One of the first questions Kristine Devine Wells asked when we first started talking was the intentions of this article. She had been asked to be featured in other diesel truck magazines with the intent of being portrayed as an object instead of a woman who genuinely enjoys the diesel pastime.
I told her the truth; she would never find that here. Our Power of Pink recurring feature is devoted to celebrating women in an equal environment. We would never ask a man to be half-clothed, so why would we ask anyone else? Obviously a woman might approach her truck in a different way than a man, but this magazine has always been about strong diesel fanatics, both male and female. Once you finish this story, you’ll see why Kristine was a natural pick for us.
Kristine is an operating room nurse from Deerfield, Wis., who loves her truck. “Diesels are clearly the best choice and can do so much more than a gas truck when it comes to power, economy and drivability,” says Kristine. She drives an ‘06 Dodge Ram 2500 with a 5.9L Cummins that is covered in Muddy Girl Camo.
“I’m not a pink person at all, I actually hate it,” laughs Kristine. “But when I saw the pink Muddy Girl Camo rims, I thought they were so cool and I had to get them. I love hunting and I wanted something I hadn’t seen on any trucks around here. My husband, Chris, said, ‘You aren’t buying those.’ I told him I had to because I loved them.”
But guys look good in pink trucks too, a fact that Chris has no choice but to embrace because he puts his 2004 Dodge in storage each winter and he has to drive Kristine’s truck to haul the snowmobiles to northern Wisconsin.
No one would have picked out pink rims for Kristine, including Willie Osborne who owns Extreme Airbrushing and who did her custom tailgate and custom Muddy Girl Camo paint job.
“He couldn’t believe I would put pink camo rims on my truck, but with his custom paint job on my tailgate, and Muddy Girl Camo hood and pin stripes, he brought the whole truck together for me.”
These days, those pink rims draw a lot of attention from people all over, mainly because they are mounted on a beautiful Dodge Cummins truck that would get plenty of attention with or without the rims. When Kristine hooks up to truck pull, she gets a lot of different reactions.
“Most guys admit they would never put Muddy Girl Camo on their own truck, but for a ‘girl truck,’ mine looks awesome,” says Kristine.
Kristine has been into diesel trucks since she was in high school. When she was growing up in rural Wisconsin, her parents always had diesel Volkswagens and trucks. When she met her husband, he owned a diesel.
“I grew up as a farm kid who always wanted a truck,” says Kristine. “When I finally became a nurse, it provided me with the funds to buy my own. It was the best day of my life. I couldn’t believe it had actually happened.”
That’s exactly what she did. She drove her brand new truck off the lot in 2006. She has always intended on owning a black truck, but because her husband owned a black diesel, she went with white. She added a Bully Dog GT tuner, a K&N cold air intake and Chris built her a custom exhaust as well. From there, she started personalizing the outside with stainless steel, custom paint and decals.
Someday she would love to get a newer Dodge Cummins—especially the Texas Lone Star edition Mega Cab that she and her husband test drove—but the price tag and poor fuel economy is enough for Kristine to rule out trading in her truck for a newer model.
“I have got over 21 miles per gallon with my truck,” says Kristine.
Now days, the truck has a lot of jobs, especially since Kristine and Chris moved to a farm last year and now have horses and crops that need constant attention.
“I use my truck to pull our snowmobiles, haul hay, move my horse and pretty much everything else that needs to be done,” says Kristine. “But one of my favorite things to do with it is pull at the truck pulls.”
Truck pulls through the country have become extremely competitive. Drivers in professional classes pulling for points have put big money under their hood.
“Compared to a lot of people around me, I don’t have a lot of money in my truck,” says Kristine. “Knowing that I don’t have thousands under the hood, it’s even more fun to win at some of the pulls and beat the guys.”
Kristine is no stranger to coming in first at pulls, but her sweetest victories come in the form of beating her husband.
“He gets pretty upset when I beat him when we pull against each other,” says Kristine. “He always comes up with reasons why he lost.”
Kristine does admit that sometimes, depending on how the track is set up, the fact that she drives an automatic does give her a slight edge over Chris’s manual transmission Cummins.
“It’s funny because he’s so competitive about it. Of course, he’s happy that I won, but he gets upset that it’s not him,” says Kristine.
Next up on the modification list is a built transmission and EFILive tuning if she can talk Chris into it letting her buy it.
“I would love to do more modifications to my truck, but then the reliability goes down the more modifications you do,” says Kristine. “I rely on my truck all year long and I need it to get to work at the hospital when Wisconsin winters make roads almost impassable.”
If you happen by a Wisconsin truck pull or show-and-shine and see Kristine, check out her awesome truck and know it’s owned by a woman who loves the industry.
For information regarding products used in this feature, visit our Aftermarket.
Power of Pink is a recurring feature in Diesel Tech magazine. If you have someone you would like to see featured, contact Katie Burke at firstname.lastname@example.org.