Big Rig: Custom Champs: 'Joke's on You' 389 - A Truck with a Storied Legacy

Daily Big Rig: Custom Champs – ‘Joke’s on You’ 389 – A Truck with a Storied Legacy

In the world of trucking, where each vehicle carries not only goods but also a driver’s dreams and aspirations, one particular truck has been stealing the spotlight in recent years. Custom Champs, ‘Joke’s on You’ 389, is no stranger to the limelight. This remarkable truck has a fascinating journey, and its story is one that reflects the passion and dedication of its owner, Hallahan Transport.

A Star on the Rise

In 2021, ‘Joke’s on You’ 389 burst onto the scene, capturing the hearts and attention of trucking enthusiasts and experts alike. It snagged the first-place prize in the Limited Mileage category at the virtual Pride & Polish competition. Not stopping there, it also clinched a well-deserved second-place award for its stunning interior design.

Fast forward to 2022, and ‘Joke’s on You’ 389 continued to shine. This time, it was the Overdrive readers who recognized its greatness, declaring it the winner in the Working Combo, 2012 & Newer category. The truck was paired with a 2022 Great Dane dry van, elegantly adorned with the Hallahan Transport insignia in matching colors to the tractor. Additionally, it secured a respectable third-place finish for its interior at the competition.

However, this remarkable truck was more than just a showpiece. In 2022, it logged approximately 65,000 miles while pulling a stainless steel spread-axle van. But as its owner, Hallahan, would tell you, ‘Joke’s on You’ 389 was primarily built to dazzle the crowd.

A Twist of Fate

Following its first-place win at the 2022 Shell Rotella SuperRigs in Branson, Missouri, tragedy struck. The driver piloting ‘Joke’s on You’ 389 was involved in a devastating accident with the beloved truck. In the wake of this unfortunate incident, Hallahan decided to take a new approach to insuring his prized possession—by simply parking it. Although he remains committed to maintaining his Hallahan Transport trucks in top-notch condition, he’s scaling back on lavish investments for them to become show trucks, just like ‘Joke’s on You’ 389.

The truck itself is a testament to craftsmanship and attention to detail. It features custom lighting both inside and out, with mesmerizing green interior lights and striking green underglow, making it an absolute head-turner at any truck show.

Chasing Dreams and Checking Boxes

Hallahan had a “bucket list” of accomplishments he aimed to achieve with ‘Joke’s on You’ 389 in 2022, and remarkably, he ticked off every single item. From winning the Shell Rotella competition to securing a spot in the Rockwood calendar, having a scale model of his truck made, and being chosen for a Cat Scale card, Hallahan achieved it all. The truck also managed to maintain its presence in the Pride & Polish competition, grabbing third place in the Interior category for the second year in a row.

However, it’s not all been smooth sailing on the business front for Hallahan Transport. Like many others in the industry, the company faced the challenges of a tough market. The fleet size has reduced from around a dozen trucks to just seven today. Owner-operators who couldn’t keep up with the changing times had to step away, and it’s been a period of adaptation for Hallahan Transport.

A Shift in Strategy

To navigate these rough waters, Hallahan has shifted his business towards hauling more reefer freight after years of specialization in dry vans. The name of the game is survival, and he’s making sure that every load he takes is worth the effort. While the profits might not be as abundant as before, the focus is on sustainability.

And as for ‘Joke’s on You’ 389, it’s getting a well-deserved break from the daily grind. In the new year, Hallahan plans to limit the truck’s activities to the show circuit, allowing it to continue capturing the imaginations of trucking enthusiasts and fans.

A Glimpse into the Future

Despite the slowdown and shifting market dynamics, Hallahan remains committed to his passion for building and maintaining trucks. He’s placed an order for a 2024 Kenworth W900, showing that his enthusiasm for trucking remains undiminished. As he aptly puts it, a truck is built to endure a million miles, even if it sits in his shop for a while. It’s an investment in the future, and Hallahan is determined to be ready when the market rebounds.

In conclusion, ‘Joke’s on You’ 389 is more than just a truck; it’s a symbol of dedication, passion, and resilience in the world of trucking. As Hallahan Transport adapts to the ever-changing industry, it’s trucks like these that remind us of the enduring spirit of truckers and the boundless possibilities that lie ahead. In 2023, the goal remains the same – to weather the storm of the current market and emerge as one of the carriers that triumph over adversity.

See more photos: Custom Rigs

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