March '13

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Editorial Truckin' along Alan Farb Editor Restyling wants to hear from you! We know you have ideas, opinions, photos and information about vehicles you've restyled to make better, better looking and a better work, play or everyday-commuter car or truck. So, tell us about yourself, your work and the vehicles you've transformed. You could find yourself and your company within the pages of Restyling! It's easy. – Just send your information, comments, ideas and/or high-resolution photos to We'll look for you. 4 Restyling | March 2013 RE-March-2013.indd 4 Those good, old work truck days weren't necessarily all that good … they were just old. Back in my construction days, when for 10 years I hauled around to the various parts of my job sites iron pipe, galvanized steel pipe, copper pipe, ABS or PVC pipe, plus all the hundreds of pounds of ladders, shovels, power cords, hoses, buckets of fittings, and heavy-duty mechanical and hand tools (yep, I was a construction plumber and crew supervisor), the abuse my trucks took, in retrospect, was akin to being a decidedly neglectful and willful kid who didn't take care of his best toys. Aftermarket necessities? What was that? No bed protection. Racks barely sufficient to withstand the load. Heavy-duty suspension … forget that; the trucks just sagged under the load's weight. Working mirrors on both sides were unusual. You could have any kind of tonneau as long as it was a snap-on, which often you struggled with, eventually opting to not bother using it at all (except as a loose tarp) — just let the rain and snow collect in the bed where they may. Truck toolboxes actually proved to be the best investments; they were well made — and many made by companies still around today. Only the big boss (not me) might have running boards because those on the jobsite's work trucks generally became severely bent, crimped and rusted though, and were removed. Backup assistance? The substantial jolts and noisy clangs inflicted on the increasingly damaged bumpers and tailgates provided the physical and audible warnings that the driver had backed up, yet again, too far. So, the work trucks back in the day were worked to death. And what few aftermarket items that we had (usually just those aforementioned racks) didn't fare well under the work's load. Maybe if we had had better and, certainly, more aftermarket products designed for our work — and tough enough to withstand the abuse we apparently dished out — the big boss (aka, the owner) would have invested in those items that would have served our jobsite needs and made the daily chores easier. Maybe, too, we might have treated our truck partners a little better — after all, we couldn't handle our jobs if our trucks couldn't handle theirs. Work trucks today still receive the same abuse of yesteryear handed out to them from men and women tossing, dropping, bashing, banging, sliding, whacking, slamming and just plain battering all manner of their implements of mass construction into and onto them. No doubt, trucks are better built and more reliable than 25-30 years ago. And no doubt that the so-many aftermarket truck products available today are, pretty much, top-shelf items, sturdy and worthy enough to withstand the elements of Mother Nature and the likes of tradespeople. Even more so, aftermarket truck add-ons, in many cases, have been designed specifically to be tools themselves that help make the toil of the trades easier, even ergonomically helpful: Ladder racks, wheel-to-wheel running boards and under-bed steps that help folks get to the ladders. Strong and adjustable overhead racks that handle — and manage — the loads laded on them. Tonneaus, toppers and caps that organize and protect tools and materials of the trades. Bedliners that lessen the ill-treatment from items thrown into the truck bed. Sliding cargo units (man, those would have been helpful). Toolboxes that work with tonneaus, and vice versa. Backup cameras (think of those saved bumpers and tailgates). Even cab floor mats and wheel-well mud guards. A good snowplow on the front of the truck, too, helps get your materials right up to the jobsite after a winter storm moves on. And the list of work truck add-ons goes on. My crews and I would have been so much more productive had we had then what the work truck aftermarket offers today. Maybe those good, old work truck days that tomorrow's tradespeople will talk about in the years to come will recall just how today's properly outfitted trucks made their jobsite lives so much better. That's the way to work it. 2/8/13 8:19 AM

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