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Stoeser Service Truck - Top Shop

Like the land they farm and ranch, the Stoesers' service truck is stretched out for work. The family created this super shop-on-wheels from a used 1995 Freightliner FLD-120. Its frame extends to accommodate a 16-foot-long service box, hydraulic crane, and 1,000-gallon tank. From episode #505 of the Machinery Show.

-I've been crisscrossing the countryside looking at shops and service trucks world now for almost 30 years and one of the best that I've ever seen can be found at the Stoesers Triple S Ranch at Hayes, South Dakota. A.J. Stoeser, I'm talking with you today about this truck your family came up with. And I've only seen one other service truck that was a semi. It had actually won the top shop contest the last time we did it, about 8, 9 years ago. You won this year's Top Shops Best Service Truck Category. You gotta tell me about this truck. Where did you come up with the idea of using the semi? -[unk] has used pickups for our service vehicles and, you know, the fuel tanks, tool boxes, dadada. They just didn't hold up. -Yeah. -And so-- then we decided-- we found a 2-ton Chevy with the service body in it-- -Daddy. -that worked all right but we didn't have the capacity we wanted. We couldn't carry our fuel and all of our tools and everything. So, we decided to build on out of a semi, just for the affordability. Seems I can get a lot more truck for your dollar, going with the used-semi, than a-- like a business class truck. -Let's start out with the front of the truck. We'll kinda take a little tour of it here. The sleeper, you didn't take it off. -No. It was attached to the cab. So, we left it on there. It's a place to haul everybody to the field or whatever, if we need, and underneath the bunk is room for some of the bulkier parts, belts-- -Right. -and stuff for the combines. Then we keep our surface manuals and stuff above the bunk in a compartment up there. -Yeah. The Stoesers located a custom built 1,000-gallon fuel tank behind the semi sleeper compartment. Fuel and grease reels reside in a compartment underneath the tank. Behind the fuel tank is mounted a Lincoln Electric Ranger Welder generator unit, which supplies power and welding capability to the truck. Then you have some supplies further back from the reels. That's just general lubricants or supplies like that? -Yeah. Like your, you know, starting fluid, WD-40, make a gasket-- that type of thing. -Most of the trucks hand and pneumatic tools reside in a cabinet at the left hand corner of the truck. Homemade and heavy-duty pull-out drawers provide a wealth of storage for a shop full of tools in this cabinet. How do you use the center well, is that mostly just for stuff that's temporary, that you put back in there? -Pretty much, yeah. We got a-- up towards the front, we have storage for some of the odd oil, you know, transmission fluid, gear lube. -Right. -Some of the stuff you don't use so often. And we got a trash can in there and iron bucket. -The Stoesers made use of that cavity beneath the bed, between the tailgate and the bumper to create a massive pull-out drawer that holds a rack of fasteners. Let's just walk from the back, along with the right-hand side, then what do you have starting the back then? -The rear compartment, we've got the bigger tools, like the gear pullers, the 3-quarter and 1-inch drive sockets and impact wrenches. Then the one above that is-- above the back wheel and we got-- we have a microwave in there. -Really? -Pretty handy at the harvest time or whatever. -You're not using it to work-- -[unk] a cold-- make sandwiches-- -No kidding. You actually have an outboard kitchen there. -Yeah. -Okay. Then the other compartments, what are in that? -The one above the-- in front of that, it's got assortment boxes, like cutter keys, roll pins-- -Oh, simple. Yeah. -that sort of thing. Yeah. -Right. Now, are we done with compartments then on that side or-- -No, there's-- -is there some other [unk]? -Two more on that side. The next one is a tall compartment, and that's-- we use for a part storage, -Oh. -filters, bearings you know. We change it up from harvest to hay season. We kinda clean it out and put our parts in for the next season. -Oh, that's where the seasonal parts go. -Yeah. -Okay. -And then, in front of that, we have, for order, like our longer hoses, you know, 'cause they are-- our air hose really isn't long enough. We have another longer hose we can hook up to that. -Okay. -Longer welding leads, our booster-cable leads. -One of the most valuable tools on the truck is this jib crane. That crane is a located between the fuel tank and a service body. The Stoesers positioned the crane in this location for operational stability and to more evenly distribute its weight on the truck frame. Did you ever figure out what you put in to the truck? -Yeah. We've put some rough figures together. And we got less in this than a new duty pickup, for sure. -Oh no, kidding. Oh, that is-- -Not counting my time. -You know, one challenge with the compartment boxes on service trucks is-- well, when they're new, that gaskets are good at keeping out dust and chaff and other things from the boxes, but with time, they have a tendency to fail. And then guess what you have, dust showing up in your parts and tools. Well, the Stoesers came up with a unique idea. Yes, they have gaskets on their doors but they also run a centrifugal fan on each side of the truck that charges all the compartments with air, pressurizing them, keeping the dust and chaff out when they're going down the road or they're in the field. Hey, that's a great idea from a championship truck. I'll see you again next week on the Top Shop Tour.