Trying to power up a semi-truck abandoned since 1995

Parked up for 27 years, the semi-truck looked like a bridge too far for Bruce and his buddy, but they had every faith they could get the old girl running again.

by | Published on 31st Mar 2023

It’s never an easy task getting a vehicle running again after being parked for years.

There might be plenty of successful attempts online, but there are plenty of failed ones, too.

This particular case didn’t look promising.

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The video in question is of a semi-truck that had been parked up and abandoned since 1995.

Well, that’s the date it had on its IFTA tag anyway.

Bruce Wilson doesn’t reveal a whole lot about the semi-truck in the video, other than it’s a Transtar Cabover with a Cummins 14-liter small-cam engine.

He stumbled across the semi on Facebook Marketplace, but rather than negotiating a price with the seller, he offered to try to get it running again for free.

Even Bruce thought he’d bitten off more than he could chew.

To say the semi-truck was in a sorry state would be an understatement.

It’d been parked up that long, its tires were literally in the ground, so getting it running again was going to take a lot of work.

Not to be deterred, Bruce and his buddy turned up to the owner’s place armed with two fresh batteries.

They got to work jacking up the semi’s cab to get access to hook up the new batteries.

With one of the new batteries hooked up, immediately there were signs of life as a buzzer started sounding.

Spurred on by this, Bruce turned the key to see if the engine was locked but surprisingly, it turned.

It was time to connect the second battery but as soon as he did, sparks started flying and there was smoke everywhere.

Slightly panicked by this, Bruce thought it best to go back to the one battery and try getting the engine to turn again. 

It just wasn’t having any of it, though.

He tried giving it some extra juice from his pickup, but that didn’t work.

There was no other option – he had to connect the second battery, making sure it had good connections.

That must’ve been the reason for the sparks and smoke previously, as when Bruce turned the key again, the semi came roaring back to life.

It did look at one point as if the semi-truck had defeated Bruce and his buddy.

But with some ingenuity and a lot of patience, they pulled it off.



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Adam Gray is an experienced motoring journalist and content creator based in the United Kingdom. Using his media accreditation with motor manufacturers’ press offices, Adam test drives the latest cars and attends new vehicle press launches, producing written reviews and news pieces for supercarblondie.com. Before joining the Supercar Blondie team, Adam was Motoring Editor for Portfolio North magazine, North East Motoring Editor at Reach plc, and provided motoring content on a freelance basis to several lifestyle and business publications in the North of England. When he’s not behind the wheel of the latest car, Adam can be found at his local rink playing ice hockey or supporting his beloved Middlesbrough FC.

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