2006 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L Turbo Diesel
2017 Ford F350 6.7 Powerstroke Turbo Diesel
When you own a power line and communication company while managing an oil field company, you tend to be on the go at all times. For Mario Dominguez, going between LPE Inc. and Select Energy Services can keep him on the go. So he might as well go in style with his diesel trucks.
Dominguez has two diesel pickups—a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L Turbo Diesel and a 2017 Ford F350 6.7 Powerstroke Turbo Diesel—so even the commute can be part of his passion.
“I have been driving diesel trucks since I was around 12 years old with my father,” he explains. “I learned to drive and dock 18 wheelers at the age of 14, with my father of course. He and my mom have been my mentors.”
Dominguez has owned all three brands of American diesel trucks—Dodge, Chevrolet and Ford. “All good hard-working trucks,” he explains. But let’s focus on one truck in particular.
“The truck I’ve owned the longest would be my Dodge Ram 2500 … or as my daughter calls her Big Blue, he said. “I’ve had this truck since 2012. She’s been an eye-catcher ever since I’ve had her.”
Dominguez has used Big Blue for just about everything—from toting small kids during birthday parties, to Make A Wish fundraisers, to car shows, to driving to the beach or pulling the boat to the lake on Sundays. “She’s even pulled the race cars to the drag strip,” he said.
His passion to modify his diesel pickups started at a young age. His father, Mario Dominguez Sr., used to own a 1981 Chevrolet K5 Blazer with 44-inch Ground Hawg tires. The K5 was the smallest full-size SUV version in the Chevy C/K lineup.
“He would go to the lake and also mud race at local events,” Dominguez explained. He also noticed that his daughter, Valerie Dominguez, loved riding in Big Blue because she loved being the center of attention, especially when he would pick up at school.
According to Dominguez, Big Blue has 49,000 original miles. “We lifted the truck 22 inches with custom fabricated bars that were built around the original suspension. The truck can still go 70-75 mph and ride like a champ.
“This lift was to make room for some 52-inch Crain tires,” he explained. “Each tire costs $1,300 and is on a 22.5-inch semi balloon rim with a custom cut on the walls.”
Dominguez installed a Banks System and a larger turbo with the Evolution Programming. He also rebuilt the transmission into a Bulletproof with Red clutches and a shift kit. Then he geared up the truck to match the rotation of the big tires.
Big Blue has an Old School roll bar with KC lights and a sound system so he can enjoy the music while cruising down the road.
Although Dominguez spent $44,000 for the truck and about $40,000 in parts, he says he has much more invested in it. “I have time spent with family and friends working on the truck, and time spent bonding with my father … how can you put a price on that?”
When he first started making changes to Big Blue the idea was to make it the tallest truck in town while keeping it drivable in any weather condition and being able to pull a loaded trailer. About half the work done on the truck Dominguez did by himself or with family; the other half was done by “great people who are my friends, yet feel like my family,” he said. Two friends, Jesse James at JD Motorsports and Salvador Carrizales at LACARR Paint & Body, have worked side-by-side with Dominguez throughout the process.
Not only does Big Blue have the looks of a show truck, but the changes made to this truck have improved handling and acceleration, created better throttle response and added more power to turn those massive tires.
“I expect my truck to be able to get going on the drop of a dime and roll coal,” Dominguez explained.