — when he bought the anteater. His son then spent the 1990s in the cabover, before later that decade coming off the road after a rebuilding of the 1970s unit. “I sold it and took three years off,” he says, over which time his father’s health began to decline. “I ran with him for part of that three years, especially the last year, and helped him load and unload and helped him otherwise out there. I always spent as much time as I could with my dad.”
In 2001, around the time of the 9/11 attacks, Don Morgan passed.
Montgomery put the rig back on the road and, “basically, I have turned every dime over these years to put back into this truck for the love of my dad.”
His attempt to honor his father’s memory hasn’t been without difficulty — there’s the usual, like a contentious engine rebuild in Tennessee, as well as a bevy of smaller components changed two or even three times, maintenance and repairs often arriving in waves that cycle through periodically.
But there’s the unusual, too, some of it no secret to West Coast-based haulers. Morgan’s native state — he was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California — and its Air Resources Board’s controversial Statewide Truck & Bus Rule made this fine piece of equipment an outlaw in the very place it lived much of its life.
Today, Morgan calls Tacoma, Wash., home base.
“California isn’t allowing this truck in the state at all,” he says, with its regs on in-use equipment, though he’s seen plenty of haulers who seem to run there like nothing changed.
He’s been with the Continental Van Lines Mayflower agent, hauling mostly residential household goods, now for close to 20 years.
Of the cosmetic changes he’s made over the years, including removal of some of the extra and time-consuming-to-maintain lights his father had originally added, none has been more consequential than a move from stainless fenders that had been over the tandems and damaged extensively during deliveries to tight residential locations. The flexibility of the fenders there now mitigates against such damage effectively, he says.