This article originally appeared in the November 2021 issue.
It wouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that many of the diesel pickup owners featured in our magazine said “truck,” “diesel” or maybe even “lift kit” as their first words as kids. The love of trucks is more often than not instilled in us as young children as our grandparents, parents or siblings showed us the ropes of late nights in the garage, fixing up a truck. It can be refreshing to come across someone’s diesel journey that’s just a little different. Alex Powers is different.
Getting In The Game
Alex comes from a family of nurses and doctors. She originally went to college in hopes of becoming a veterinarian — not exactly a nurse or doctor, but somewhat related. While attending State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, a public college in Cobleskill, N.Y., Alex started hanging out with mechanically inclined friends who spent their free time working on pickup trucks. She learned the ins and outs of a diesel and found she really enjoyed it, enough in fact to start studying diesel technology in school.
In her diesel technology program, Alex was one of three females in the 200-student strong major. One dropped, leaving just Alex and one other female to represent women in the program.
“Even in college some of the teachers were kind of, not nasty about it, but kind of skeptical and surprised,” Alex said. “There were other teachers who were really encouraging about it and really pushed me to learn more.”
Alex ended up finishing near the top of her class, graduating in three years with two degrees, an Associates in Applied Science (AAS) in Dairy Science with a minor in Nutrition and the other an AAS in Diesel Technology. She had successfully broken away from the family norm.
“They were kind of taken off guard,” Alex shared about her family’s reaction to her taking the diesel route. “I went to college originally to become a veterinarian so it was a total 180-degree flip and they were not expecting that. They supported me through it and they’re glad to see that I’m doing something different as a female rather than sitting in an office. I consider myself definitely independent and different from most people, from just kind of picking something up as a lifestyle and a career.”
With graduation came the grueling process of finding a job, and it wasn’t an easy one for Alex. She felt she was turned down from work for being a female, despite having an impressive resume. Still, she eventually found work as a heavy equipment and diesel truck mechanic for Delaware County in New York.
As if working in the automotive game during the day wasn’t enough, Alex hosts a truck meet every couple of weeks. It’s just a local thing, but it’s where she shows off her 2001 RAM 2500.
A Build On A Journey
It started as an impulse buy five years ago. She needed a work truck to haul animals, hay bales, tools or whatever else she needed on the farm. She found the 2500 on Craigslist and started working on it until it became a sunny-weather pavement princess instead of a farm truck.
To get the looks where she wants them, Alex installed a 2-inch lift to keep the stock 3-inch lift company. She also put in a new bed, body panels, doors, fenders, hood, grille, headlights, mirrors, taillights, wheels and tires, with a fresh paint job to boot. Inspiration for the paint color came from Googling photos of her truck, and eventually finding one in Iowa from which she pulled the creative look, with slight twists of her own. On the interior Alex spiced things up with a new cloth interior, seats and rugs, a well as a clean non-cracked dash.
Performance-wise, her diesel now claims home to a FASS Fuel System 95 GPH Lift Pump and water separator, Van Aken Superchip, Bosch Injectors and Bilstein shocks. Her favorite mod is the XDP H.O. Xtreme VP44 Injection Pump.
“It didn’t really have a lot of pull before but that really bumped it up a lot and it actually did give it some power from being a stock motor,” she said. “If I had the opportunity I would build this truck for SEMA and show those boys how driving a truck is done!”
Alex is the first to admit her motor isn’t up to speed with the look of both the exterior and interior. To fix that, she plans to add a built transmission, larger tuner, larger manifolds, head studs, head gaskets, performance valve springs, exhaust brake, 100 percent over injectors, injector nozzles, larger intercooler and pipes, 68 mm turbo, possibly built crate short block, Redhead steering box, traction bars and a possible front axle swap to cv shafts. It’s a long journey ahead, but Alex feels she’ll be ready to take it to major shows after getting the motor where she wants it.
While a passion for diesel didn’t start at a young age, for Alex a passion for photography did. She grew up stealing her mom’s camera to take pictures of anything and everything, and after watching her sister start a photography business, she decided to follow in her footsteps.
“I really like photography,” she said. “I love taking pictures basically of anything. If I see something, I try to take a capture of it.”
With either her Nikon D3300 or her Nikon D7500 camera in hand, Alex takes and posts photos of animals, people, snowmobiles and more to her photography Instagram page (@foresaken_photography). And yes, you can find photos of her diesel pickup on there as well.
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Xtreme Diesel Performance