This article originally appeared in the August 2020 issue.
When you think of work trucks, you may not think of something as beautiful as this one. This brand new rig is so much more than meets the eye and was featured at the SEMA Show in 2019. It’s actually the second flatbed build we’re featuring from the show this year (the other one being the Baja Forged F250 build by San Dimas, Calif.-based LGE-CTS Motorsports, which was in our April 2020 issue). Not to mention, just like that other build, this is an F250-based build as well.
The truck is owned by a guy who’s all about truck builds. Peter “Pete” Alongi of greater San Antonio, Texas, is the owner of Aggressive Outfitters, a local truck build shop based in Helotes that boasts itself as your one-stop shop for all of your truck and motorcycle needs with a first and foremost focus on building your dream ride. His shop does a lot of impressive work on off-road vehicles including large diesel pickups. Pete has completed 15 builds of his own for SEMA as of the 2019 show. Each year, he has been making a new build with a different theme.
This year’s theme is U.S. Pride, which he named his 2019 6.7L Power Stroke Ford that he acquired about a month before the big Las Vegas show last year.
“Originally, it was an F250, but now the gear ratio and leaf springs, along with everything underneath the body has been changed since I acquired the truck.”
Just looking at it, regardless of the setting it may be in, it’s a giant build that really speaks to many diesel enthusiasts on so many levels because of all that was done to it. As you might have seen with many builds for SEMA, the lift kit with the wheels and tires really help make the large beast stand out from the crowd. U.S. Pride is way more than a show princess, though. It sees some heavy and rich daily usage. While Pete built the truck at his shop, Rolling Big Power (RBP) helped him with much of it. The truck was one of many RBP builds at the show.
Ride & Performance
The lift kit on U.S. Pride is a 14.5-inch RBP Max lift with a four-link front and rear, along with FOX coilovers on all links. That’s more than a foot tall! It allows for the use of the massive wheel and tire setup, which consists of 26-inch RBP wheels wrapped in Fury 42-inch Country Hunter M/T tires. There’s no question the lift kit along with the wheels and tires make for the most noteworthy performance-related aspect of Pete’s build. The engine doesn’t have a whole lot of work done to it, as the vehicle is still under warranty. However, the truck does have an S&B cold air intake, custom tuning from GDP and a 5-inch MBRP exhaust. Thus, it has a modest boost in power and torque. Also, it can go for long periods of time away from the tarmac with its S&B 50-gallon fuel tank. That makes the truck a perfect fit for Pete’s off-road lifestyle.
Body Work & Theme
U.S. Pride started out as a regular pickup truck, but it then became a flatbed for SEMA shortly before the show. Pete ordered the custom-built bed from CM Truck Beds and installed it on the truck. He didn’t just do it for the show, but he also did it so he could make the truck better suited for hauling larger trailers. The bed enhances the tough and aggressive look to the truck with its color and wrapped theme.
The truck is polished black, but the most character-rich aspect of Pete’s truck is definitely its color scheme and wrap, along with the theme that goes with it. The wrap was completed and printed by CuStumm Design & Tees, a local print shop, and installed on the truck at Pete’s shop.
“The year before, we did a Purple Heart theme,” Pete says. “This last year at SEMA, we wanted to draw attention to the U.S. Constitution and everything it stands for and help people remember this country’s core values.”
The “We the People” decal stands out in bold letters on the headache rack, celebrating American freedom. The wrap consists of a transparent American flag pattern along with an RBP logo. The Road Armor front bumper does just as well in making the truck a premium off-road machine as it does enhance its aggressive stance. Of course, protection from various projectiles is very important, because you never know what the off-road will throw at you. Because U.S. Pride lift is so big, of course Pete also needed to have some RBP electric steps installed. The RBP grille, rock lights, and Retrofit Source headlights spice up the truck further with an aggressive, modern appearance.
“I mostly use my truck to take my kids to school, go grocery shopping, and go back and forth to work,” Pete says. “Of course, I took my kids to school with it until COVID-19 came along, but other than my Harley, the truck is still my main means of transportation.” Yes, U.S. Pride mostly sees usage as a daily driver, but Pete will definitely find the time to take it off the beaten path.
“I beat the snot out of it,” he laughs. The truck has got extremely dirty and has handled the strenuous off-road, but it sure cleans up well. That makes it so much more impressive as a show truck. At major shows, the most impressive trucks are the ones that don’t only look “nice,” but they also have a rich back story on how they ended up the way they did. This truck’s engine also gets a workout as a heavy hauler, as it tows Pete’s travel trailer and a few loaded goosenecks.
“In May, we towed our 42-foot travel trailer down to the coast and back,” he says. With the truck in its current state, Pete has many great things to say about the companies that helped him, especially Road Armor and RBP.
“I love working with Road Armor; Road Armor’s always been supportive of us. I’ve known Pete at Road Armor for quite a few years,” he says.
U.S. Pride is also the second build Pete had completed with RBP. “I’m extremely happy with the way RBP treats everyone and the way everything went,” he adds. “I’ve never seen anyone like them before. I’ve done builds with SEMA for 12 years and I absolutely just love it.”
RBP has done so much good for Pete’s company, as they’ve actually hauled parts to Arizona for them on the way to SEMA, saving time, money, and resources. Even when he came in the door late at previous shows, RBP has never ceased to be so resourceful for his company. Pete has had no issues with their help in doing installs on parts. RBP is definitely a huge component of the reason Pete’s builds are special. Road Armor, CuStumm Design & Tees, and Pete’s own shop are as well, as they all played a huge role in making the truck the gem it is now.
Aggressive Outfitters LLC
CM Truck Beds
CuStumm Design & Tees
Fury Offroad Tires
The Retrofit Source
Rolling Big Power