Salute The Troops: Justin Drum

August 2020 Feature My Truck Colin Peterson

This article originally appeared in the July 2020 issue.

In our last issue, we featured that white 2005 6.0L Power Stroke owned by Chris Azizian of greater Boston that was outfitted by Precision Diesel Performance. Well, here’s another truck from the same area that went to the same shop to get outfitted! It’s a blue LML Duramax owned by Justin Drum, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. This is one heck of a build, and it's huge; just look at how high the cab sits above the ground! The truck mostly serves as Justin’s daily driver, but he uses it for a handful of other activities as well. Originally from Texas, Justin now lives in Quincy, Mass., an immediate southern suburb of Boston, where he works as a firefighter for the Quincy Fire Department.

Military Background

Justin served in the Marines from September 2011 to September 2016; his role was an infantry squad leader.

“I didn’t just do it because I wanted to be able to get an education and gain some work experience,” Justin says. “I wanted to do it because I wanted to serve my country and travel the world.”

This is a perfect example of selflessness. Traveling the world also gives anyone a bigger picture of life, just knowing about different cultures and backgrounds, and the military is an excellent place to start for that.

“It’s all the basic stuff,” Justin says. It definitely is; it’s part of the core value of the U.S. armed forces. Even if your active-duty only lasts for a few years, military experience largely makes you better able to take on the world.”

Justin has now been living the diesel life with his 2015 Chevy for about three years. “It was my father-in-law’s truck and I basically bought it off of him when it was stock,” he says. “Then I took it to Precision Diesel and I did all the work with them.”

The Big Build

This truck has amazing looks that actually blend quite well with the work that was done to it. Engine mods includes ARP head studs, inner row bolts, and a harmonic balancer; Industrial Injection performance injectors; HSP Diesel hot side intercooler piping; an H&S Motorsports CP3 conversion kit; a PPE aluminum oil pan; a FASS fuel pump; a Caterpillar oil filter and fuel filters; and a BorgWarner compound turbo setup (S366 high-pressure charger and S475 atmosphere charger).

Vibrant clamps, Thermo Tec heat wrap, and Fragola fittings help hold the intercooler piping and turbo setup together, and the engine is topped off by an MBRP exhaust. The engine is mated to a RevMax Allison transmission with a BD Diesel flexplate and a MAG-HYTEC deep transmission pan. The differential also uses a MAG-HYTEC cover. Tuning the rig is a Motor Ops module with an Edge CTS2 monitor.

The truck has a large stance thanks to its 6.5-inch BDS lift kit. Accompanying it are HSP traction bars, and it sits on 20-inch Fuel wheels wrapped in large 37-inch Nitto Terra Grappler tires. The truck is definitely tall enough that Justin needed to have some AMP Research PowerSteps installed as well. With all of these upgrades, he has definitely come a long way on this blue Chevy since acquiring it. “Over the last few years we have made a lot of modifications to the truck and for now I am going to leave it as it is,” says Justin. “But maybe in the future, I’ll get bigger injectors, rods, or pistons.”

The Truck Life

“Even though I do show people that a lifted truck can still get up and go, I don’t really use my truck for performance runs yet,” Justin says. “But I do take it to shows specifically for diesel pickups.”

Today, Justin uses his truck for anything from daily driving to towing boats, cross-country hauls, and off-roading. Even though he lives in a large metropolitan area, he still finds some sections of land that’ll hold up to his off-roading activity. For shorter road trips, he’ll drive down to Cape Cod. For cross-country hauls, he’ll typically head to Tennessee and Texas. “My family’s in Texas, so I’ll go visit them,” he says. “My wife and I love to go on cross-country road trip adventures, and for us, there’s no better way to do that than in a high-horsepower diesel.” Indeed, large diesel pickups can do so much, making them excellent for long-distance vacations. This is a well-deserved lifestyle for Justin, given his hard work both as a soldier and as a firefighter.


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November 2021

In the time of trailer-queen show trucks we regularly see at diesel performance shows and events across the country it is great to come across one that looks like a show truck, works as a farm truck, and flies like a race truck.

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