A service truck built by Kevin Clark his sons and his employees is decked out with almost every tool imaginable, which is perfect for their multi-state custom harvesting business and farm operation.
It can fix, tow and fuel just about anything
With farms in Kansas and North Dakota and custom harvesting jobs from Texas to Montana, Kevin Clark needed a fully equipped service truck. Thankfully, Clark, his sons Kendall and Scott and his crew enjoy passing the winter months in their Kiowa, Kan., shop.
The truck they built can fix, tow and fuel just about anything. "We have compressed air, hydraulic capacity, everything we need," Clark says. "It makes everything much easier when we are in the field." The truck won the Service Truck Category of Farm Journal’s 2012 "I Built the Best" contest.
Clark’s crew started with a one-year-old Peterbilt, with a 475-hp engine rated to tow 90,000 lb. "It came with an UltraShift transmission, which makes it possible for anyone to drive the vehicle," Clark says.
They lengthened the frame rail at the rear by welding on another 8' of Peterbilt frame and reinforced the entire rig. Then they built the box, which stretches 80" from ground level. "Every hinge on the box has a grease zerk," Clark says. "The grease helps keep road salt out."
Compartments on each side of the bed contain compressed air hose reels; metric and standard wrenches; tools; nuts and bolts stored in magnetic trays; and parts for combines, tractors and implements. Drawers slide easily on angled iron frames coated with plastic. A lip at the rear keeps the drawers from falling out. Other compartments contain fuel and lubricant hoses, meters and pumps; an air compressor; a generator; and a 302-amp welder/generator. The welder compartment has a 220-volt, 50-amp outlet and four 110-volt outlets.
Air in, dust out. With a push of a button, the lid opens over the compartment that contains the
hydraulically driven air compressor. "The lid lets the compressor get plenty of air, even though we close the doors to keep out dirt and chaff," Clark says.
At the rear of the bed are four air outlets and two reels with 100' of ½" hose. The outlets are set in recessed slots for protection.
"For additional air pressure, we made a direct hookup to bypass the regulators," Clark says. "We can dial in the air pressure or have constant 120 psi for big jobs that need more air. There is an outlet with 25' of ¾" hose for the big air guns we use to change big combine duals and semi-truck tires."
One compartment houses hydraulic outlets and controls to raise, fold or tow implements. "To run the hydraulics, all you need is air to operate the PTO that runs the hydraulic pump," Clark says.
A compartment under the rear deck contains chains, jumper cables and odds and ends.
The walls and bottom of the acetylene torch compartment are reinforced to protect the contents in case of an accident. The compartment that houses filters is double-sealed with rubber to keep dust out.
Every compartment is lighted by LED bulbs, one on the inside and one on the door. Fold-down steps make the bed and compartments easily accessible.
- September 2012