The 2021 'Bandit' Kenworth W900L of Kentucky dry bulk hauler a bright light in the dark

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Updated Jan 27, 2023

I got a close look at this Working Bobtail-winning rig in Overdrive's 2022 Pride & Polish competition during a November 2022 run with its owner-operator, John McCormick, of Robards, Kentucky, in and out of facilities McCormick works regularly, hauling PVC powder leased to Oakley Trucking.

McCormick took delivery of the 280-inch-wheelbase 2021 Kenworth in late 2020, and it's powered by 565-hp Cummins X15, an 18-speed transmission and 3.36 rears. With a principal supplier in Chrome Dome out of Haubstadt, Indiana, on I-64 north of Evansville, McCormick's added bright parts over the two years he's owned the truck -- including throughout the interior, as you'll see in the video above.

John McCormick's Kenworth, seen at night from the rearHe's added eight cab lights for a total of 13 along the roof, breather lights, lights on the back of the sleeper and much more, as shown -- plenty, too, throughout the interior. Amber underglow lights are by Shift Products.

The front bumper is a somewhat recent addition McCormick ordered about a year ago and finally got and installed this past spring in 2022. Full fenders are by WTI and custom-painted by a close contact in Robards known only as "Chop."

McCormick christened the rig "Bandit" for reasons you'll hear him describe in the video and in this podcast and reporting after his big Pride & Polish win.  A big part of those reasons is, of course, that the paint job closely mimics that of the Snowman's rig in the 1970s classic "Smokey and the Bandit" film, yet Bandit holds other meanings for McCormick, too. Hope you enjoy.

[Related: Rumors of the death of the 24.5 tire have been greatly exaggerated]

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John McCormick: It's a '21 W900L Kenworth. Got a 565 Cummins on it, X15, 18 speed, 3.36 rears, 280 inch wheelbase.

I've put a bunch of what chrome I could find on the dash, some more on the interior, put the lights on it. Floorboard is being painted. I ordered an aluminum floorboard from Rockwood. Then I took it to the paint shop, had them paint it. WTI fenders, drop visor, bug shield, the window chops. Then the window chops on the sleeper too. Yeah, I just want everything to match. That's why I only went with the three inch window chops, because they line up with the visor. I finally got my bumper in.

Todd Dills: Where'd you order that?

John McCormick: Chrome shop in Haubstadt, Indiana called Chrome Dome. That's where everything has come from. I buy everything from him. I got 13 cab lights now. I've got underglow lights that I ordered from Shift Products. They're just amber, changed lights on the back of the sleeper. The paint job on it is black and gold, which is the same paint job that was on the Kenworth in Smokey and the Bandit. Now the name Bandit, when I first bought the truck, bringing it back from Little Rock, of course, everybody on CB radio was going on about, "Yeah, there goes Snowman. Yeah, there's the Bandit." And so I thought, "Well, I'll just name the truck Bandit." I thought, "Everybody wants to call it Bandit, that's what I'll call it, Bandit."

But the other thing is, when me and my wife run team, we've got a little Yorkie, his coloring on him, he looked like he had a black mask on, kind of like a raccoon. They were trying to decide what to name him. And my son says, "Well, he looks like a bandit." So we named him Bandit. And so I can tell everybody, he's marked everything from Boston to LA.

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