Video: Guy’s Crazy Builds Put *Mere* Diesel Swaps to Shame
He calls it therapy. We’re still trying to figure it out.
Big things can come from small places. Case in point: the small village of Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin, contains some of the baddest built-from-scratch diesel hot rods that we've come across. That's saying a lot, considering we've seen our fair share of diesel engine swaps—and even a handful of diesel motorcycles. The mastermind behind these truly custom builds is Walt Moss, owner of Walt Moss Trucking, Inc. In addition to handling his company's four dump trucks and ten semi trucks, Moss has a passion for creating and driving the snot out of his wild custom builds—five of which are highlighted below and can be seen in action.
Some have it, and some don't. To clarify, most don't. Walt Moss has it—it being the ability to visualize something completely unique that "needs" to be built and then see it through to completion. He says he approaches these custom builds with not much more than a general idea and vision of what they should be capable of and look like (no elaborate plans, no intricate renderings). Furthermore, he considers the process of setting a goal and getting a project finished to be good therapy, a way to escape all that other stuff of life. He confesses that he has help with some of the machined parts and professes that he's more of a craftsman than a high-end artisan, both of which indicate he's just dang humble about his "dirty diesel hot rods."
We won't ever make fun of a trike again. Walt Moss's motorcycle trike has to be one of the most unique diesel mashups out there. It scoots nicely thanks to its twin-turbo 3208 Caterpillar diesel powerplant mated to a six-speed Allison transmission. It has a Dana 80 in the rear. The radiator is located behind the two-person passenger seat. A super unique aspect is the rear canopy, which is actually a hood from a Kenworth semi-truck.
Diesel Hot Rod Thingamajig
You're not going to slap a year/make/model on this bad boy. It consists of a 1954 cab and 1960s-model sleeper suspended on a custom frame that sits close to earth thanks to front and rear air suspension. It's no trailer queen, either, thanks to its CAT C15 diesel engine, which makes 1,000 hp and 2,600 lb-ft of torque and is backed by a 13-speed transmission. Moss may—or may not—have seen 131 mph on his GPS.
Custom School Bus
Yes, Moss indeed transported his daughter and all her friends to prom in Madd Moss, a shortened 1959 custom school bus (dug out of a field two miles away from Moss) customized with a Peterbilt front clip that hides a 600-hp Cummins A3 diesel powerplant. It touts a custom frame, suspension, and ... everything.
Homemade Road Grader
Moss heavily modified an 81-year-old road grater that he had owned for 30 years, using its radiator, hood, and cab to create the most unique road grader imaginable. And yes, although not very wide, it still has a blade underneath. It's powered by a 3208 CAT out of a commercial snowblower, while the rear end and suspension originated from another truck. The custom front end is more than aesthetics, allowing room for the grader's hydraulic controls.
After eyeing multitudinous custom bike builds at bike rallies, Moss embarked on a creation of his own. Since wide rear tires were en vogue, Moss went even bigger by equipping the rear with a semi-truck tire. The downfall? He says it's a handful to push around—but he rides it, of course.