How it’s Made ~ Dobson Harvesting Freightliner Coronado

I was contacted in November 2013 about building a Freightliner Coronado for Dobson Harvesting.

The No Secrets vault is open once more for a full description of how this really cool truck came to be. The base truck is a Liberty Classics CoronadoLiberty Classics cab, another truck I have never worked with and was eager to try something new. As seen in the image. The cab is a stand up sleeper model modeled in one piece of diecast.
PartsThe is particular brand of cab has to be one of the more complicated cabs I have ever worked on. There are a ton of parts that need to come off with what look like rivets, heated plastic, screws, and the kitchen sink. It took quite a bit of care just to get the truck apart. This part of the process was a surprise.

The first course of action was to strip the paint off the diecast with house hold paint stripper purchased at my local hardware store. John’s truck is a flat top so a chop job was in order. Drawing a line just below the top window in on the sleeper I used my band saw for the first cut. I leveled up the cut line with my stationary disk sander. Having a hole to fill in a piece of flat styrene was cut larger than the opening and glued in place with a liberal amount of glue. Once dry the excess styrene was cut off with an exacto knife. To clean up and blend the edges I used a sanding disk in my variable speed Dremel. When the lines looked clean and smooth I prepped all the parts for paint with a generous application of lacquer thinner.

2014-03-23 17.00.45 2014-03-23 17.00.27Two coats of self etching primer purchased from an auto parts store was applied to all the diecast parts. The fairing that covers the fuel tanks is plastic. That part was lightly cleaned with lacquer thinner and the self etching primer was used on that part too. The color of John’s truck is Arizona beige. My first trip to NAPA and a search online was fruitless. On a whim I went back to my local NAPA store and caught up with the store manager by accident. I told him my story and within a few minutes he located exactly what I was looking made by Duplicolor. My lucky day. Three coats of Arizona beige finished the paint job up.

Normally I will use a DCP (DieCast Promotions) frame for builds like this but I used the original Liberty classics frame. I wanted to keep this truck so the hood would open and the fairings, fuel, tanks etc would go back on nice and clean. Reassembly went much smoother than I expected considering the trouble taking it apart was. An orange paint pen was used to mark the clearance lights and the lights along the bottom of the cab.

A DCP headache rack with chains was added behind the sleeper to match the real truck. One modification to the frame was needed. The original fifth wheel plate was the wrong size and incorrect height to pull a DCP hopper trailer. A DCP fifth wheel plate was used with styrene below it to raise it to the correct height so the trailer pulls level and looks correct on the truck.
This was a great build and a challenging project that turned out pretty nice.

If you have questions about any part of this build please post comments in the comment box.

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