Firefighter Family Reconnects Over Texas Chrome Firetruck Rebuild

With a background and expertise in all things semi-truck, the team can tackle almost anything. But a unique request came forward late this past summer that would test their skills as big rig outfitters.

San Antonio, TX, December 06, 2016 --( Texas Chrome, the company featured on the Texas Trocas television show that resumed on October 17th for its 3rd season with Discovery en Español, is known for both humility and glamour.

After all, they specialize in outfitting semi-trucks (big rigs) with LED lights, custom paint jobs and aftermarket parts. The company also recently took home a best of show award in the Pride & Polish competition at the annual truckers convention (GATS) in Dallas this past August.

Enter Peter Schuh, a former fireman from Long Island, New York with a family history in the profession. Peter is the owner and former operator of a one of a kind 1980 Kenworth fire truck, the same model with which his grandfather and father also served for many years when it was in use.

Peter worked with Texas Chrome to get his fire truck restored to its original condition, complete with original parts and an original paint job (that according to Peter is quite superior in quality to the coating it had originally). Though the semi-truck outfitter is used to adding their own ideas into a build (and adding a significant amount of shine), Peter wanted the truck to be rebuilt to its exact original shape, color, and qualities.

Texas Chrome has “unbelievable vision,” Peter claimed, “they’re great people to work with.” By reviewing photographs of the original truck, along with descriptions from Peter, the Texas Chrome team was able to do the job.

For Peter, the best part of the story is coming full circle with his family’s history alongside the vehicle.

Peter’s father and grandfather both served on the same truck, along with the rest of their fire department on Long Island, NY. His father was actually involved in the designing of the truck, and Peter had seen it around since he was 9 years old. In many ways the Schuh family story is similar to the story of the Mendez family, which has also grown up around large trucks, starting with Raul Mendez Sr.’ single semi.

Peter’s father was a captain of the department, and has been a volunteer for fire departments for nearly 50 years. Peter himself, who joined the department at 18 years old, would also go on to become captain, following in his father’s footsteps.

The two were both involved in the recovery and cleanup efforts of the World Trade Center wreckage in the months following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City.

Peter will always tell you that they were not the real heroes during this difficult time. He’ll reiterate to you that the real heroes were the first responders who put their lives on the line to save others during and immediately after the attacks themselves.

It’s fair to say though that the truck has seen a lot of action over the years. Spanning 3 generations and hundreds of runs with the department, Peter pointed out that the truck itself actually only has 25,000 miles under its belt, with the majority of its time being spent at the station (as is customary for fire trucks).

The truck was a monster in its proportions, and was even invited to participate in a parade across state in New Jersey.

But how did the truck go from being decommissioned from operation in 1998 in New England to getting a rebuild all the way down in San Antonio, Texas and featuring on a popular television show?

Peter had known of Texas Chrome for a few years. He was first introduced to them back in 2011 when Robb Mariani featured the company in his American Trucker show. But it was actually his mother that introduced him to the San Antonio semi truck team.

Peter had managed to find the original, unmistakable tractor of the truck in Pennsylvania in 2013, about 15 years after it was originally decommissioned. The truck was just 3 weeks from being scrapped and the transmission wasn’t working, but he acquired it just in time and had it shipped closer to home.

It needed a lot of work, and Peter visited various auto shops in the New York City area to try and get it restored to its original condition, but couldn’t find anyone who would take the job.

Peter’s mother knew about his love for the truck and the family connection behind it, and also knew about Texas Chrome, and decided to pair the two. Texas Chrome received her letter, and agreed to take on the challenge.

The project is now nearing completion, and as it does Peter is reminded of how far it has come. His father was able to visit the truck in San Antonio, Texas as it was being restored, getting a chance to see a pristine and authentic reincarnation of the a vehicle with which he is fondly familiar.
Texas Chrome
Liam Miner