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July 14, 2011

Heavy-Truck Glider Kits

Heavy-truck glider kits used to be popular when the truck manufacturers offered them. Some truck owners would go to extraordinary lengths to “build” their own trucks so they could get the specs they preferred. Bill Signs Trucking comes to mind. This heavy-haul outfit used to assemble fire-breathin’ Peterbilts like Pappa Clyde, a V8 Cat-powered truck that, back in the day, was opened up to win the 1,000-hp challenge on the Hawthorn Caterpillar rolling-road dynamometer.
In those days, a glider was a fully assembled cab and chassis, hood and radiator with front suspension and steering. You brought the drive axles, engine, transmission and driveline to the party and screwed it all together.

Now, the companies that still offer gliders – Peterbilt and Freightliner, are more likely to offer a rolling glider, one with the new drive axles so the glider can be delivered decked with other trucks.

One company that has made gliders a good business is Fitzgerald Glider Kits of Crossville, Tenn. They offer Freightliner Coronado or Columbia chassis with remanufactured Detroit Diesel Series 60 engines and remanufactured Eaton transmissions, building the truck for you. The big plus is that you save on the new price and pay no FET, so it works out at around 25% less than purchasing a new truck. And many would argue that the Series 60 is a rugged engine, untrammeled by all the latest emissions equipment and all the more reliable because of it.

If you want to know a lot more, go to Fitzgerald’s website at Or here’s a neat alternative: Go to Motorhead Garage and view a video that shows them are actually putting together a glider in Fitzgerald’s shop. Go to and the first listed show, #114, has a link to the show.

It’ll take a minute or two to load as it is a huge file, but it is well worth the wait.


  1. I am looking for a Kw glider, but regional Kw seller states that they have some fiber content optic design electrical wiring in cab now that mature engines can't convey with.

    HGV Training

  2. Thanks for sharing about Heavy Hauling Glider Kits. I learn a lot on this, I have also a plan to build this kind of industry of heavy hauling.

    Heavy Hauling Trucks