Standing Out In A Crowd

David Fischer’s SEMA truck attracted a lot of interest

January 2019 Feature Steve Janes

Sometimes it’s not enough just to stand out in a crowd. Sometimes you need to make a statement. And for David Fischer, building a truck for the SEMA show in Las Vegas was as much about making an impression as it was about building something that could enhance his winter passion—snowmobiling.

So the idea was to take a 2016 Chevy HD Duramax with the LML engine and turn it into something that would not only amaze showgoers in Las Vegas, but could also bust through deep snowdrifts in the spring to provide access to the higher elevation snow.

“Basically, it was built obviously for SEMA,” Fisher explained. “And obviously, everybody knows that if you have a truck at SEMA, you want it to be a showstopper, something people want to look at it.”

There are a lot of impressive trucks at SEMA. But Fischer banked on the idea that there wouldn’t be any sitting on top of tracks rather than tires. So with his snowmobiling background, Fischer designed a truck with tracks and a sled deck boasting a couple of snowmobiles. That’s not something you see every day in the desert.

With the help and support of Kelderman, who sponsored his truck in its SEMA booth, Fischer put a team of builders and sponsors together to create his unique tracked truck. However, this wasn’t just a single-purpose “specialty” build. It was designed to allow the track to be swapped out with tire and wheels. During most of the year it is designed to be a daily driver … with a little attitude.

The challenge of the design was to make the truck look the same, whether it had the tracks or the tires on. So a lot of custom engineering went into the build to make things not only compatible, depending on the use, but to make them visually equivalent.

Fischer chose the 2016 Duramax because he wanted to have a tunable engine. “Duramax had just come out with the new L5P motor in 2017,” he said. “But nobody has gotten into the L5P yet; nobody has really unlocked it. I went with the LML because it already had everything for tuning and turbos.”

Putting tracks on a truck may be something that happens in the snow country; this project wasn’t relying on off-the-shelf tracks.

“Designing and building the tracks were crazy,” Fischer explained. “I had two guys at Overkill Racing And Chassis—Joel and Andrew (who are really good welders)—fly out from Utah and help weld the track. For an entire weekend all they did was weld.”

 Being a prototype design, it’s hard to put a price on the actual cost of the track. But it isn’t cheap. And the result isn’t what you find from over-the-counter product. This was quality workmanship and a team effort.

Like any project, certain things had to be done in certain order … although sometimes the timing of when parts arrive, or the availability of the right people, don’t quite match the time frame. So Fischer said a lot of things had to come together at the last minute to make everything work out. It took a lot of individuals and several diesel shops to make everything come together.

Most of the build was happening at Wold Fabrication in Darwin, MN. “We were building it at Wold Fab, that’s where the whole build was done,” he explained. “They were the ones who designed and built the tracks. They also built the turbo. That's how I got hooked up with them originally; they build Duramax Turbos. So they're the ones who designed and manufactured those tracks.”

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