Truck of the month -- October 2001

"About 12 years ago, I was in England and saw a miniature red fire engine, and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen," said Tim Carlson, owner of Carlson Mechanical LLC in Mill Creek, Wash. "I said if I ever painted a truck, I would paint it red with the same color lettering." Ten years later, he did.

The truck, which will celebrate its second birthday this Christmas, is a fiery-red Isuzu with the Carlson Mechanical logo glowing in gold. The inside of the truck, designed by Carlson mechanic Bryan Monsaas, holds tools, an onboard air-compressor, a five-gallon water cooler, -- considered by Monsaas to be great for hot days with heavy work -- a 12-ft. pipe rack and locker boxes in the skirting.

"Accessibility of the tools is important to me," Monsaas said. "It can hold everything I really need."

The inside is also able to contain oil burner work. "It has a bench, a slop-bucket and clean-up materials so I can do the dirty work in my van and keep the mess out of the customers home," Monsaas continued. Monsaas, who has been designing the inside of trucks for 14 years, said the inside is still a work in progress. He has plans to wire the truck and put a grinder aboard.

Although the inside of the truck houses the necessary materials, the outside of the truck has gained Carlson plenty of exposure. "People tell us they love our trucks," Monsaas said. "We get a lot of calls because of the truck. It works as good advertising."

The truck is so popular with Carlson and his mechanics that they just ordered another one. This new truck will be a mirror image of its older brother, but will have less head-height room for fitting into smaller spaces.

"We are very proud of this truck," Carlson said. With an exterior that draws people's eyes and a user-friendly interior, this pacific northwestern truck is a beautiful thing.