Best iron awarded at B.C. Big Rig Weekend

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CHILLIWACK, B.C. — A little bit of rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the proud owners of more than 100 trucks featured at this year’s B.C. Big Rig weekend held here July 5-6.

The B.C. Big Rig weekend, held at Chilliwack’s Heritage Park and operated by Pro Trucker magazine, was considered a resounding success, with more than 70 trophies awarded.

Chicky Drouillard, of Drouillard Trucking, was the top winner for his blue 1987 Peterbilt 379 EXH. The owner/operator from Kelowna, won first prize for best paint, first prize for truck/trailer combo, as well as best-in show (Canada), for a working truck as well as the Dale Feechuck memorial trophy. The Dale Feechuck memorial award is dedicated to a custom truck aficionado, who is now deceased, and the original inspiration behind the Big Rig Weekend: A Trucker’s Dream.

Drouillard, who has owned the truck for six years, says he’s done many conversions: with a custom sleeper; a custom hydraulic system; and upgrades to parts and the interior.

The 1987 truck went up against much newer models, which provided a close match says Drouillard, considering its age and substantial mileage at 1,762,000 km. The truck is a restorative tribute to the original design, or “old school,” according to the owner.

“It’s looking like it just came out of the factory, within the last year or so,” added Drouillard, who worked the truck when it was brand new, and his offer-to-bid was granted by special invitation from the original owner, another badge-of-honour for a truck the owner is passionate about.

“It’s awesome,” says Drouillard, who hauls course sand and gravel for golf course development, and an Okanagan nursery. “It’s got a 425 Cat – it pulls like a bear.”

Dave Carrie also won a slew of awards for his non-working 1968 burgundy and chrome Kenworth W900A hook truck, with best-in-show (Canada), as well as first place for show truck, and first for best engine. The truck also earned two second place trophies for best interior and best paint.

While the Coquitlam independent owner/operator couldn’t attend the Chilliwack event, instead associate Rick Rolls of North-Lang Diesel picked up the haul of trophies for his client. It was a fitting gesture for a Langley mechanic who shared the same pride in this collaborative project.

“It feels pretty good,” said Rolls, who admits that business was buzzing since the show, with many queries from other truckers, about pricing. “It makes a guy feel pretty good, after slugging away on it for three years,” he adds.

The Kenworth’s custom conversion is a “shrunk-down” version of its former image, which had a full-sized hood, which has “all been shaved down” and put on a smaller chassis, going from a pick-up chassis, to a 3-tonne chassis.

The People’s Choice award went to Ron Ruddick for his 2004 green Peterbilt 357 working gravel truck. He also won best lights for gravel and best-in show for gravel, all a big a surprise for the Mission trucker.

“I was pretty surprised,” he said. “That People’s Choice is quite an award to win. They all are. They are all equally import. To have the public approve, it’s really something

The best-in-show (US) award went to Joe Cramer of Bellingham, Washington, for his 1951 burgundy GMC 950 flatbed. The B.C. Big Rig Weekend is sponsored by Pro Trucker magazine, and is promoted as the only Canadian show’n’shine that has a US award category.

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