Recently, I made a 2,625-mile round trip to Bully Dog Technologies in Aberdeen, Idaho. Bully Dog is known for superior diesel engine performance products, which increase horsepower and torque. One of our project vehicles that will debut at the '04 SEMA Show is our new Truckin' '04 Ford E-350 1-ton van with a 6.0 Power Stroke diesel. Months prior to receiving the vehicle, we had been talking to Bully Dog Technologies about its product involvement with the Truckin' van. Its enthusiastic response was accepted with one hitch - I was going to personally deliver the van to Bully Dog's facility in Aberdeen. After receiving shipment of the van from Ford, I contacted Stephen Clarke at Bully Dog to confirm an installation date. With the blessing of my editor, Steve Warner, I was packin' my bags, camera gear, and laptop in preparation for the three-day drive up to Bully Dog, with a short stop in Reno, Nevada, which would allow me to photograph a feature. I tentatively scheduled a two-day installation, then a two-day return trip home to Huntington Beach, California.

Day One:
Hoping to leave at the butt-crack of dawn Sunday morning, my plans were delayed due to modern technology, or lack of. My security key fob would not activate the gate that secures the garage where our Truckin' Ford E-350 van was parked. So my departure was delayed by one day. Once underway, the trip route took me up Highway 99 to Bakersfield, Fresno, Modesto, then Sacramento, where I hung a right and headed due east on Interstate 80 up the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Donner Pass, toward Reno, where I surrendered to a room at the Hilton.

Day Two:
The next day, I hooked up with Al Oppio, owner of Classic Chevy's in Sparks, Nevada, and an awesome '55 Chevy Stepside pickup. The high quality of this flawless custom was definitely deserving of a Truckin' magazine feature. Unfortunately, during the Hot August Nights happening two weeks earlier, I was not able to separate Al's ride from the festive event for a photo shoot, due to the fact that he was one of the 900 volunteers who put on the show and was very busy. Knowing in a couple of weeks I would be traveling up to Bully Dog in Idaho, we rescheduled a photo shoot for then.

Sure enough, I was able to hook up with Al and photograph his orange '55 early Tuesday evening, just before the sun dropped behind the mountains. Check out the unique shot inside the shop and a quick pick of his feature shoot. Look for a feature in Truckin' later this year.

Day Three:
After an early morning wake-up call, it was more seat time in the E-350, continuing on my quest to Bully Dog Technologies. As the odometer rolled over the miles and the hour hand traveled as fast as the second hand, I continued an 80-plus-mph pace blazing down the interstates. Traveling on Interstate 80 East, I blazed past Lovelock, Mill City, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain, and Wells, where I changed direction to the north, rumblin' up Highway 93 toward Jackpot, Nevada, and the Idaho border, where there was nothing but open desert and the open range for miles and miles. After crossing the Nevada/Idaho border, I continued up through Twin Falls, where I connected with Interstate 86 due east, passing by Burley, Rupert, paralleling the gorgeous Snake River, past American Falls, and into Pocatello, home of Idaho State University, where I eventually caught some Zs at a Best Western.

Day Four:
Another early a.m. wake-up call down, I was grabbin' a quick fast-food breakfast as I back-tracked 24 miles toward Aberdeen, my destination. Bully Dog Technologies is actually between American Falls and Aberdeen on Highway 39 (look for the sign on the left heading toward Aberdeen).

As I rolled into the parking lot of Bully Dog Technologies, which is located on the Klassen family's massive potato farm, I noticed the fleet of pickups, all diesel-powered, of course. Bully Dog was started by Harold, the father, then carried on by his three kids Darrell, Michele, and Phillip. A third generation is beginning to get involved with William, Michele's son. Harold has pretty much retired and owns a restaurant called The Country Kitchen (where we had a great lunch) and a Bio Mechanics store in Aberdeen. Bully Dog's state-of-the-art facility is all under one roof, complete with management, marketing, sales, engineering, research/development, manufacturing, assembly, packaging, warehousing, and shipping. The back portion of the building houses Bully Dog's installation and dyno areas. You can sense the loyalty, dedication, and camaraderie of the employees; everything seems in sync.

Before installing any Bully Dog components, we rolled the Ford E-350 6.0L Power Stroke 32-valve turbodiesel van onto the Mustang dyno rollers, strapped it down, and ran some pulls, bone stock. The Bully Dog performance package included a 4-inch-diameter 304 stainless steel after-cat with a 5-inch-diameter tip, which was installed at the Diesel Depot in Aberdeen, owned by Wally and Doug Klassen, part of the Klassen klan. The Dyno Dominator Module and Outlook Monitor were installed back at Bully Dog's facility. The Ford E-350 was then strapped down on the Mustang dyno rollers for some power and torque numbers. With the Outlook Monitor set at 100 percent peak horsepower, the mighty Power Stroke diesel pulled 341 horsepower and 692 lb-ft of torque. You can check out the entire Bully Dog E-350 Super Duty van install in an upcoming issue of Truckin'.

Day Five:
With the installation of Bully Dog performance components completed, I began my journey home, leaving Pocatello the following morning. The van felt like it was on steroids. As I re-routed myself west on Interstate 86-84, though Twin Falls, Jerome, Mountain Home, and Boise, I then turned left heading south on Highway 95, crossing the Idaho/Oregon border at a small town. I continued down Highway 95, crossing the Oregon/Nevada border into McDermitt, then Winnemucca, where I picked up Interstate 80 until I reached the 95 junction, heading down through Fallon Walker and Walker Lake into Hawthorne. I started to travel down Highway 359 only to find out that the highway had been washed out. After making a U-turn, I headed back to Hawthorne and stopped by the local Sheriff department to inquire about the road closure. The officer at the desk said it could last through the rest of the night. After studying my trusty AAA Road Map, I found a route that would go around the washed-out area. Heading down Highway 95, I hooked up with Highway 360 then Highway 6, which dropped me into Bishop, California, where I laid my head down to sleep for the night.

Day Six:
The following morning I traveled down 395 through Big Pine, Independence, Lone Pine, Olancha, and Pearsonville, where I hung a left onto Highway 95 over to Interstate 15, then over the Cajon Pass and down into San Bernardino, Ontario, Chino Hills, and home.

What a trip!