Lil Big Rigs: Mechanic Gives Pickup Trucks An Eighteen-Wheeler MakeoverOn September 10, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
BOB SUFFERN: We build miniaturised big rigs. They look like a big rig but they’re the
size of a pickup. JESSICA FREEMAN: It’s awesome. BOB SUFFERN: It’s fantastic! We just love to come here. DAWN LASHLEY: Every day it’s something new. JESSICA FREEMAN: It’s definitely a job that we don’t mind getting up in the morning and coming to everyday. DAWN LASHLEY: It’s a job where you have to go home and take a bath after, right when you get off. COMM: Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Bob Suffern and his all female team build little big rigs. Customisation kits designed to transform your pickup truck. BOB SUFFERN: When you’re driving around in a rig, it feels like you’re showing off,
which is virtually what you’re doing. We get swamped, we get mobbed by people. You can’t even go to the gas station without getting a reaction, a lot of people coming around, asking you questions. MAN: It’s giving me the chills, it’s everything they said it was. I don’t know if I can say it in person, but my nipples got hard. COMM: Bob, originally from Melbourne, Australia, came up with the idea in 1999, and has been
selling the kits since 2003. BOB SUFFERN: Well originally, I’d been a street rider, bike rider most of my life. I decided I want to build another street ride. When I was thinking about what I’d build, I thought I’d come up with something a little different, I decided to build a big rig lookalike. COMM: As well as the kits, they do build one or two fully finished turnkey trucks a year. BOB SUFFERN: We build the kit in approximately 8 to 10 weeks, for the customer to build a
truck would take approximately four to five hundred hours. The Basic kits start at $12,950.
There’s a lot of options and accessories you can purchase and the total kit would be
approximately $27,500, somewhere in that range. As far as a complete truck, they might start somewhere around $65,000 and run all the way up to $80,000. COMM: Perhaps unusually for a truck customisation business, Bob’s workforce is all female. BOB SUFFERN: I was working on my own, and my daughter Jessica came along and asked me
if she could come work with me, and I said ‘sure’. Over the last 8 years, I’ve
taught her and showed her what I want done and how to do it, she’s turned out to be
an excellent body work person and mechanic. After training her for some time, then she
asked some of her friends to come. They’ve been training and doing an excellent job.
I find that using females for fiberglass work and bodywork, they put a lot more in to it
and they’re more meticulous about what they do. DAWN LASHLEY: Yeah, and we’re cute! BOB SUFFERN: Oh, and they’re cute. Good looking, and intelligent, and sexy as hell. FRANCES CLINARD: Jessica would be more specialised in the bodywork and the mechanic part, like
she’s her dad’s right hand man. And then me and Dawn over here, we’re better with
the fabrications like. JESSICA FREEMAN: It’s a lot fun. Definitely a unique experience. The ‘wow’ factor that we’re all females and we can do this from scratch, it amazes and surprises a lot