A New England dump combo with the looks to kill
By Bruce W. Smith
A new association can join the ranks of more morbid widow makers, albeit for another reason: it’s a custom rig with killer looks.
At least that’s how Todd and Beth Roccapriore see their newest creation in the Clean Slate Environmental fleet – their aptly named 2004 Peterbilt 379 EXHD, Widow Maker.
“The whole name and design of the truck came from the shape of the windshield glass, which is angled to look like some mean eyes coming toward you on the highway,” explains Beth, who owns the Hebron, Conn., hazardous waste transporter. “The whole truck is designed to show its bad attitude.”
And show it does. Widow Maker won Best of Show Working Combo, Best Interior — Cab Only, Custom Paint – Combo and Lights — Combo at the Wildwood 75 Chrome Shop Pride & Polish show in April 2010, where it was entered by Denis Chupron, the driver who helped create the beast.
The striking House of Kolor lime green and black Pete, pulling a matching custom dump, also won Best in Show, Best Interior, Best Theme, Best Chrome, Best Lights and Best Engine categories at the 2010 Shell/Rotella SuperRigs.
The Roccapriores, along with Chupron, designed, fabricated and painted the Pete in their shop. Time put in over the winter on the job included long hours fabricating custom parts, from mirrors to speaker
enclosures, shaving the frame of bolts, building shorter, strapless fuel and air tanks, suiciding doors, shaving door handles and customizing the fenders, all using in-house shears, breaks, lathes, rollers and welders.
They installed the “Widow Maker” windshield glass and an eight-inch exhaust system topped with Outlaw Custom’s’ “Widow Maker” stacks, slipped on a custom grille above the tilt front bumper, made custom side skirts and slid on a pair of Maltese-cross motorcycle headlights with matching turn signal indicators.
Inside, the Widow Maker is even more impressive — especially at night. The interior is as plush as a fine cocktail lounge, complete with four color-matched, custom-upholstered Qualitex seats, a billet steering column, a steering wheel featuring a spider-web-and-Maltese-cross design, custom dash and stainless floor. Brass knuckle door handles top off the truck’s interior flare.
Step into the flat-top sleeper and it’s even more fun. There’s a brass stripper pole running from floor to ceiling between the bucket seats (they say it’s fully operational) and speakers mounted ceiling to floor.
In fact, musical entertainment on the road and at the jobsites comes from 64 speakers positioned in cab and sleeper — all in custom enclosures and powered by 6,300 watts pumping from the Fusion Electronics sound system. (Every inch beneath the upholstered cab and sleeper walls is covered in sound deadening material.) There’s even a pair of DVD players in case video is on the menu.
And for setting the mood, red LED lights are hidden around the interior of both cab and sleeper. Todd loves his lights:at last count there are more than 400 Trux Stealth LEDs on the truck and matching 2010 Mac frameless trailer.
Under the hood, the 1000-hp Cat 3406E sports a custom turbo, hand-fabricated intake, chrome trim and stainless braided hoses. The block and radiator are painted to match the exterior theme.
The Mac dump is just as custom: It features Maltese-cross landing gear, custom bulkheads, painted and pinstriped belly panels, custom-cut full fenders attached to the lift axle, hidden light wiring and a custom tailplate.
The kicker? Widow Maker is a fully functional working rig. The Pete hauls contaminated soil every day in and out of nasty landfills and construction sites in New England. When equipment operators and fellow truckers see Chupron roll in their eyes are glued to what he’s driving.
Henceit’s the rig’s foreboding name: Widow Maker.
Why did the Roccapriore’s build such a custom working rig? “We just love to build trucks; plain and simple.” Beth says.
Owner: Todd & Beth Roccapriore / Clean Slate Environmental, Hebron, Conn.
Model: 2004 Peterbilt 379 EXHD
Engine: 1,000-hp Caterpillar 3406E
Transmission: Eaton Fuller 18-speed
Exterior mods: Suicide doors; shaved door handles; custom visor; tilt bumper; air suspension; custom mirrors/brackets; motorcycle headlights/turn signals; stepped-out back sleeper panel; shortened and strapless fuel tanks, strapless air tanks/air cleaners; boltless frame rails; custom tailplate; custom “Widow Maker” windshield glass; Lifetime Products name plate; custom cab/sleeper skirts; motorcycle pip on fuel tanks; air-actuated hood release; customize Mac dump trailer.
Interior mods: Custom dash; Qualitex bucket seats; 6,300-watt Fusion Electronics sound system with 64 speakers in custom enclosures; sound deadening; brass stripper pole, iPod docking station; twin DVD players.