January 7, 2008
PORTLAND, Ore. When Michael Most entered his 1998 yellow Freightliner® Classic XL into the Las Vegas truck show, he wanted to prove to the competition that a Freightliner truck could outshine the rest.
Most, owner of Michael Most Trucking, Phoenix, accomplished his mission by taking home the Best of Show award for his mural Legends & Heroesâ€ mural. In addition to Best of Show, Most took home the Best Mural and Best Theme award with his Freightliner.
Most continued his winning streak at the Stars and Stripes Truck Show at TruckerFest in Reno, Nevada, by winning Best of Show and Best Mural.
I™ve been going to these shows for years, and I always felt that Freightliner wasn™t represented well,â€ said Most. Last year, I began entering truck competitions to prove how great a Classic XL could compete.â€
When deciding upon the theme of his truck, Most was inspired by his long family line of New York City police officers and firefighters, so he chose murals to represent the heroes and legends.
The back of the truck is in memory of 9/11, depicting firefighters raising the American flag in front of the World Trade Center, flanked by the New York City police and firefighter shields. Keeping with the heroes theme, the Army, Navy and Marine Corps are drawn as M&M characters on the left side of his truck. M&M characters also are depicted on the right side of his truck, drawn hitch-hiking their way to the Las Vegas truck show.
To Most, the only appropriate celebrity legend that should be represented is Dale Earnhart Sr., whose face and trademark number three are depicted within a mural on the inside hood. A ghost image of Earnhart, painted in gold flake, occupies the space on top of the hood.
Most plans on competing in the entire truck show circuit next year, continuing to showcase the Legends & Heroesâ€ theme. The circuit includes stops at the Mid-America Truck Show, the Salt Lake City Truck Show and The Great American Trucking Show.
Although deciding on a theme for his truck was easy, the decision to purchase a Freightliner was not as simple. It wasn™t until Most visited the Freightliner dealership in Phoenix that he knew he would purchase a Classic XL.
Most purchased his first Freightliner in 1998 when he decided to start his own business with his wife, Janeen, after driving for PetSmart now his biggest customer. Most was intimidated by the purchase but the Freightliner dealer learned of Most™s needs as a first-time truck owner and outfitted him with the Classic XL he owns today.
I told them what I wanted and they delivered,â€ Most said.
In addition to pet food supplies, Most and his team of 66 drivers haul for Jeldwen, Poor Boy Potato Chips and Westin Container.
Freightliner has gone above and beyond to meet all my needs since I purchased the truck,â€ he said. They make sure my service requests are promptly met, not only in Phoenix where I bought my truck, but all across the country. I need a truck I can rely on that runs and runs correctly. In nine years, Freightliner has always come through for me.â€
Most is highly impressed by his Classic XL™s roomy interior, smooth ride and classic long nose. The roomy cab, 70-inch Condo sleeper and wide seats are why he wouldn™t drive anything but a Classic XL.
I like the feel of the truck when I am driving with a long extended hood,â€ Most said. Even though it™s comfortable, it still feels like I am driving a truck, and that™s just as important to me.â€
Most credits the reliability of his truck to the original Caterpillar engine installed in the Classic XL, lasting more than one million miles with the original turbo, starter and injectors, only to be rebuilt to showcase in truck shows. Averaging six miles per gallon at 75,000 miles per year, Most is more than satisfied with his truck™s durability.
Finding success with his first truck, Most now owns 60 trucks all Freightliners including the Century Class® S/T, the Columbia® and the two Classic XLs he customizes for truck shows.
I™ve been as far east as Texas and Oklahoma and all over the west in more than 60 trucks,â€ said Most. I have never driven anything that has run as smoothly or has had fewer problems than my Classic XL.â€
Freightliner Trucks is a division of Freightliner LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Freightliner LLC produces and markets Class 3-8 trucks and is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the world”s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.