Hank Builds a Bubba Truck

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Because of the economy, Bubba has had to down size his operation. The Better Late Than Never Trucking Company has seen some bad times over the past few years and so the semi trailers had to be sold off. Now it was time to find a three axle straight truck to haul the freight to his loyal customers. Bubba searched high and low and finally came across a Kenworth three axle straight truck that might just work for him. The truck had been sitting in a 'bone yard' for a number of years, but still looked road-worthy. The truck had no tires on it and some parts were showing their age. I guess at one time the truck must have been fixed up pretty nice, because there were two mounting brackets for two air cleaners and there was a viser above the windshield. The visor was rusty, but still mounted solid on the cab. There was only the driver's side air cleaner and it was chromed and still had a good shine to it. There was no fuel tank, no grill and only the driver's side stack. The passenger side stack had been broken off at the running board. In looking around the 'bone yard' Bubba found some wheels that may have belonged to this truck since the color matched the cab, but Bubba could only find four matching wheels. So Bubba kept looking and found some other wheels that would work as well. So Bubba made the 'bone yard' owner an offer and after a bit of haggling Bubba got the truck.

Bubba called his good friend JR to bring his flatbed trailer over to haul his new purchase home. Now that the truck was on Bubba's property he could look over things a bit closer on the truck. He noted that the headlight bracket on the driver's side was not aimed right, but what the heck, the truck had a good set of head lights in the mounts and that was good enough for Bubba. He didn't drive that much at night anymore anyway.

Now Bubba had to look around for a grill, fuel tank, air cleaner, a stack and one more mud flap. Bubba called around and after talking to about a dozen 'bone yard' operators all Bubba was able to find was a stack and a mud flap. The stack didn't match the straight stack but the stack was in good shape with no kinks. The mud flap was a short one but it was a mud flap none the less. But still no luck with the other parts.

Bubba decided to call the military surplus depot in town. Well Bubba sure lucked out there. They had a Kenworth grill, a fuel tank and an air cleaner. Bubba drove his pickup across town to the military surplus depot and started hunting around for the parts. The grill was in great shape and it was the right grill for his year of Kenworth. The fuel tank and air cleaner were also in good shape. Maybe this truck hadn't been abused. The only thing Bubba wasn't too keen on was that all these parts were army green. But what the heck, they'd work fine on the truck. So Bubba bought the parts and loaded them in his pickup.

Bubba got the parts home and started to unload them. First the fuel tank and then the air cleaner. He had to call his neighbour and friend JR to help with the grill though. They pulled the grill out of the pickup bed and Bubba was a bit surprised to see that the Army green came off the edge of the grill to reveal some chrome. So JR and Bubba took the grill into the shop and started to buff the army green off the grill and brought back the the old chrome to a bit of a shine. I guess the army paint was on the chrome for too long because the shine wasn't the best, but it still looked better than before.

So Bubba and JR start working on the Kenworth. The first thing they do is install the grill. The work went fast and the truck already looked better. Next came the fuel tank and then the air cleaner. They both looked at the miss-matched stack and wondered what to do. The stack on the driver's side was long and straight to be just a bit higher that the box van. But this stack that Bubba just bought was much shorter and had a curve. Out of frustration Bubba replied, "Oh who cares, let's just put it on the truck. It'll just mean that the side of the box van will get a bit of diesel smoke on it."

Now the only things left were tires and oh yes the mud flap. The short mud flap that Bubba bought was meant for a low bumper or possible attached on fender behind the steer tires. But Bubba put it on the rear of the truck anyway. As Bubba was attaching it to the truck one of the mounting brackets broke, but Bubba didn't have any others in his stash, so he just let the mud flap hang.

Now to find some tires. Over the years Bubba had been keeping old tires from his previous trucks and trailers. Maybe he had enough in the back yard to put on this truck. JR and Bubba looked for quite a while and finally came up with eight tires. These tires would still hold air, but there sure wasn't much tread left on them. But maybe they'll work okay for the rear wheels. "Now what do we do for the front wheels?" Bubba thought. "I guess we'll just have to go and buy some new tires for the front wheels." Bubba did have a bit of money from his last job and that should be enough for the steer wheels. Besides it's a good idea to have good tires on the steer wheels.

Now that all the bits and pieces were installed the truck was looking really good. Bubba and JR washed the truck and was surprised at good the finish was on the cab. It' was looking really good.

Now we need to put my name on the truck. Bubba's friend Ken owed him a favor and so Bubba called Ken to make up some signage for the Kenworth. The signs were completed and delivered in a week and installed by Ken and now Bubba was ready for business.


During a recent trip to Oregon (October 2009) Hank was asked by Patrick Russell, president of the All American Toy Company, to build a "Bubba" truck. After a couple of days of deep thought and planning Hank came up with some ideas. With so many options it was really hard to come up with what type of truck to build. In the past there have been quite a few "Bubba" trucks produced. See the pictures here. But there has never been a three axle van truck built for "Bubba." So I guess this was the time to do it.

Hank Suderman Large Scale Trucks Hank Suderman Large Scale Trucks Hank Suderman Large Scale Trucks
Hank Suderman Large Scale Trucks Hank Suderman Large Scale Trucks Hank Suderman Large Scale Trucks
Hank Suderman Large Scale Trucks Hank Suderman Large Scale Trucks Hank Suderman Large Scale Trucks
Hank Suderman Large Scale Trucks Hank Suderman Large Scale Trucks Hank Suderman Large Scale Trucks
Hank Suderman Large Scale Trucks Hank Suderman Large Scale Trucks Hank Suderman Large Scale Trucks
Hank Suderman Large Scale Trucks Hank Suderman Large Scale Trucks


If you have any questions or comments on the Bubba truck please email Patrick Russell
E-Mail any comments to Hank Suderman
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