This is one magnificent Holy Roller.
Pro-Tech Industries, a Nashville-based manufacturer of truck accessories, has taken a modified, extended Kenworth owned by Lester “Roadkill” Smith, a Richardson, Texas-based minister, and turned it into a traveling chapel.
Pro-Tech built a custom drom enclosure unit — with external gussets, 25” wide fenders, a 45-degree miter on the drom deck, a channel rear rail with flanges inward, and toolboxes.
Smith will use his rolling church to travel the country, preaching the Word of God and hosting funerals, weddings, and baptisms.
The truck, which will be shown at the Mid-America Trucking Show March 21-23, is unlike anything Pro-Tech salesman Steven Lew has ever seen.
“It is the biggest truck I've ever seen,” he says. “It actually looks like a church and has a steeple on top, with crosses. I've been in this business a little over 10 years, and I've never seen one that actually looked like a church.
“It's open in middle, with doors on each side. He walks through. It's almost like an 18-wheel RV. He lives in it and travels in it. It has a speaker system in it and an actual deck coming out where you can lay a casket or something of that nature.
“There's lot of internal stuff in the build that we did differently for his truck. He is older, so we tried to make it easier to get on and off the truck by putting steps in certain locations. He has a scooter and a special compartment for that. It's a lot like our drom units, so it has a deck and enclosure, but the actual look is much different than anything we've ever done.”
Lew said Smith stopped by Pro-Tech's Nashville facility six months ago and said he been working on a design for this unit for eight years. He told Lew that God had given him $20,000 to spend on it and led him to Pro-Tech Industries.
They spoke for about an hour during the initial visit, then Lew got together with his design team and took some hard-core measurements on the truck. Three months ago, Pro-Tech finished the design and showed Smith a print. He said he liked it and wanted to move forward with the build.
In January, he left his truck at Pro-Tech for two weeks. It was finished the last week of January.