Custom Cab: Cummins-Powered Volvo!

If you haven’t noticed, custom built trucks have become a thing. And I don’t mean a pickup truck with a lift kit and dually axle, I mean vehicles that were formerly reserved for commercial and/or industrial use now being retrofitted for life as a commuter vehicle. Obviously, these excessive builds require a certain kind of owner, but I’ve seen enough of them now to believe there’s a captive audience for creations like this. This is a custom-built Volvo trailer cab with a Ford dually bed and tailgate, and powered by a modified L10 Cummins. Find it here on craigslist for $19,500 in Tennessee.

If the Ford F650 is the SUV of choice for bros with too much expendable income, is a Volvo that gets the same treatment the choice of the prep school kid? I’m not sure you can possibly assign this Volvo an identity, but if the seller was the one who oversaw the custom build, he did a nice job of integrating two very different personalities. Obviously, Volvo is well known for its commercial division that builds reliable tractor trailer cabs, but this conversion makes it look like it’s from a different make entirely. With the lower stance and no trailer in tow, it really does start to look like an oversized pickup. The seller notes the Ford-sourced bed has had its wheel wells cut out and track widened by four inches.

The engine is a reliable Cummins L10, and the seller references that it’s been modified for more power. The stock horsepower rating is 300 b.h.p. from the factory, but the seller claims he has 330 b.h.p. at his disposal now. This actually addresses one of the major complains about the L10, which is lack of power. Reading through various owners forums, it seems it’s a mixture of both power and gearing issues, and the seller’s improvements will helpfully make this L10 feel a bit more lively. The good news is most truck enthusiasts agree the L10 is a highly durable mill that can be a workhorse for years – just don’t expect to win any races with it.

The interior looks darn comfy, with two front buckets and a bench in the back. The seller has obviously thought things through, as he mentions this was his daily driver. That’s a commitment to drive something this size every day, but if you drove a tractor trailer all your life, this likely seems pretty easy to navigate. The Volvo is equipped with a nine-speed transmission and a hitch camera, but surprisingly, there’s no air conditioning. Given the Volvo is in Tennessee, I would have assumed the seller would have liked to be able to turn the A/C on occasionally. Regardless, this is a very cool creation and an ideal conveyance when you need one vehicle that can seemingly do it all.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Good heavens, does anyone know how to remove vomit from a keyboard? This is the truck that single-handedly took down our class 8 semi truck business. IH, Freightliner, Mack, Ford (Sterling) all took major hits when Volvo showed up. Not sure why, they all have the same components. I think it, like anything, comes down to economics. I think if you ordered 12, they threw in a 13th. They were cheap, and generic, but they hauled the mail. Volvo has become quite a respected name with the VNL 860, they are the butt of all jokes, but a great deal of our freight today is hauled by Volvos.
    The L-10 has to be the lousiest motor I ever sat behind. A place I worked for ordered 4 new Fords with L-10’s. Our glee was quickly squelched, they were the most worthless engines, for 80K anyway, and delivered so-so mileage(7-8) but they couldn’t understand why we burned them out in 18 months. Our foot was on the floor all day. For an application like this, I suppose they are adequate. The other draw’rback, is the 9 speed. It’s a pain rowing thru the gears at every stop light, automatics are well proven and a better way to go.
    As usual, these “Big Pickups” are nothing more than “my ego( or whatever) is bigger than yours” mentality, you want to drive around in a single axle semi, by all means, have at it. It would be no retirement for me.

    Like 30
    • Howie Mueler

      So Howard are you in or out?

      Like 13
  2. Greg

    The proportions are downright silly with that rear Ford bed looking way to short and small. Not seeing any reason to want this.

    Like 10
  3. Raymond

    Be the king of the douche mobiles….

    Like 13
  4. Mike

    Must get use to long walks to the store entrance when you have to park in the back of the lot, or depending on your ego, just take up 4 parking spots right up front.

    Like 7
  5. Araknid78

    Located in Bulls Gap, TN

  6. chrlsful

    closest big city had a fleet of the single screw wolwos @ the P.O. Seemed like a great idea (maneuverability). Ten foot WB? I went down to the auction as a friend wanted a tiny home or mobile house type thing built. Even used up was a lill too much $ for us.
    This is just a nightmare (“Watch this, hold my beer.”). Da mod needs moddin…

    Like 2
  7. David

    Volvo builds one hell’ve a truck and I would put it on par with Peter built or kenworth, ( same manufacturer) but as far as the L10 come apart they can have it, give me a Detroit engine or a Cat any day!

    Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      Volvo has certainly made a name for itself in the class 8 industry. To be fair, ALL trucks are basically the same today. When this truck came out, it was a stark improvement over the original Volvo/White/GMC, which was really a rebadged White. It was the end of the line for GMC and White. Back then, there really was a difference in trucks, and Volvo catered to the multi truck day cab freight companies, but branched out into the OTR business and million mile Volvos are common. I still think KW is the best truck, but Volvo sure made them sweat.

      Like 1
  8. Mark

    I think this is the worst looking semi pick up I have seen to date…. At least the f650 Ford is proportional. This looks like a clown car.

    Like 2
  9. Jim

    My first thought was, “how stupid!”. But then it struck me that this isn’t a WHOLE lot more ridiculous than the pickup trucks that Detroit is putting out today. It’s not that much bigger and it serves the same purpose….to help someone compensate for their insecurities.

    Like 2

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