Overdrive Magazine

June 2019

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12 | Overdrive | June 2019 Christened " e Goose," the custom 1996 Freightliner Classic of Harrison, Arkansas-based Daniel and Phyllis Snow is memorable not only for its 140 inches' worth of custom-redesigned ICT sleeper. e Snows pulled it from salvage and out tted it about seven years ago. Another project undertaken around that time is a 4-foot walk-in storage compartment they built into the front of their spread-axle dry-van trailer. Accessible from the tractor's deck catwalk via a door assembly, it houses tools and other supplies. It's a modi cation Daniel suggests for any single-trailer owner with mechanical expertise and, like the Snows, plenty of time spent on the road away from the comforts of estab- lished relationships with diesel shops. Before building it, "we blocked o 4 feet of the front of the trailer and ran four weeks with just a partition wall to make sure it wouldn't mess up any of our loads," he says. In the seven years since the addition was built, they've lost out on a load just a few times because of the reduced cargo space. Cost: "Extremely minimal" other than sweat equity, Daniel says. e pair used repurposed load bars, from a dumpster, for the parti- tion wall. Two-by-fours, le behind in their van a er a delivery, make up the frame for shelves that run across the van's width. A $50 Home Depot gi card won at a trucking show paid for the plywood shelves. e only hard cost other than screws was for a door assembly that typically goes for about $700. Daniel says they paid $200 for one that had been sitting for two years at a Camp- ing World in Hammond, Louisiana. e alternative considered before building – a toolbox about one- h the size of what they have now, to t under the trailer – Daniel priced at $2,800. In short, building the com- partment brought much more bang for the buck. A tradeo for the toolbox, and the sizable sleeper, is payload. e com- bo's empty weight now typically runs at about 42,500 pounds, so they've got an extra tag axle on the tractor to ac- commodate higher forward weights. It's not quite the same as computer hacking, but readers' hacks to modify their equipment, living space or busi- ness methods can be just as impressive in creatively improving their lives on the road. Send your ideas to tdills@ randallreilly.com. Find more in the series via OverdriveOnline.com/tag/ highway-hacks. Carve out some trailer space for your tools Decker Truck Line driver Joe Bartlette, who received a ticket for a seatbelt violation when he was pulled over in Michigan for a Level 3 driver inspection, was glad he had dual-view video running. e forward video clearly shows Bartlette passing the o cer, camped out in a median. e interior video shows Bartlette wearing his seatbelt. Further clips detail the interactions between Bartlette and the o cer, who claimed he "didn't see the seatbelt" in use when the trucker passed. Bartlette, based in Grandville, Michigan, had to take a day o to travel nearly three hours and more than halfway across the state to appear in court in a small town east of Jackson to present the evidence, but ultimately it was "time well wasted," he says. "It was very self-satisfying to be with the o cer in a court and be able to go through and show that, yes, I was innocent. I've got a clean record, and I'd like to keep it that way a er this many years on the roads." Catch more reporting on the incident and the video, or share your own, via OverdriveOnline.com/dashcamcentral. VIDEO EVIDENCE TRUMPS SEATBELT TICKET In a podcast accessible via OverdriveOnline. com/overdrivera- dio, hear indepen- dents Daniel and Phyllis Snow walk Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills through the building of their roomy storage unit in the front of their dry van. Todd Dills

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