Rolling Thunder—Blue Battlestation

Truck and trailer combination puts pleasure into work

December 2018 Feature Steve Janes

There are two types of diesel truck owners: those who build a diesel that can do about anything and then mainly drive it down the highway for show, and those who have a job to do and go out and build a truck to do the job.

Allen Mangum, part owner and operations director at Boondocker LLC in Idaho Falls, ID, needed something that could pull larger trailers across the country or up rugged mountain roads. He needed a truck that could do the job efficiently and dependably on a daily basis, allowing him to do his job.

Most importantly, Mangum had a custom-built 48-foot toy hauler trailer with a built-in work station and living quarters that he used for R&D and product testing. It is impressive … and he needed an equally impressive truck capable of pulling it.

The truck is code named Rolling Thunder since it flies down the highway towing the 48-foot Blue Battlestation trailer.

It is a 2015 Chevy 3500 Dually with a compound turbo cranking close to 600 horsepower and offering some very efficient fuel economy (about 12.5 mpg while towing the big trailer). It features 22-inch American Force wheels, 34-inch tires, air bags, and a Titan 60-gallon fuel tank.

Under the hood it has a bigger radiator and Built transmission and Built fuel pump to go along with the Wehrli Custom Fabrication compound turbo. It also has a 2017 Chevy hood with forced air induction to complement its stock air induction system. All the work was done by Powertech Diesel in Idaho Falls, ID.

To Mangum, the truck and trailer are toys as much as his side-by-sides, jeeps and snowmobiles because they are so much fun to use.

The trailer has the code name Blue Battlestation since its function is to support the battle to keep the toys rolling.

It is a 48-foot ATC trailer that features a living quarters separate from the workshop/cargo area. It is an all-aluminum, three-axle trailer that is custom built to accommodate specific requirements. It features a unique color and detail, plus an extra thick front for added protection from birds, bugs and debris.

It has spray foam insulation on the top, bottom and sides. A rubbery floor finish provides added grip for walking and tire traction. It is long enough to hold two side-by-sides in the cargo space.

It has a custom work bench and cabinets for tools with everything marked and labeled. Tools have their own special place so it’s easy to keep track when something is not returned. The trailer has a solid aluminum ramp door so weight isn’t an issue on what Mangum loads. Although it was originally built to be used with snowmobiles, Mangum decided it was too nice to be abused by the harsh winter elements whiled being twisted down tight mountain roads through deep snow. Besides, it just made more sense to use a 25-foot enclosed trailer for snowmobile use.

Mangum made the living quarters roomy enough to make it comfortable for the 60-plus nights a year he sleeps in it while on the road doing product testing.

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