This profile is part of a multi-part series profiling the seven Pride & Polish winners from the 2020 virtual Pride & Polish photo contest in August.
C.J. Donovan bought this impressive 1984 Peterbilt 362 three years ago in North Carolina, where the cabover had been used by a friend’s construction company to move equipment and do some local trucking.
Donovan, based in Gordonville, Pennsylvania, is using the truck to haul precast concrete and steel locally but eventually will transition to hauling less-than-truckload reefer freight across the country for his Donovan Transport operation.
“The truck owes me money, so we’re going to run it,” he said. “I haven’t put the first scratch on it yet, but once that happens, it’s really game on, and we’ll put it to work.”
Donovan hadn’t planned for the truck to turn into a full-on rebuild project, but after doing some work to it, “the truck started demanding from us what it wanted,” he said. His original goal was just to get the truck DOT-compliant and get a few things working, such as the air conditioning and Jake brake, as well as making a few cosmetic upgrades.
He started off adding a new rear end and gathered some ideas before he sent it to Deihm Services, in Honey Brook, Pennsylvania, to have it painted.
“Once it went to the paint booth, it kind of got out of hand and past the point of no return,” Donovan said. Deihm also did the body work. Donovan did most of the mechanical work in house.
The project covered about three years. When adding the new rear end, Donovan stretched the truck to its current 240-inch wheelbase. He also added an air-ride suspension to the front end.
“It’s becoming a really nice truck to drive,” he said. “It’s still a cabover, but, man, does it ride nice!”
The truck also placed third in the Limited Mileage category in the virtual Pride & Polish competition.