The Best of Both Worlds
Flipping through the latest issue of Mud Life is a great way to take a break from a hard day’s work. Grab a cold beer, clear some space on the workbench, and read all about these crazy mud trucks and party buggies we see at the events. If you don’t have a truck and the hot woman and mega trucks don’t inspire you to jump on Craigslist to search for a cheap four-wheel-drive truck to build, you may be reading the wrong magazine. The insane parties that these off-road events turn into are some folks’ most anticipated vacations of the year. Once you make it to a real, hardcore mud fest filled with 10,000 wild and crazy weekend warriors, you will be hooked for life. That is exactly what happened to David Orcutt from Lake Whales, Florida, when his friends dragged him to one of the largest events in the country. Dave officially got that mud in his blood and there was no turning back.
Plastics manufacturing is what keeps Dave busy throughout the week, and burying his ’03 GMC C-6500 at the local mud hole on the weekends is what he does now for fun. Before designing this massive rig, he couldn’t decide on whether to build a buggy or a mega truck. After a few long meetings with his builder, Wendell Guy, he dropped off the completely stock GMC to Weasel Buggies and 4x4’s in Auburndale, Florida, for some major modifications.
The goal was to build a unique and performance-driven truck that could also carry as many passengers as a standard sized buggy. Wendell threw the truck on the lift and started unbolting the factory axles and suspension, and then he started grinding, torching, and welding. The frame was reinforced and an extremely solid cradle was fabricated using 1¼-inch DOM steel tubing. Custom laser-cut brackets were welded to the frame, cradle, and 2½-ton axlehousings to hold the 18-inch BigShock coilovers, four-link bars, and the gearbox hoop. The SCS transfer case mounting ring is easily removable if the six-speed Allison transmission ever needs servicing.
Once the welding was complete, Wendell rolled in the 2½-ton axles under the truck and bolted it all together. Pinion brakes were added with the new driveshafts for better braking and dependability. A set of really cool custom 12x26 Weasel wheels and tough 18.4x26 Firestone tractor tires will keep the rig rolling in style. Powering this beast is a ’02 7.2L diesel Caterpillar engine that will eat through anything in front of it while carrying plenty of hard-charging partiers on the back deck. A new deck on the rear of the Truggy replaced the old truck bed. Custom bench seats and aluminum railing were installed to keep Dave’s passengers comfortable and safe.
Since the rig has been built, Dave has wheeled it at some of the craziest events in the South, including Redneck Yacht Club, Triple Canopy Ranch, St. Lucie MudJam, and Okeechobee MudFest. He has had little to no problems with the truck, but he has snapped a few 2½-ton axleshafts, so he is starting to plan the installation of 5-ton axle.
Dave is totally into his new passion now and would like to thanks his wife for all the support. The Truggy is a very cool and unique rig that Dave is very proud of. If you see him wheeling at events, make sure you say hello.
2003 GMC C-6500
Owner: David Orcutt, Lake Whales, FL
Engine: 2002 Caterpillar, 7.2L diesel
Transmission: 6-speed Allison
Transfer Case: SCS Gearbox
Suspension: Cradle and 4-link
Axles: 2½-ton military Rockwells
Shocks: 18-inch BigShock coilovers
Tires & Wheels: 12x26 Weasel 4x4s