Re-Building a Build

May 2020 Feature Steve Janes

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2020 issue.

Buying a custom-built truck that had been featured in a popular diesel truck magazine and loaded with all the features you could imagine would likely be the ending point for most people. But for Chris Cooksey, that’s where this story begins.

Owner Jerry Forman sunk a lot of money in his 2012 RAM 2500 named Lake Trash With Oil Field Cash. Although his intentions were to build a SEMA truck, he never quite got it completed in time for the popular Las Vegas show. However, his truck did catch the front cover of the March 2015 issue of Diesel Tech magazine, with a four-page feature inside.

But a little over a year after completing his dream truck, a family illness required him to commit his financial resources elsewhere and the truck was put up for sale. And it was upon the purchase of the truck where Cooksey’s story begins.

The bright white RAM, still sporting its factory paint, had almost everything Cooksey was looking for in a truck … but it wasn’t quite there. Although he owned it, it didn’t feel quite like it was his. It needed a few minor changes and a new look before he could truly call it his own.

“The build Jerry did was great,” Cooksey explained. “But I wanted to do something that would pop and take it to the next level.” And along the way, Cooksey was able to finish the initial goal for the truck—display it at the SEMA Show.

“For the most part, I wanted it to stand out as a functional working build,” Cooksey said. “What Jerry had already done was a great starting base for my build. Plus I told him I would take it to SEMA.”

First came wheels and tires, then lights and sound. Now it was time to change the looks—a new interior and a killer paint job. “I didn’t mess with the motor. I didn’t mess with the suspension. I just repainted it and re-did it all—pretty much a full face-lift,” he said.

In 2015, once all the original engine mods were performed, the truck turned 731hp with 1,475 ft/lbs of torque, while still showing an impressive 22 mpg fuel economy.

So from the original build, the chassis is the same. The suspension is the same 8-inch BDS Suspension coilover lift with FOX shocks with reservoirs and One Up Offroad ladder bars, but this time, it has a new green powder coat. The Drivelines NW driveline remains the same with a Banks Power rear differential cover. The wheels were changed to 20-inch 82R Falcons with custom paint from Rolling Big Power and 40-inch Nitto Trail Grapplers.

For his interior upgrades, Cooksey went to Corbin Custom Upholstery. “We totally re-did the interior in Roadwire leather seats, all black with custom green accents,” he said. “Then I had the outside repainted with Mopar Destroyer Grey paint.”

Cooksey then had vinyl put on to match the paint, plus custom headlights, taillights and a third brake light by PlainANSimple. Next to come along were the custom Rolling Big Power RX-series grille, Stealth power steps, HammerHead bumpers, a Gen-Y hitch, and an UnderCover bed cover, plus several light and sound upgrades. Twisted Pro lights cover this truck with green rock lights, a 20-inch light bar on the front bumper with four color options, and two flush-mount lights on the rear bumper. The truck also has a Razer roof rack with Twisted Pro H2 Recon lights in the front and a Pro Pod color package all the way around. For sound, the truck’s stereo uses Kicker subwoofers, door speakers, and amps.

Simply put, this truck was stripped completely down, and then was updated, repainted or replaced. With nearly 1,400 hours of labor put into the new build, now Cooksey’s truck was finally ready for SEMA.

When Cooksey purchased the truck, it had about 78,000 miles on the odometer. It was not only built to look good, but it was also built to work. Cooksey uses the truck to pull an enclosed trailer back and forth between Washington and Alabama when he’s not displaying it at truck shows … so there will be a good many more miles logged on it before he sells it next year to begin another build—a 1969 Mach 1.

So from the oil fields of Texas to the bright lights of Las Vegas, Lake Trash With Oil Field Cash completes another chapter in its short history. Who knows what the fate will be when it falls in the hands of new owners.


Banks Power

BDS Suspension

Corbin Custom Upholstery

Drivelines NW

Gen-Y Hitch



Nitto Tire

One Up Offroad




Rolling Big Power

Twisted Pro Lighting

Undercover Truck Bed Covers

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