‘Just a Phase’: Bubba Branch’s Atlas Heavy Haul 1996 Kenworth W900

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Updated Nov 12, 2022

Lakeland, Florida-based Bubba Branch, owner of Atlas Heavy Haul, showed this immaculate 1996 Kenworth W900 at the 2022 Shell Rotella SuperRigs working truck show in Branson, Missouri.  

Branch, who started his Atlas Heavy Haul business in 2017, has gone all through this truck and customized it from front to rear. The customizations earned the rig several awards at SuperRigs, including Best Chrome, Best Engine, and second place in Working Truck - Limited Mileage.

Bubba Branch's 1996 Kenworth W900Bubba Branch's "Just a Phase" 1996 Kenworth W900 is a part-time worker, jumping in to haul loads for his Atlas Heavy Haul fleet five or six days a month when it's needed.

The "Just a Phase" moniker harks back to Branch's childhood, when the family would wait around the phone for a call from the road from his trucking father. One day when he called, Bubba was playing with toy trucks in the floor, and his mother told his father,  “You better get this boy of yours; he’s driving me insane. Truck this, truck that. Trucks everywhere on the floor. I can’t clean the house.” 

"As she was handing me the phone, I overheard him say, 'Hey,  leave that boy alone, it’s just a phase. He’ll grow out of it,'" Branch said. "Here I am 44 years old, still playing with trucks. Don’t know how much of a phase it was, but we’ll find out one day."

Engine of Bubba Branch's 1996 Kenworth W900The truck is powered by a 3406E Cat with an 18-speed and 3:55 rears. PDI did the paint work on the engine, and Branch has added a PDI Big Boss turbo and intake, giving the truck around 725 horsepower.

A number of custom shops played a role in building "Just a Phase," including Spare Time Fab, which did the sleeper interior; Talladega Fiberglass on the T-bars and deck cover; Roadsknz with the tank straps; Johnson Customs, who added the big hole in the sleeper; Truck'n Awesome, who did the interior panels in the cab; and others.

Grille of Bubba Branch's 1996 Kenworth W900SH Tube, out of Corbin, Kentucky, did all of the stainless steel work on the truck, including this custom grille with the truck's name laser etched in it.

Sleeper interior of Bubba Branch's 1996 Kenworth W900Bubba Branch's son Preston, who owns Overtime Audio, installed the sound system in the KW; shown here are the speakers installed in the roof of the sleeper.

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Branch and his wife, Krystal, created the custom floor in the truck, and his son Colt painted the dash. 

Interior of Bubba Branch's 1996 Kenworth W900The entire interior has also been customized, from the floor to the dash to the button-tuck ceiling and door panels.

2021 Globe 55-ton lowboy attached to Bubba Branch's 1996 Kenworth W900"Just a Phase" is paired with a 2021 Globe 55-ton detachable lowboy that's painted to match the truck.

Bubba Branch's 1996 Kenworth W900 at night"Just a Phase" features plenty of lights, including under the tanks, on the front and rear T-bars and much more.


Bubba Branch: My name is Bubba Branch, out of Lakeland, Florida. My company is Atlas Heavy Haul. I currently run 10 trucks, and "Just a Phase" here behind me is the 11th one. She works part-time. She's 1996 W900. She got a 3406E Cat in it, 18-speed, 3:55 rears, 275 wheel base pulling a 2021 Globe 55-ton detach.

We've customized most all the truck. We went through everything on it from basically the ground up. We'll start off from the front. We have a custom grille by SH Tube, stainless steel grille with the name laser etched in it. We did the custom mirror brackets by SH Tube as well. And we got a Talladega Fiberglass visor, Dynaflex seven inch stove pipe stacks on it.

All the straps are wrapped with the Roadsknz and the tanks are wrapped Roadsknz, stainless steel wraps. And Johnson Customs did the big hole in the sleeper for us, up there in Wisconsin. And we have all kind of stuff. Stainless steel twisted shifter inside, custom floor in it my wife and I did, and my kids helped work on it too. My son here, Colt, painted the dash on it. My wife did all the interior inside, put all the panels in.

The bunk interior was done by Randy out of Spare Time Fab. The interior on the truck side was Truck'n Awesome out of Bogata, Texas, that did them panels and the roof on it. My oldest boy, Preston, owns a company called Overtime Audio out of Lakeland, Florida. He did all the stereo work in it. Everything in it. We eliminated the head unit, so it's all Bluetooth, all runs right directly from your phone. And we got stainless steel stereo boxes in the roof.

We got Talladega Fiberglass T bars, front and rear, with 13 round lights in each of them. Talladega Fiberglass deck cover. But we went through the motor on it, we had PDI, resealed everything, put it back together, and painted it all up to match the truck. We're running the Big Boss turbo, Big Boss PDI intake. We have... We just went all through it, man.

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