Pennsylvania contractor wins loaded Ford F-350.

A.R.E. Inc., Massillon, Ohio, a leading manufacturer of fiberglass truck caps and tonneau covers for pickup trucks, awarded its “Site Commander” Ford F-350 project vehicle to Steve Simkins, a commercial glazer from Erie, Pa.

Simkins was the grand prize winner in a sweepstakes drawing co-sponsored by A.R.E. and Hanley-Woods' Tools of the Trade magazine. His name was picked from among the more than 137,000 online and mailed entries in the yearlong sweepstakes.

A.R.E. and Hanley-Woods built the Site Commander as “the ultimate work truck,” according to Gene McBroom, marketing manager, A.R.E. Loaded with more than $35,000 worth of Porter-Cable/Delta Machinery tools and automotive aftermarket accessories, the truck debuted to the building industry at the February 2001 National Home Builders Show in Atlanta, Ga. Afterward it debuted to the aftermarket industry at the February 2001 Truck Cap and Accessory Alliance (TCAA) expo in Nashville, Tenn. and then spent the year on an extensive tour of more than 70 cities, eight major trade shows and hundreds of tool stores and jobsites across the country. The Site Commander completed its tour at the November 2001 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) automotive aftermarket show in Las Vegas, Nev. The truck also attracted the attention of thousands of visitors to its own website, as well as A.R.E.'s website, where it was prominently featured.

Based on a Ford F-350 Lariat LE 4x4 four-door dual wheel pickup, the truck was built to accommodate a typical framing crew. The transformation began with the addition of A.R.E.'s DCU commercial aluminum truck cap. Accessories include an on-board compressor and generator, with accompanying power cords and pneumatic lines, which allow the crew to reach a jobsite and power up for the day from one vehicle with the least amount of time spent on setting up.

Additional exterior features include: an engine-driven AC inverter, Xtender-Drawer roll-out truck bed and custom steel sawhorse brackets that extend from the sides of the bed for any cutting chores. Above the cap, the team added four radio-remote controlled lights from Go-Light, as well as a Cross Tread rack system for ladders, a Tyron “run flat” system, TJM tubular front brush-guard, Mile Marker winch, Hamsar Diversco HDI off-road running lights and rear backup camera to complete the exterior modifications.

Inside, the truck is a state-of-the-art mobile office, with accommodations for a laptop computer station and telephone system, navigation system as well as AudioVox mobile audio equipment.

The Site Commander II, which will debut at the 2002 National Home Builders Show in February, is currently being built.