While you may be used to seeing pulling trucks, or even tractors in Diesel Power, we thought we'd introduce you to the baddest of the bad-20,000-pound sled pulling semitrucks. Last summer at an OSTPA (Ohio State Tractor Pullers Association) event, we ran into Mike Laribee and "Super" Joe Metzger, who both pull in the Pro Stock Semi class. While the big rigs feature awesome tricks such as air suspensions, dual throttles, and rear-mounted radiators, the real story here is the engine.
Mike Laribee's Shameless ('70 Chevrolet 90 Series) and Joe Metzger's Brockasaurus ('71 Brockway) both use mammoth 1,150-cubic-inch KTA Cummins powerplants, which are usually found in industrial applications, although they did come in overthe-road semis. These huge engines are limited to a single turbocharger, yet make approximately 2,100 hp and more than 4,000 lb-ft of torque. How do they do it? Well, in addition to their 19.0L displacement, they use a ported head, custom intake, and modified or even billet injection pumps to get the job done. Believe it or not, these engines have stock short-blocks (crank, rods, and pistons) that somehow survive 4,000rpm engine speeds.
If you're looking to put one of these powerplants in your pickup truck, keep looking. Not only will a 2,000hp engine set you back about $70,000, the only place it will fit will be the bed of your truck. For now, the only place to see this type of awesome power is at pulling events, where these wild rigs are even capable of outdistancing multiengine tractors. DP