Thompson Helps Build New Truck for Cat® | Thompson News

Thompson Machinery Mechanics


As a certified chassis builder, the Thompson Truck Centers in LaVergne, TN recently had the opportunity to construct a glider chassis for Caterpillar Inc.  The unit will replace Caterpillar’s former scale truck that is being retired from service.

The build consisted of numerous jobs, all performed by the skilled truck shop technicians at the Thompson Truck Center supervised by Richard Holman, Glider Production Manager. A 550 hp, 1850 torque, 6NZ C15 Cat engine (rebuilt by Thompson) was installed into a 389 Peterbilt chassis, along with an Eaton 18-speed transmission. The Thompson technicians also installed a chrome dress up kit on the engine, wired the glider chassis for the engine and dash configuration, as well as changing out the rear axles to 3:90 ratios.

“It’s a real special thing to be the Cat dealer with the capabilities to do this quality of work, especially when we get the opportunity to do it for Caterpillar,” stated Ricky Cook, Truck Service Operations Manager at Thompson.  Allan Wainscott, General Manager at Thompson Truck Centers states, “Our vision at Thompson Machinery is ‘to be the best Cat dealer, period,’ and when we get to perform this kind of specialized work for our customers – that not many others can do – we really feel like we’re fulfilling that vision.”

Glider Kit trucks from Thompson Truck Centers give you a truck tailored to your needs, but without the hassle of finding the parts, getting quotes, and building an engine. With your guidance, Thompson takes care of the whole project and assembles a turnkey truck. Glider Kits with Cat Power include 4-year unlimited mileage Extended Service Coverage on engine, clutch, and transmission.

First, a Thompson Truck Centers specialist will assist in building specifications for a Western Star or Freightliner Glider Kit. Thompson works with each manufacturer representative to assure the most up to date specifications are available for your application. Then, build you a CAT engine, in-house, that comes with a 4 year/unlimited mileage OPT warranty on the engine, clutch, and transmission (includes towing to the nearest dealer). We have several CAT engines in inventory adaptable to your chassis. Many customers have found newer engines to be costly to maintain. Your long-term maintenance cost will be reduced with a Thompson rebuilt CAT engine.

Next you select your choice of transmission: an 8LL, 10, 13, or 18 Speed Eaton Reman Transmission ,or Allison Automatic that is built to your powertrain requirements, and couple it to a custom fabricated, balanced, and smoothed driveshaft to put that CAT horsepower on the road. You also get your choice of accessories. We will assemble the cleanest looking engine bay you’ve ever seen with hose and wire tucking and easy-to-access grease points and filters. All come standard. You can choose to stay true to OEM if you just need your engine to work hard or add stainless steel, polished aluminum or custom painted tubing if you want to show it off. A standard full 5″ turbo back exhaust is included to optimize performance over some OEM’s 4″ exhaust.

Thompson Truck Centers, LLC will professionally assemble your CAT powered truck to the highest standards. You can take comfort in a Cat dealer who consistently ranks for its customer satisfaction by providing skilled technicians, quality craftsmanship, and a great customer experience. For additional information, visit, or contact us today at 888-715-1216 to discuss your new and used truck or glider kit needs.