Randy Roth

In October 2023, Overseas, Just Truckn Around4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineNovember 27, 2023

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While touring the Pacific Northwest of the United States recently, Carl Kirkbeck caught up with Randy Roth in Cle Elum, just east of Snoqualmie Pass on the I90 in Washington State. Randy was prepping his 2018 Peterbilt for his run back home to Minnesota, the best part of 2400km east.

Randy was fascinated and full of questions regarding our way of doing things in New Zealand, mainly because we have so many cabover trucks.

“When I was a kid, I grew up in the passenger’s seat of the cabover K-model Kenworth bullpen my dad drove. I was just the right size to fit through the gaps behind Dad and close the gates,” explains Randy with a chuckle.

“At 18, I was into it and haven’t looked back. My first truck was a K-model as well – a great truck; I really enjoyed driving that one.”

Randy’s custom-built 2018 Peterbilt 389 glider kit, complete with a big Cat under the hood.
 Now 62, Randy still enjoys life on the road as much as he did back then. “The Peterbilt I have now is a glider kit that I had built to my specs. It is running a 3406 2WS Caterpillar with 18-speed Roadranger and 3:55 rears, so yeah, she goes real well. I went with blue this time because the 2009 I had before this was bright orange and was way too easily seen. This one is a little more stealth,” he says.

“I am not too sure about the new 589 Peterbilt with the bigger, newer cab. I reckon I will keep this one for a while now. I just finished paying it off two months ago. It’s nice having that extra money in the back pocket – especially when the wife likes an open cheque book!” laughs Randy.

“We have a lot of problems over here with the laws and regulations that govern our weights and axle loadings on our rigs. They say we are the United States of America, but in reality, we are more like 48 individual countries when it comes to the rules and regulations that govern trucking. You have to be real careful when going from state to state – you’ve gotta know your stuff, or you can get into all kinds of trouble with the law.”

Randy runs for Allen Henderschiedt Trucking out of Worthington, Minnesota, which he says is a good outfit to work with.

Randy’s trucking career began in a cabover. His first truck was this cool flat-roof K-model Kenworth.

“My regular run brings me west through to Seattle with produce, and then I reload for home. It is 1500 miles (2400km) from Worthington to Seattle, and the last 50 miles (80km) across the Snoqualmie Pass can be the bitchiest in the winter months, that’s for sure. The winter is definitely a hazard up here in the north, but wildlife is also a big problem. I only just recently fitted the moose bar to the Pete, and then not two weeks ago, I hit a deer square in the middle of the bar. Thank goodness the bar was there because that would have definitely put me off the road.”

The obvious vexing question for Randy was, ‘Cabover or conventional?’ to which he replied, “Oh, that is a tough one, as I still like my cabovers, but yeah, I have to say having the big hood out the front is the way to go.”

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