Pride in the Oil Fields

May 2020 Feature Brady L. Kay

This article originally appeared in the April 2020 issue.

Payton Hall is interested in doing more to his 2015 Duramax dually despite the long list of modifications that have already been done to his daily driver. The only problem is, he’s not exactly sure what else can be done to it. Of course where the truck sits today is miles from how he found the nearly stock Chevy truck one Christmas Eve night a few years ago.

“It was Christmas Eve and the dealership was of course closed, but I was just poking around and killing time when I saw the truck,” recalls Hall. “I had battled some gremlins with a previous build, which was a twin-turbo LB7, so I told myself I would never again own another Duramax yet here I was falling in love with this dually. The morning after Christmas I was at the dealership and ready to buy.”

With just 16,000 miles on the odometer the direction to take his truck was wide open, yet at the time Hall’s intention was to start small with maybe a lift kit with bigger wheels and tires to highlight the features of the dually, but it eventually snowballed into a much bigger build.

Oil Field Tribute

Oil Field work is tough work and no one knows this better than Hall who has made a career by working in the oil profession. He is the general manager at Syndicate Energy Services, a flow back and production testing company based out of Watford City, N.D. Syndicate is made up of nearly 100 employees in six divisions and Hall’s Syndicate-themed Chevy LTZ not only represents the company, but it also pays tribute to the oil field industry. The focal point of the full wrap from Custom Auto is the artwork on the tailgate.

“It’s my personal truck and it gets a lot of attention, even before we put the big Syndicate S on the side,” says Hall. “Even if you’re not familiar with Syndicate you would still think the wrap looks cool.”

Hall jokes that the hardest part of the build might have been deciding on the wrap design, as he was determined to represent the oil fields and the hard-working men and women in this industry.

“I have a lot of pride for my company and for this industry,” says Hall. “I’m proud to be an American so I knew I wanted our flag in the design but I also wanted the Canadian flag too because the oil fields are made up of hard-working people from both countries.”

Silhouettes of oil rigs at sunset along with both flags are the main focus of the design along with the company name and the words, “SYNDICATE noun (syn-di-cate) a group of persons or concerns who combine to carry out a particular transaction or project” printed along the bottom.

Trusting James

Over the years Hall has established a friendship with Custom Auto Diesel Performance owner James Brendle and his hard-working crew at the Idaho Falls, Idaho, shop. Despite working in North Dakota and living in Arizona after growing up in southeast Idaho, Hall never hesitated on where to take his truck.

“I go to Custom Auto still because I trust them,” says Hall. “James just knows how to make builds unique and he’s always been great to work with.”

Part Selection

Hall had a very specific idea of what he wanted done to his truck, but left the details of which aftermarket companies to use to Brendle and the Custom Auto shop.

“People trust James, and his reputation as a diesel shop owner is based on his knowledge of the industry so I knew I was in good hands,” recalls Hall. “James rounded up all the parts for me and even though I knew exactly which parts were being installed I was still surprised at how well it turned out. It turned out way better than I could ever have imagined.”

The full motor build went deep to include ARP head studs and main studs, a Screamin Diesel Performance twin kit, Carrillo rods and Mahle pistons, ATS dual fueler and Dynomite Diesel injectors. This combination of aftermarket products has been a good formula on other Duramax builds that have rolled out of the Custom Auto shop over the years.

Other upgrades include an Edge CTS tuner with GDP tuning, a FASS lift pump, Sun Coast torque convertor and PPE manifolds and up pipes. What’s on the inside is ultimately most important, but the exterior needed an equally impressive upgrade to complement the Custom Auto full-body wrap. AMP’s XL Steps are for extreme conditions and tuck away nicely when not in use and the American Force Wheels pair nicely with the Fury tires. Of course what gives the dually its powerful stance is the Cognito 9-inch lift with trace bars, combined with Road Armor bumpers with Quake lighting and a Royalty Core grille. Final touches included a Rhino Lining bed cover and Access tonneau cover.

Not Another Show Truck

Although the truck is now finished and a good way to bring attention to Syndicate and those Hall works with, it’s more than just a looker.

When called upon to pull, the dually hauls around heavy oil field equipment on a trip axle trailer. Hall takes pride knowing his truck can handle anything he hooks up behind it. Yes he wanted a truck that would stand out, but being drivable, dependable and able to tow was his main focus from the beginning and he’s loving the complete package now.

“I told James it needed to be fast, but still be able to drive across country without any mechanical issues,” adds Hall. “As expected, he really came through for me and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.”


Access Covers

American Force Wheels

AMP Research

ATS Diesel Performance

 Automotive Racing Products


 Cognito Motorsports

Custom Auto Diesel Performance

Dynomite Diesel Performance

Edge Products



Fury Tires

GDP Tuning


Pacific Performance Engineering

Quake LED

Rhino Linings

Road Armor

Royalty Core

Screamin Diesel Performance

Sun Coast Diesel Transmissions

Syndicate Energy Services


Yukon Gear & Axle

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