21 Baddest Custom Semi Trucks on Earth


At number 25, this custom semi is all about the engine. Gear heads behold. What you’re seeing is a V-24-71 Detroit Diesel, and it’s one of the largest semi truck engines ever made. This monster was created and developed by the automotive visionary Mike Harrah of Caribou Industries Inc. out of southern California. He dubbed this the “Big Mike” engine and true to the name, everything about this sucker is BIG.

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The specs go something like this: 24 cylinders, 12 superchargers, 12 – 871 blowers, 36 butterflies and rated over 3000 hp. In other words, this isn’t your everyday custom engine. In this instance, the engine came first and the truck came second. So the questions remained, what does one do with an engine of this magnitude? Mike’s answer was to add an Allison transmission and place it all inside a seriously custom 359 Peterbilt with a 40ft long chassis. We know what you’re thinking – this thing couldn’t be hitting the road, and you would be correct. The turning radius alone would pose major issues. This is a show truck for sure, but custom builder enthusiasts will appreciate the ingenuity, time, and sheer level of mechanic skill required to pull something like this off.

This custom semi, as you may have guessed, is named “Danger” and it certainly looks like a truck you wouldn’t want to mess with.

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It is a 1997 Peterbilt EXHD and the custom features on this bad boy will have you drooling. It was built from the ground up by Alex Garcia and his team at A&A Stainless Steel Plus in Miami, Fl. His shop specializes in high end, high quality stainless parts, but every once in a while they’ll build a fully custom truck from top to bottom. Because building custom big rigs is no big deal, right? I’m kidding, of course, but these guys make it look easy. So, let’s get to the fun stuff – what is this truck packin’? Well, in the cab you’ve got the things you might expect on a rig of this calibre – i.e. custom sound system, custom seats, power windows etc. But you’ve also got some very unique additions such as suicide style doors in the back, gulf wing doors in the front, and custom wood flooring. Under the hood you’ve got a completely rebuilt 550 hp Caterpiller engine connected to an 18 speed transmission. The custom built bumper and grill top it off to make a seriously cool custom semi truck. In 2014, it was listed for sale on Ebay for over $150,000. The listing has since been removed, so keep your eyes peeled for “Danger” in a city near you.

The “Cowboy Limousine” is what happens when you mix a limo, a semi truck, and a guy willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his vision.

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Jeff Botelho and his team are known for creating unique and exciting custom trucks and the limo truck is no exception. The concept was created by both Jeff and the eventual owner of the truck, Jerad Wittwer, through a series of events that started off as a much less extreme build. At some point they found themselves with a 2002 Peterbilt that no longer needed the element of utility and the creative juices began to flow. They were free to create a one of a kind big rig, and it would go on to compete in the Big-Rig Build Off. This competition is held annually in Louisville, KY and although it didn’t take home the top prize, we think what they pulled off deserves a lot of recognition. As mentioned before, they started with a pretty standard 2002 Peterbilt but all that quickly changed and the word standard would never be connected with this truck again. The frame was stretched another 30ft (the cab alone is 15ft), the square doors were all custom made, the original Cat C-15 engine was souped up to a C-16 with 2000hp, and the meticulous paint job complete with Jeff’s signature flames all came together to create a truly one of a kind masterpiece. We know one thing for sure; we would love to take this limo out for a night on the town.

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Up next is a different kind of custom semi truck. This truck doesn’t have a huge engine with incredible horsepower or a crazy paint job, but it does have some pretty impressive features that we think you’ll be interested to hear about.

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This is the WAVE Concept Semi Trailer and as you may have guessed, it was created by Walmart. WAVE stands for Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience and it’s Walmart’s answer to increasing efficiency and decreasing emissions. What we’re really interested in here, though, is what allows for this sleek design and what’s going on under the hood. It’s not often that you hear the words semi truck and hybrid in the same sentence, but the WAVE concept is just that. It uses a Capstone Turbine engine which is coupled with an electrical powertrain. What’s the deal with a Capstone Turbine engine? Well, it works by using foil bearings which in turn creates a fluid free and essentially maintenance free single moving part and that is good for increased efficiency. It’s also what allows the WAVE to have that sleek, futuristic look as the powertrain is located entirely under the cab. This way the front end can be designed without having to adhere to the restrictions of a large internal combustion engine. The result is a highly aerodynamic design with a huge front driver’s window allowing for greater visibility of the road around them. Now I’m not sure any truck driver would argue against that!

A rat-rod is defined as a custom car or hot rod that resembles old school hot rods from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s.

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Well, if that was what this guy was going for, I think he hit the nail on the head! This mashup of hot rod and old school semi truck creates a really cool and unique truck that looks like it could smoke just about anyone on the road. I wasn’t able to find too much information on this ride, but here’s what we do know: it’s a 1967 White 9500 TD Semi Rat Rod and the owner is Kevin Michael of Four X Fabrication. Under the hood it’s packing a 1985 Cummins NTC-475 with two compound turbos and 730 horsepower. Surprisingly enough, Kevin says this baby gets 15mpg “when driven smartly”. But, let’s be honest, he didn’t create this car to drive “smartly” and he says it gets driven everyday. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I would love to see what this rod can do with the pedal to the metal. But, until then, let’s all just be thankful that the 9500 TD Semi Rat Rod exists and he didn’t keep it all to himself.

We all know Bangkok for being a hilariously crazy place from seeing The Hangover Part 2, but did you also know that they have crazy decorated semi trucks there?

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It turns out, their buses and transport trucks are decorated like the clowns of the road! These wild big rigs have insane paint jobs, and incorporate as many colors as possible into their look. This particular Isuzu has almost a neon 70’s psychedelic vibe to it, with a tie dye paint job. Apparently, they also love the Michelin Man in Bangkok, because he is accessorized all over this truck! It seems that these accessories are definitely more for fun than function – because all of the additional mirrors and lights don’t seem to serve an actual purpose here. Although these big rigs are not the most fuel efficient, they are vital for transporting goods in such a busy city in Thailand. Isuzu’s in particular help drive up productivity at a great cost. This is an N-Series gasoline powered truck, with improved fuel economy compared to other big rigs. With over 8 million people in Bangkok, these colorful semi trucks are bound to stand out among the more boring cars on the road.

This truck has got a name to match its attitude! Crafted from a 1960 Peterbilt semi-truck model 351, Piss’d Off Pete reached celebrity status when he was sold to talk show host Jay Leno.

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This hot rod is crazy loud, reaching around 140 decibels in a flat out scream. Piss’d Off Pete is truly custom and took around 3,000 hours to build! Pete has tons of special features, including airplane like riveted doors, aluminum bomber seats, and a ’38 rear view mirror from Bob Drake. To make Pete, the top was chopped off the 1960 Peterbilt, and the cab was re-done with new aluminum. Each cylinder is 71 cubic inches and has two superchargers on its two cycle diesel motor. The engine is coming in hot with an 872 cubic in 12V71 Detroit Diesel. Jay Leno saw this special hot rod and knew that he just had to have it! He got to take ol’ Pete for a spin around town in an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, and just completely fell in love. Leno is a car collector and had previously purchased another car from Pete’s owner, called The Blastolene Special. Piss’d Off Pete is definitely a unique “semi-truck!”

Here we have another take on fuel efficiency in the freightliner industry. This particular model was created by Daimler Trucks North America, and the concept was conceived for a contest held by none other than the US Government.

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In 2009, the US Department of Energy announced the SuperTruck Challenge. The challenge at hand was to build a prototype vehicle that had the capability for fifty percent more freight-efficiency than a 2009 base model truck. Daimler’s admission was this – the Freightliner Super Truck. And they didn’t just meet the requirement, they far exceeded it. Damien’s Super Truck claims to be over 100% more freight-efficient (115% to be exact) and the customization doesn’t end there. This big rig has solar panels on the roof of the trailer which can independently operate the cargo cooling system, a GPS predictive system which automates gear shifts and adjusts speeds based on upcoming terrain, and a special exhaust system allowing it to run at higher temperatures. It’s efficiency it mainly acquired, though, through it’s sleek, aerodynamic design. The Super Truck can adjust its ride height, close its ventilation slats in the grille when reaching highway speeds, and it has side extenders which eliminate the space between tractor and trailer. Basically, what we have here is an incredible aerodynamic machine that could change the way semi trucks operate forever.

You must be wondering what exactly is going on here. And honestly, we aren’t entirely sure.

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All we could find about this next super custom semi truck was that it resides in Russia, it is an actual operating semi truck and it’s called “The Dragon Tank Truck”. Also that it is awesome and we want to drive it. This thing looks like it could intimidate just about anything on the road. And sometimes that’s what you have to be to survive the tough roads of Russia. We want to know what this monster is carrying, how it was created, what it’s made of and what kind of person is operating it. We can’t help but get visions of a Mad Max type character flying down the freeway in this wildly custom machine. I guess we’ll just have to be satisfied for now knowing that this is how some awesome Russian is transporting goods across his country. Godspeed brother!

We love this next truck because its a very cool custom semi truck with a luxury sports car edge. This is a 2002 Peterbilt 379 built by Outlaw Customs out of Colorado.

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It was created as a promotional tool for Training Day, a sports supplement company. They wanted something that turned heads and got people talking and they definitely achieved that with this stealthy big rig. Training Day spared no expense using top manufacturers to achieve their vision. In the front you’ve got the Jones Performance custom hood and fenders, custom bumper, and the blacked out grille with rivets. At the rear you’ve got Cool Truck Components rear fenders and custom bumper. But what gives it that luxury feel the most is that flat mat paint job, and trust us when we say they didn’t send it to Maaco. Outlaw Customs went so far as to fly out special painters from First Class Services to spray the rig with PPG Delfleet Evolution flat black and flat gun metal gray paint. The end result is a completely custom big rig that has the stealthy look of a Lamborghini with the intimidation factor only a semi can garner thanks to high end touches and a seriously awesome paint job.

Is that a motorcycle? Or is that a semi truck? Or is it a crazy combination of both?! If you guessed number three, then you definitely guessed right!

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This is a Harley Davidson Semi Truck duo vehicle. Have you ever seen anything like it? This seems like it could have been used for a promotional big rig or a show semi truck. Maybe someone was showing it off during Harley Bike Week. This is referred to as the “Ten Wheel Harley Rig.” It even has duo front wheels! The tractor is a modified Harley Davidson FLT. This truck/motorcycle combo has been shown off in countries all over the world – it’s one of a kind! It took the creator an extremely long time to build, but in this case, it was definitely worth it! The guy who made it also is able to use it as a camper, because the inside is totally finished and ready to take on the road. He really planned it out to make this crazy big rig as comfortable for traveling as it is awesome to look at and show off to semi truck fans. Find out where this will be shown off next for the chance to see something super unique!

Are you on the Vegas Strip? Or is that Christmas in the suburbs where you see all those lights? Both are wrong!

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It’s the Japanese Light Trucks flaring up the roadways! These custom bright semi trucks cost around $115,000 to make. A small price to pay for these Transformers like big rigs that are decorated completely by hand. They are powered by special generators to remain aglow, and decorated with intricate designs like the T-Rex seen here. They each have so many light bulbs, that they can only be turned on for about twenty minutes at a time before they overheat. Their glow is so strong, that these are too blinding to even allow on the roadways when the lights are on. Fans of the light trucks come from all over to see these bad boys in action. Owners share stats and swap tips to have the coolest big rigs around. Think the cool designs are only on the outside? You thought wrong. These semi trucks are just as awesome inside as they are on the outside! Some of them are even sporting carpeted dashboards and intricate chandeliers. These Japanese light trucks are for the true collector of big rigs, really setting their collection blazing.

You won’t believe your eyes with this next big rig! Let us introduce you to Shockwave, the flame blazing semi truck.

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Shockwave is one of three jet-powered American trucks. A Peterbilt semi, it currently holds the world record for jet powered, full sized trucks. This semi travels at an amazingly fast 376 miles per hour! This bad boy has three Pratt & Whitney J34-48 jets, allowing it to travel a quarter miles in 6.3 seconds. It is the world’s fastest and most powerful Peterbilt semi truck. This heavily customized truck was rebuilt by Neal Darnell and his son Chris. These jet trucks put on an incredible fire and smoke show – really setting the roadways ablaze! It performs in Drag Races all over America, and you’ve got to see this incredible semi truck in person. The Darnells also own a Chevy S10 Flash Fire Jet Truck, and a Dodge Jet Truck called Flash Fire II. But we all know that Shockwave is the true star of the family.

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This beautifully restored throwback truck will have you dreaming of a different time. Believe it or not, this 1957 Chevy Cab Over Engine style was once standard in the freight business when there were strict laws regarding the length of trucks.

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Once those laws were repealed, the larger, more modern body we know today took over as the dominant style in trucking. We weren’t able to find any details regarding this trucks mechanics, but we are willing to bet that its main attraction is its unique appearance. We love the look of this old school big rig, though. The lines are beautiful and it appears to have been meticulously maintained. It will definitely catch a lot of admiring looks when driven around town, especially from those old enough to remember when these rigs ruled the road.

This is one big rig that looks like it does not mess around. We like the almost militaristic look this has and were curious as to how it was created.

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This truck was created to carry around a mobile marketing display for Trek bikes called “Project One”. They made sure that the rig would match Trek’s hardcore reputation in the biking industry and we think they definitely pulled it off. “Project One” was once Trek’s online design center where anyone could go in and customize and design all aspects of their new Trek bicycle. This was so successful that they decided to take to the road in a sort of rolling studio, hitting all the major biking events across the country. The lucky bike enthusiasts were treated to a mobile design center as well as an up close and personal look at this awesome customized truck. We would love to get to see what’s going on in the cab and under the hood. I guess we’ll have to make a trip to the next big bike race to catch an in person look at this cool rig.

If you love big rigs, then you have to love this beautifully customized International Lonestar rig.

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With lightweight body panels, blacked out rims and modified headlights, this rig is completed tricked out and we can’t get enough of it. The guys at Chrome Shop Mafia of 4 State Trucking helped out by applying a carbon fiber wrap, and blacking out the chrome parts. This particular photo was taken at the 2013 Mid-America Trucking Show held in Louisville, KY, and you would be hard pressed to find another event with as many cool trucks as this one carries every year. The Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) is a can’t miss event for trucking enthusiasts across the country. Here you’ll see the biggest, baddest, most customized rigs in existence along with some great seminars and new technology. If you’re heading to the show for the first time, be sure to make it to the back of the event where truck owners bring their own customized rigs to be professionally judged on their build. You’ll see trucks you never knew were possible in this arena so be sure to have your camera ready!

Do you remember #3? You know, that huge limo semi mash up? Well, Jeff Botelho and his team are at it again with this insane convertible semi truck.

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Yes, you read that correctly – a convertible semi truck. I bet you never thought you would see those words used together! Botelho took a wrecked Peterbuilt 377 and turned it into a completely different animal. The idea all started when Jeff was just a teenager but it was shrugged off as naive and childish. But Jeff never let his dream die and in 2006, he made it a reality. This was again to be a submission for the same build off competition that the limo truck he would go on to build several years later was also submitted. The biggest obstacles on this build were the suspension and the chassis. As you can see, this is a very low riding truck. Believe it or not, the idea was for part of the frame to drag on the floor, creating a snow of sparks (this is called railing) and he used titanium for a brighter, more show worthy spark. He didn’t put a big engine in this ride, opting for a small Cat 3116 with about 300hp. After all, it was all about the appearance on this build. Once the cab was cut down for the convertible, it was time for his signature paint job – flames. We love the way this crazy big rig turned out! We hope to see more from the Botelho Brothers in the future!

Speed demons behold: Volvo’s ‘Mean Green’ hybrid truck will make you very happy. This thing is fast, really fast.

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So much so that it went head to head in an acceleration race with a Porsche Cayman R at the ADAC Truck Grand Prix 2013 in Nurburgring. The Porsche got whooped and here’s why. The Volvo is packing a 16 cylinder engine putting out something like 2,100hp and 7,000nm of torque versus the Porsche’s 330hp – still very respectable for a small sports car, but not enough to keep up with its competitor. It has also set some pretty impressive records. One for a two way flying kilometer record of 147mph and another from a dead stop of 95mph. A 14,000lb truck hitting these kinds of speeds is extremely impressive and shows us just what semi trucks are capable of with a little ingenuity and good mechanics. Another impressive feature of this truck is that it is a true hybrid. When we see that this kind of performance capability from a hybrid truck is possible and attainable, it has the potential to completely change the game in the trucking industry.

Big rig enthusiasts may be familiar with Robb Mariani from the show “American Trucker” on the Speed network.

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His love for American trucks knows no bounds and it shouldn’t be all the surprising to learn that he has a hot rod rig of his own – he’s calls it “the workin’ man’s hot rod”. This rig has a totally different look to it than most hot rod rigs we’ve seen and it intrigued us to want to learn what’s under the hood. Robb had a lot of love for the Ford W9000 so that’s where he started with this build. He’s officially named it the “Low Patrol” W9000. Part of the reason he refers to it as “the working’ man’s hot rod” is because this particular type of truck is not fancy and it’s meant for utility. But they would eventually change all that with some serious customization. They chopped down the top for a sleeker hot rod look, lowered the suspension to get it closer to the ground, and smoothed the exterior down to add some stealth. A square dual exhaust system was built from the ground up, fuel tanks were repositioned, and of course the interior got all the bells and whistles you could imagine.

The intimidation factor isn’t the least bit understated in our last custom big rig! Meet Joe Inferno. He was built out of a 1954 Kenworth 524 and as you might have guessed, he’s been customized from the ground up.

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First they switched the chassis to a 1994 Kenworth and moved the cab, hood and fenders over. They rebuilt the 425 hp Cat 3406 engine and coupled it with an 18 speed transmission. The owner of this rig is Dino Guadagni and he loved the long clean lines that the older Kenworth trucks maintained so the goal was to highlight these in the build. You can see this in the way the flames seamlessly flow from the fenders down the length of the truck. The paint job deserves some attention as well. The flames, airbrushed by Johnny Pugh, on this rig aren’t your normal cartoonish flames but instead depict a life-like inferno. The extra touches and the cool old school frame set this truck apart from not only normal semis, but from other customized trucks as well.

This is one big rig you’ve got to see. This Class 8 tractor trailer “Supertruck” was built by manufacturers Cummins and Peterbilt, and reaches more than 10 miles per gallon when on the road.

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This truck has seen a 20% increase in engine efficiency since 2010. A standard class 8 truck gets about 5.8 miles to the gallon, so this semi truck is really making changes for the big rig industry. The challenge to make this truck came from the US Government to try and find a more fuel efficient semi truck. They definitely succeeded! They have an awesome GPS system, that helps this truck drive to maintain fuel efficiency and keep things smooth on the roadways. Not only is the truck good on the gas, but it’s huge! This truck is part of a fleet of Supertrucks that are being made to keep the roadways safer, and save companies about $20,000 a year on gas. Big in size and in savings! This is definitely one big rig that not only looks cool, but is making awesome changes for the big rig and semi truck industry. Make sure and keep your eyes peeled for more super trucks like this big guy!