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Old 12-31-2002, 12:13 AM   #1
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7-year-old pickup rolls toward 1 million miles

Cinncinati Enquirer


The Associated Press

FORT RECOVERY, Ohio - Tom Olding needs to drive fewer than 100 miles to push his pickup past the million-mile mark.

The 65-year-old from Fort Recovery, near the Indiana border, delivers Airstream trailers for KBT Trucking Co. He tows them 240 days a year with his 1995 Dodge Ram, and says the truck's extended cab makes a comfortable bed.

The pickup still has its original diesel engine. Mr. Olding's secret to extending the vehicle's life is oil and filter changes every 9,000 miles, which he does himself, and a light touch on the gas pedal.

"I try to run the exact speed limit," he said. "If you go higher than that, you don't get the good fuel mileage."

He estimates he's bought 66,555 gallons of fuel and 250 gallons of oil. KBT pays him by the mile and reimburses him for tolls and permits.

Mr. Olding gives "a whole truck load of thanks" to Tom Huelsman of Huelsman Automotive in Chickasaw, who's done all repair work.

"Any diesel is built pretty rugged," said Mr. Huelsman, who said Mr. Olding probably will coax another quarter million miles out of the truck.


Dayton Daily News

Pickup rolling toward million miles
Fort Recovery man delivers campers across nation

By Janan Sheria
Dayton Daily News

FORT RECOVERY | Tom Olding has logged 999,900 miles on his 1995 Dodge Ram 2500.

He expects a trip to St. Louis to put him over the million-mile mark.

Olding has delivered Airstream trailers for the past 15 years. For the past five years, he's worked for KBT Trucking Co., pulling the campers to dealerships across the country. He's been to every state except Maine, and finds the extended cab of his truck as comfortable and homelike as his own bed in Fort Recovery in Mercer County.

His pickup runs on its original Cummins diesel engine. The truck also has its original drive axle, bearings, seals, gears, tie rods and injectors.

Olding credits the high mileage to his dedication to oil and filter changes every 9,000 miles, but he admits that a light foot doesn't hurt either.

"I try to run the exact speed limit," he said. "If you go higher than that, you don't get the good fuel mileage."

Fuel mileage is important to many drivers, but it's paramount to those like Olding who spend nearly 240 days a year on the road.

He estimates that he has gone through 66,555 gallons of fuel and 250 gallons of oil. Gas money for his long trips comes out of his pocket, as he is paid by the mile. KBT also compensates him for tolls and permits.

Aside from regular oil changes, he gives "a whole truckload of thanks" to Tom Huelsman of Huelsman Automotive in Chickasaw. Huelsman has done all repair work on the truck aside from oil and filter changes, which Olding does himself.

"He's as anxious as I was to get a million miles," Olding said.

"Any diesel is built pretty rugged," Huelsman said. "They have a lot of integrity. He really cruises in the truck. Although he goes through a lot of mountain ranges, the truck just cruises."

He added that Olding isn't the most meticulous about the way he takes care of his vehicle, but he's better than most drivers on the road. Huelsman predicts that Olding will get another quarter-million miles out of the truck.

On the road, Olding, 65, depends on his radio and CB to provide entertainment and alerts of what the road ahead has in store.

Olding does not have a cell phone. In fact, he rarely listens to anything aside from what comes over the CB or what he gets in on the radio. "You get into areas where you can't get any radio stations in at all," he said.
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