Pristine pair of custom 2024 Peterbilt 589s, and one standout owner's advice for the next generation

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Updated Jun 2, 2024

Here's wishing everyone a great Memorial Day, whether on the road or home. For this week's edition of Overdrive Radio, it's part 2 of our talk with May Trucker of the Month and longtime owner-operator Gary Schloo. He's been leased to Long Haul Trucking for the last three decades of a five-decade trucking career. Schloo here tells a can't-miss story about how he and his wife and business partner, Terri, met. It's the "classic trucker-and-the-waitress thing" at a late-night diner early in Schloo's time as an owner-operator, as he said.

And as most listeners are well aware, a big part of the Trucker of the Year competition, sponsored by Bostrom Seating and featuring owner-operator semi-finalist candidates throughout the year (including Schloo), is lending useful perspective, ways to sharpen the operation, button up the business for long-term success. Owner-operator Schloo’s answers to a question I’ve asked most of our Trucker of the Month candidates -- namely what their advice to any new or prospective truck owner might be -- in many ways all come back to insurance:

  • Build the nest egg early for the down cycles.
  • Put a disability/income-replacement insurance policy in your back pocket for the things that happen to all of us -- whether illness or injury, a crash. It's saved Schloo during his half-century over-the-road more times than he can count. ...

And that list could easily go on. Hear much more of the wisdom of Gary Schloo's experience in the episode: 

Likewise therein, a special treat:

Orange and black custom Petes inCatch a rundown with the Semi Casual custom shop's Brian Bourke detailing the work put into these two different takes on custom-built 2024 Peterbilt Model 589s the shop showed at MATS and on the scene of the Large Cars & Guitars truck show in Tennessee, where we caught up with Bourke.

In terms of exterior mods, the orange-painted part of the pair showcased much more in the way of one-off custom parts designs Semi Casual engineered in the process, all now available for purchase via the custom shop.

Orange Semi Casual 2024 Peterbilt 589 driver side profileCan you find the DEF tank on the rig?At once, the black 589 has its own unique exterior mods, including the rounded visor tracing the curve of the one-piece windshield and, yes, the flat top-of-the-cab chop of what was previously an ultra cab. Inside the trucks, though, it's the black-painted 589 that got the lion's share of the work. Semi Casual disassembled much of the dash and door panels, utilizing primer and paint and clear and plenty of sanding to turn what initially looked more or less exactly like this ... 

Orange Pete 589's factory dashThe orange Model 589's dash, pretty well stock but for a few chrome adds from Pete's Genuine Accessories line.

... into this: 

Black Model 589's dash after transformationThe black Model 589's dash, after Semi Casual's transformation.Keep tuned to Overdrive's Youtube channel and Custom Rigs section here later this Memorial Day week for a video closer look at both rigs, but you can see some among the Semi Casual team at work on the red-and-black dash at the beginning of the vid below, posted attendant to their Large Cars & Guitars appearance.   

As noted, keep tuned for more. And here's a happy belated birthday to owner-operator Schloo, who turned 75 Sunday, May 26. Here's hoping it was a great one, Gary! And many more. ...  

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overdrive trucker of the year 2024 logoOverdrive's 2024 Trucker of the Year program, sponsored by Commercial Vehicle Group and Bostrom Seating, recognizes clear business acumen and unique or time-honored recipes for success among owner-operators. Through October, we're naming Truckers of the Month to contend for the Trucker of the Year honor. Finalists will be named in December, and a winner crowned early next year. Nominations continue to be sought for exceptional owner-operators, whether leased or independent, throughout the year. Nominate your business or that of a fellow owner (up to three trucks) via this link for a chance to win a custom replica of your tractor and a Bostrom seat from Commercial Vehicle Group, among other perks.

[Related: A short leash on long-term stability, profit: Trucker of the Month Gary Schloo]

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