Andy Freeman's sharp 2014 Freightliner 122SD, spec'd for high, wide freight

user-gravatar Headshot

Owner-operator Andy Freeman hauls leased to Landstar with this 2014 Freightliner 122SD and much newer Trail King minideck set up for mostly "airport to airport" freight, Freeman said. He spec'd the truck especially for his operation. He's rarely hauling heavy, but otherwise overdimensional.

Andy FreemanOwner-operator Andy Freeman is headquartered in Wisconsin. We caught up with him at Specialized Transportation Symposium of the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association in Orlando last month."I built it to haul tall and wide," he said. The 600-hp Detroit DD16 engine pushes a drivetrain built to handle 2,250 lb.-ft. of torque, but Freeman cut the engine "back to 1,850" for torque output. "By reducing the torque from the motor it takes the stress off the bearings," the drivetrain, everything, he added. Though it's all set up to "do heavy," he hoped to reduce the chance of a maintenance failure with the torque reduction. So far so good on that front.

Toter mirrors on the rig, extendedAnother unique feature: He outfitted the rig with an electric-adjust, mobile home toter-truck-style mirror system for especially wide loads, too, to ease mirror placements necessary for some of his wider freight.

Catch plenty more views of the combination in the video, including what to the naked eye might look like an empty trailer.

Yet about dead center lengthwise on the minideck was this itty-bitty, chained-down toy loader:

toy loader on Trail King deckTurned out it wasn’t just Freeman's attempt at good humor for attendees of the conference where we caught up with him. Rather, it's a long-used tool for cheering up fellow travelers along the road, among other things, and comes complete with prefilled bills of lading from his house in Wisconsin, to his house in Wisconsin. Yes, for some inspectors, particularly in California, "that is freight," he said. "I'm always loaded."

If you missed it, this recent edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast delved further into Freeman's plans for his next truck, his history going back decades now to his time in the military, and a mobile in-cab shower set-up fit even for small sleepers like his own.

[Related: Big loads, big equipment, big pay: Heavy/specialized hauling]

Freeman Transport on door


Andy Freeman: A lot of people for just one second when it takes them to go flying by you, they'll see it and it'll put a smile on their face. And for one brief minute they won't be as owly as they were. And it helps break the monotony up and it makes them smile and it puts them in a better mood so when they're driving around you, they have a different attitude.

Andy Freeman, Richland Center, Wisconsin. I've been in heavy specialized for 23 years. I ordered, that's a GHG14 2014 Freightliner SD122. I ordered that truck in 2013. We got it in 2014. It's not de-rated. It's 100% GHG. It's still GHG. The trailer is a '21. I special ordered a trailer, Trail King. We kind of spent five months spec’ing it out, trying to get everything just right for it. It's got very little camber in it. It doesn't haul a lot of weight. I didn't build it to haul a lot of weight. I built it to haul tall and wide. Mostly airport to airport. Although I still do a lot of vehicles, not so much military vehicles, but more show semi trucks. I do a lot of semi trucks and show trucks. Or NASA, I've done NASA stuff too.

It's a DD16, 600 horse. I cut it back to 1,850. The drive train is set up for 2,250, but by reducing the torque out of the motor, it takes the stress off of the bearings, it takes the stress off the drivetrain. It takes the stress off of everything. Even though the bearings are set up and the whole drivetrain's set up to do heavy or heavy torque, by reducing it, it'll lower my risk of a maintenance or a failure on the road. 13 speed manual.

I chose and I went through a manufacturer in Indiana that does conversions, they convert semi trucks over to toter trucks. Toter trucks are the guys who haul mobile homes down the road. Generally, they can be anywhere from 14 to 18 foot wide. And when you start looking at what heavy haul does, we're either, well, we can be all the way up to 18 foot wide or wider.

The toter mirror system that I put on the truck allows me to put the mirrors out without any painful trying to modify something or make something work so I can get a mirror out there so I can see behind me a lot of states, almost all of states require me to have something back there so I could see. Camera systems are starting to come in where they're letting us do more cameras, but ultimately it's a mirror that's down the side of it. And with the electric mirrors, I'm able to adjust the mirrors in and out so I can get them out there so I can see down the side of the trailer. Even though I have a pilot car or escorts behind me, having the mirrors is always best because then I always have that ability to see.

The Business Manual for Owner-Operators
Overdrive editors and ATBS present the industry’s best manual for prospective and committed owner-operators. You’ll find exceptional depth on many issues in the 2022 edition of Partners in Business.
Partners in Business Issue Cover