John Highley’s custom specialized-freight-hauling 2018 W900L

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Landstar-leased owner-operator John Highley started building this custom 2018 Kenworth W900L in the summer of 2017 and walked with it every step of the way.

John Highley's 2018 Kenworth W900LHighley's rig features the classic old-school Kenworth Apache paint scheme, which he modeled after the truck in the classic TV series “Movin’ On.” He was a big fan of the show as a kid and associated all things trucking with the W9 driven by lead character Sonny Pruitt.Video and photos taken by Lawson Rudisill, edited by Andrew Guinn

Highley's rig sits on a 346-inch wheelbase and boasts a 120-inch ARI sleeper. 

Rear view of John Highley's 2018 Kenworth W900L with Harley-Davidson motorcycleWith the extra room from the extended wheelbase, Highley said he could have gone bigger with the sleeper, but instead he keeps his Harley-Davidson motorcycle out on the road with him.

He primarily hauls entertainment-related freight, such as that associated with musical acts’ tours. In the video above, Highley tells of a recent haul he did for Green Day in which his truck was noticed by the band and appeared in a TikTok video. 

Under the hood, the truck features a 565-hp Cummins X15 with an 18-speed and 2,050 lb.-ft. of torque. 

Highley pulls a 2016 Great Dane van, which is painted to match the truck and is outfitted with plenty interior lighting.

Trailer doors of John Highley's 2018 Kenworth W900L and 2016 Great DaneThe rear doors of Highley's trailer feature a promo for trucking singer-songwriter Tony Justice, a friend of Highley's.

Catch plenty more views of the rig in the video up top. Hear Highley tell part of his story as part of the podcast at this link, recorded when video editor Lawson Rudisill caught up with him at the Mayberry Truck Show in North Carolina last fall.

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John Highley: My name is John Highley. I've been leased to Landstar for 20 years. My haul is mostly specialized -- liftgate freight, entertainment, things that require a little bit of special attention.

The reason for the W900 with the Apache paint scheme is, as a kid, I grew up watching "Movin' On." I've always had that ... I don't know. The Sonny Pruitt W900 just always seemed like the iconic truck to me. It was the one that I grew up... Everything that was truck-related to me, it always came back to the "Movin' On" truck.

I had something kind of cool happen recently. We were hauling Green Day and we were playing the Metro club up in Chicago. Middle of the night, my phone started blowing up. I guess as Green Day was coming in the limo, they liked the truck, so they did a TikTok with the truck in there.

It's a Kenworth W900. We started building it in August of 2017. I went to Chillicothe, Ohio, and got to walk the build with it and see it from the beginning to the end. It's stretched to a 346 wheelbase from the factory. And then, we took the truck to ARI up at Shipshewana, Indiana. I had the sleeper ordered from them. They built the sleeper on there. It's a 120-inch. We've got the bathroom, the shower, the stove. Everything we need.

We could have gone with a much larger sleeper with the wheelbase we have, but I carry my Harley behind the sleeper. That's why we have the extra length on there. We've added some chrome and some bling. We've got the normal bling on the dash. I like that. I did take the factory seats out and went with Seats Incorporated. I've run their seats for years and have always been really, really happy with them.

We changed the floor in the cab to match the one in the sleeper. Other than that, she's pretty much just a W900 on the inside. This has got an 18-speed in it. It's got the X15, 565 horse, and we upgraded to the 2,050 torque on it. We've added the stainless full fenders. The Hogebuilt fenders back there. Had Brunner's down in Joplin do a lot of stainless work across the back. Filled in with the frame filler panels and everything. You'll be able to see the back end of it. We kind of dressed it up a little bit.

The trailer is 2016 Great Dane. It's got interior lighting. Painted it to match the truck. Had Thunder Grafix down in Joplin do the vinyl work on it. And then, Tony Justice is a real good friend of mine, so we have a Last of the Cowboys promo vinyl on the back doors that I run on there. Got the full belly boxes on it with interior lighting. I carry 16-foot ramps. We just tried to dress the trailer up a little bit to match the truck the best we could.

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