'Mad Skills': A Peterbilt 379 that floats

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Scott Carder, owner of Carder Trucking out of Delphos, Ohio, may have had the most unique Peterbilt build at the 2023 Mayberry Truck Show in Mt. Airy, North Carolina.

The difference in Carder's build from the others? It floats. He took the cab of a Peterbilt 379 and built a 22-foot tritoon pontoon boat out of it.

In the video up top, Carder talks about the work he did to turn the former king of the road into a king of the lake. 

Scott Carder's Peterbilt 379 tritoon boat at nightLike any show-worthy Pete, Carder's boat features plenty of lights.Video and photos by Lawson Rudisill

Carder finished the build in the Spring of 2023 and said he got it out on the water several times during the year. 

"At the end of the day, I didn't know for sure what I was going to end up with," he said. "I thought, 'Well, I'll build it, and it's either going to sink or float,' and it floats very nicely."

Dash of Scott Carder's Peterbilt tritoon boatCarder built a custom dash in the style of a Peterbilt 379 for his boat.

The boat got its nickname, "Mad Skills," during the build process when a friend of Carder's sister came into the shop and told him he had "mad skills." He liked how it sounded, so it stuck.

Seating on Scott Carder's Peterbilt tritoon boatBehind the 379 cab on Carder's boat is a more typical pontoon/tritoon seating setup with bench seating all around. The interior work was done by Nationwide Chrome in Indiana.

Carder's "king of the lake," interestingly, isn't the first such boat highlighted by Overdrive. Regular readers may remember Cody Murray built this ol' Pete'toon, as it were, with his father, Greg Murray, christening it in honor of Greg's memory after he sadly passed nearing the end of the build.

[Related: Peterbilt 359 pontoon a floating memorial to owner-operator Greg Murray]

Catch plenty more views of the unique custom build in the video up top. For more videos and custom-equipment features delivered to your email inbox, subscribe to Overdrive's weekly Custom Rigs newsletter via this link.


Scott Carder: Hello, I am Scott Carder from Delphos, Ohio. Back behind us, we got a 2005 Ford F650. And then behind that I built a 22-foot tritoon boat with a Peterbilt cab and hood incorporated on it. And yes, it has been on the water. It's been on the water several times this year. Just takes a little bit of time to clean her up after we've been done playing.

It is a Peterbilt 379 short hood. I went with a short hood just because it's kind of limited with space. As I said earlier, it is only 22-foot tritoon. So I went with a short hood instead of the extended hood version. I've seen several pictures of them on the internet, Facebook, YouTube, whatever. I got a hold of a gentleman that actually owned one, but I didn't get a hold of him. I decided after I couldn't get a hold of him to just go ahead and build one myself and that's where we ended up.

It was all pieced together basically from ground up. The only thing that is not brand new on it is the cab. All the seats, all the interior is new. The paint job on it was painted by Dustin Dickerson down Thorntown, Indiana, DCT, Dickerson Custom Trucks. The interior work was done by Nationwide Chrome, Fremont, Indiana. And the marine side of it as far as the motor and electronics on the inside for the dash come from Lakeview Drive in Coldwater, Michigan. At the end of the day, I didn't know for sure what I was going to end up with. I thought, well, I'll build it and it's either going to sink or float and it floats very nicely.

The boat I named Mad Skills as we was in the shop building it. My sister's friend come into the shop and she looked at me and she said that I had had some mad skills and I just kind of looked at her and I asked her what she said. She thought maybe she irritated me with a little bit about that comment and she said it again. And I said, you know, I kind of like the way you said that. I think I'm just going to name the boat that. And that's how that all incorporated as far as the name of the boat.

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