YOUR Cab, YOUR Domain! 8 very worthwhile Upgrades.
Some folks spend 8 hours a day in a 15ft square office and go to great lengths and expense to make it ‘special’. They remodel, re-paint, have cabinets custom built, install surround sound, buy a high tech new office chair, install hardwood floors and the list goes on and on.
A lotta times, you guys spend nearly 20 hours a day in your cab-so why should we settle for ‘stock’? Enhancing the interior of your truck makes each hour spent there a lil’ more fun, more rewarding and in many instances-more comfortable.
Here are 8 upgrades for your interior that add a lot of bling, style, personality and comfort to the inside of that big ol’ truck.
1. STEERING WHEEL & COLUMN-There are custom steering wheels avail for just about every make and model of truck these days. You can go with wood grain, leather wrap, polished aluminum or even have it painted to match your truck. Moving downward from there………..you can easily chrome out your turn signal lever, trailer brake arm, as well as the lower column and dash covers. Other than a basic Tee style Pulling tool, no special tools are required and items are fairly inexpensive and installation is easy…oh, one thing to note: MAKE SURE your old steering wheel is in the strait position before you pull it, and re-install new wheel in same position. Nothing is more aggravating than a crooked steerin’ wheel!
2. SEATS- If there is one area, not to GO CHEAP on….this is it! Get a quality seat, after all-Where do you spend your time? There are some great options in Ultra-Leather upholstery, heated, massaging, and swivel models. Seats are offered in standard height base and low-base models for you ‘LowRiders’. Be advised, to install a low-base seat you will nearly always have to either re-drill your cab floor, or the bottom of the new seat to complete the install.
3. FLOORBOARD & PEDALS-Decorative accelerator, brake and clutch pedals are available ‘off the shelf’ for most of the Pete’s, KW’s and some Freightliners. For those of you ridin’ International’s, Volvo’s, Western Star’s and Mack’s, you would have to work with a machine shop or fab shop to modify or build billet aluminum or custom ‘one off’ pedals. Let’s talk bout’ floors, you can install a tongue and groove wood or laminate floor in just about any cab or sleeper. Visit the home improvement store, pick out the woodgrain you like, cut it to size and lay it down piece by piece, usually a 2 day ordeal to install at home. For you Guys with the Pete’s and KW’s, you can buy a pre-cut ‘drop-in’ floor that installs easily in one day! RockWood products is the manufacturer for these and offers floors in various colors and grains-they look fantastic and have a tough, durable finish!
4. DASHBOARD-Oh my! Where to start? Chrome….there are knobs, switch covers, gauge bezels, A/C vents, Park Brake knobs, toggle trims, rocker trims, and decorative screws avail for almost all trucks. These are neat lil’ additions you can buy now and then, and easily install yourself while waiting to load or unload-piece o’ cake! Another very trendy modification, is to remove your instrument panels and have them painted to match the exterior of your rig. This immediately adds a custom and racy look to your interior! Folks dig it-you will too!
5. AUDIO- Truthfully, the radio/CD players in the newer trucks aren’t too bad. By simply replacing the OEM speakers with high quality ones, you can greatly enhance the sound quality-this can usually be done for $350-400. The next step up is a high end head unit for the dashboard, an amplifier, a sub-woofer (or 2) and upgraded speakers thru-out. This generally runs $2000-$2300. Of course, if you go ‘wide open’, you can drop $5K in no time!
6. SHIFTER- You can replace that ol’ boring black rubber shift knob with a chrome replacement, or a host of other shift knobs. There are 6 or 8 models available now ranging from motorcycle grips, hand grenades, bowie knife handles, skulls, 8 balls, you name it! The retro glitter knobs never go out of style either! You can cover your shift stick and hoses with a chrome tube that also conceals all the small air lines that run from the floorboard to the shift knob. For most of the Peterbilt’s, there are some clean and cool floorboard shift plates avail too.
7. DOOR PANELS- A lot can be done here with paint, vinyl or re-upholstery work to give your interior a personality all it’s own. Have your local upholstery man add a 2nd or even a 3rd color to the door panel, fabricate a custom built door pocket for your log book or permit book. The chrome shops carry several window crank handles, armrests, and handle trims too!
8. EXTRA INSULATION- You can’t go overboard on this-it simply can’t be done! By adding products such as HushMat or equivalent under your carpet, behind your upholstery panels and door panels, you can change the noise level immensely! And, don’t stop there, if you have everything removed for the HushMat install, go ahead and add some traditional thermal insulation anywhere you can stuff it. When you encounter temps of 99 degree’s or 20 degree’s, you will sure be glad you did! HUGE difference from factory insulation!
Consider the 8 upgrades we have covered in this article, make a note of which ones are most desirable to you. Maybe you can tackle them at the rate of one project every 3-4 months? Or 2 projects per year? whatever fits your down-time and your budget-GO FOR IT!Until then, try adding some of these items to your Christmas Wish List and if Santa don’t get put OUT OF SERVICE at some obscure Scale House out in the middle of nowhere by a dis-gruntled State Official that is in a foul mood cuz’ he’s gotta work on Christmas Eve………………………………..you just might be pleasantly surprised come Christmas Mornin!.............hehehe…………..hehe.
Bryan ‘BossMan’ Martin
Posted on August 28, 2013