classic fleet - Work Trucks Still In Service

Litzenburger Landscape does the job with a fleet of classic work trucks

Steve Warner
Aug 14, 2013
Gow Litzenburger got into landscaping at an early age, working on the grounds of cottages owned by out-of-towners. Gow lived in Harbor Springs, a resort town on Little Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan in the northern part of the state. In high school, Litzenburger restored a '39 Chevy pickup that was owned by his best friend's dad. That turned out to be the first of many.
After graduating from Michigan State University, Litzenburger started a landscaping business. With a phonebook full of landscaping businesses, he realized he needed something to make his business stand out. Antique trucks were the idea he came up with, and boy did he run with it! The fleet (at last count) includes 31 restored trucks (with 29 of them being Chevy or GMC trucks). “We have trucks representing every decade, from the '30s to the '90s, and representing many different body styles,” Litzenburger said in an interview with Stormy Wylie, editor at American Truck Historical Society. Every truck is painted in the same color scheme with DuPont paint.
Litzenburger body man Jeremiah Bennett and mechanics Roger Gregory, Sean Rafertey, and Darryl Grosse work on restoring trucks during the winter. Last we heard, they were working on a '53 GMC fire truck. While most fleet companies number their trucks, Litzenburger gives each truck a name (like Pinocchio, Pixie, or Coyote). Company landscape designer Dennis Wood creates a cartoon image for each truck, and it's painted on the front fenders.
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The trucks have modern running gear (like power steering), and most use a fuel-injected GM crate engine and automatic transmission.
Of course, no amount of cool trucks will make a company successful, so Litzenburger has made sure that just as much attention to detail goes into every landscape and maintenance job. The crews are proud of their work, and it shows.
The Fleet
'34 Chevy 1-ton stakebed (Pixie)
'38 Chevy 1-ton utility (Buck Rogers)
'39 Chevy 1-ton (Mule)
'46 Chevy 1-ton stakebed (Wooly Mammoth)
'46 Chevy 1-ton utility (Chuck Williams)
'46 Mack LJ
'49 Chevy 1-ton (Yosemite)
'49 GMC 2-ton long nose (Pinocchio)
'51 Chevy 1-ton stakebed (Penguin)
'52 GMC fat cab
'53 Mack Model A 1-ton (Flora)
'56 Chevy 1-ton utility (Cameron)
'56 GMC 2-ton stakebed (Tee Dee)
'59 Chevy 1-ton utility (Sebastian)
'60 Chevy 1-ton utility (Elephant)
'61 Chevy 1-ton utility (Buck-A-Roo)
'65 Mack 2-ton stakebed (Bulldog)
'66 Chevy 1-ton utility (Leprechaun)
'69 GMC 1-ton stakebed (Coyote)
'70 Chevy 1-ton stakebed (Peanut)
'71 Chevy 1-ton stakebed (Humpty Dumpty)
'72 Chevy 1-ton stakebed (Tasmanian)
'72 Chevy 1-ton utility (Cactus)
'72 GMC 1-ton stakebed (Tom Cat)
'72 GMC 2-ton stakebed (Lady Liberty)
'74 GMC 2-ton stakebed (Bugs Bunny)
'76 GMC 2-ton stakebed (Red Ant)
'84 Chevy C-30 utility (Beaver)
'85 Chevy S-10 utility (Wiener Dog)
"At last count, there were 31 trucks in the fleet, with 29 of them being either Chevy or GMC."

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