Duncan Putman Trucking Photography - Cool Photos of Cool Trucks

Truck of the Month

November 2019
Anthony Russo's 1995 Kenworth W900L
Anthony Russo's 1995 Kenworth W900L pulling the Speedsport Tuning race trailer
  • Mark Harter
  • Anthony Russo

Let's face it, when you get down to the basics of a tractor-trailer, it has but one purpose, to transport goods from one point to another. But for owner-operators, their trucks are unique in many ways, reflecting their personality, tastes in color, styling and a passion for the marque they drive.

For Anthony Russo, owner of Danbury, Connecticut based A&L Russo, Inc., a food grade tanker company, his passion for trucks began at an early age, telling us "My love for trucks started at a very young age riding with my dad and his drivers." But since Anthony's family was already involved in the transportation industry, it was only natural that he would get interested in trucks, as Russo continued "At 13 years old my grandfather gave me a crew cut and said that I looked big and sent me out with a 1959 White Mustang 10 wheeler dump truck to work along side his crew and it was all down hill from that point on!"

Anthony Russo's 1995 Kenworth W900L

Since the day his grandfather sent him out with that old 1959 White Mustang, Anthony hasn't looked back, becoming an owner-operator at the age of 17 in the late 1970s, leasing on to an agent for Fort Wayne, Indiana based North American Van Lines with a 1977 White Road Commander and later purchasing an International 4070B Transtar II in 1981. Anthony jokingly told us that "My driver used to laugh about having the van lines youngest boss!"

After leaving North American Van Lines, Russo went to work pulling tanker trailers for a dairy, which allowed him to find his niche in the trucking industry and build his current business alongside his employee partners.

Always one to do things his own way, Anthony has operated trucks that fit his personality and what he loved. "I had always been a Mack guy" he said. So when he began A&L Russo, Inc. in 1988, he didn't go out and purchase the latest and greatest Mack on the dealership lot, but instead opting for an old 1961 Mack B-61 to get his company off the ground and rolling.

Since the day Russo pulled his first load with that old B-Model, the A&L Russo fleet has grown and now comprises modern equipment to keep his drivers happy and comfortable when on the job. But for the owner, he will tell you that he prefers the "old school" trucks to drive, with some of his impressive rides in recent years that include a 1993 Mack RW613 Superliner, then restoring a 1960 Mack B-753, with Anthony's current truck of choice being a 1995 Kenworth W900L.

Anthony Russo's 1961 Mack B-61
Anthony Russo's 1993 Mack RW613 Superliner

Russo enjoys looking good as he's rollin' down the highway, and his trucks reflect his sense of style and what he likes. His former Superliner began life as a day-cab tractor. Powered by a Mack E7 rated at 400 HP, mated to a Spicer 5x4 414C transmission, pushing power to 3:90 rear-ends and riding on a Neway air-ride suspension. Before Anthony acquired the truck around 2000, he told us that the big Superliner had been on the cover of Overdrive Magazine in 1994 when it had been operated by its original owner, John Diehl. After Russo purchased the Superliner, he made it his own, stretching the frame, giving the large car Mack a 300 inch wheelbase as well as adding a 36 inch Able Body sleeper, new paint as well as other custom stainless goodies and 7 inch dual exhaust pipes.

As a self-proclaimed Mack guy with a love for Bulldogs and B-models, opportunity presented itself in the form of a worn out and tired 1960 Mack B-75 in late 2012. Originally built for the Continental Can Company of Chattanooga, TN, Anthony saw potential in the tired old Mack and purchased it from Dennis Mehan. Shipping the truck off to Kevin All in Harpersfield, NY for restoration where it spent a year and a half, the old Thermodyne Diesel engine and Triplex transmission along with the rest of the old running gear was removed. In its place, a modern driveline became the heart of the B-75, with a 400 Big Cam Cummins mated to a 15-speed Fuller with a Spicer 4-speed auxiliary box pushing power to 3:70 rear-ends was installed. The classic Mack was then stretched to 300-inches using the rear-ends from a 1999 Mack CH600. In addition, a 36 inch Freightliner sleeper was integrated into the Mack cab with a custom interior along with custom stainless goodies and other accessories adorning the B-75. After the Cummins was installed, Anthony changed the Mack model of the truck to a B-753, with the "3" signifying Cummins power as this is how Mack labeled engine codes for their truck models during that time period.

Anthony Russo's 1960 Mack B-753
Anthony Russo's 1960 Mack B-753

While Anthony's 1960 Mack B-753 was of show truck quality caliber, it wasn't just a play toy as he did work the old girl, telling us that "the old Mack would receive quite a bit of attention rollin' down the highway or at a truck stop.". Russo nicknamed the B-753 "The Dominatrix" as the old Mack truck needed constant attention and sometimes he felt like a slave to it. With this in mind, a friend had a 1995 Kenworth W900L for sale that caught his attention.

Initially, Russo wasn't interested in the Kenworth as it had been involved in an accident and "needed lots of love" as he put it. But after looking the truck over and seeing its potential, especially its 14.7 litre Series 60 Detroit Diesel engine that was custom built by Jerre Martin of Ephrata, PA that was pushing a little over 800 HP at the crank and 717 HP to the ground, Anthony bought the W900L and brought it home in late 2018. With an Eaton-Fuller 18-speed transmission pushing all that horsepower to 3:90 rears with 24.5 tall rubber and riding on an 8 bag Kenworth air-ride suspension, Anthony has no problem pulling a grade with a loaded trailer, but told us he does keep an eye on the pyrometer at times.

Currently the truck rides on a 240 inch wheelbase and is equipped with a 60" flat-top Kenworth sleeper and has a full VIT Diamond Tuck interior. All aluminum wheels adorn the W900L with polished 150 gallon fuel tanks, 8 inch straight pipes as well as other stainless and custom goodies both inside and out and like any owner-operator, there's more to come in the future.

Anthony Russo's 1995 Kenworth W900L pulling the Speedsport Tuning race trailer

If you ask Anthony, he will tell you straight out that the best truck he's ever owned has been his W900L. And why's that? Well, as Anthony put it, "The W900L is a classic design and I love the look of the truck as well as the way the truck rides." as Russo continued " The Kenworth dashboard and the Diamond Tuck interior is classic as well, and it's a true owner-operator rig that's enjoyable to drive."

While tankers are Anthony's primary business, he has a passion for racing as well; providing enclosed automobile transportation for Speedsport Tuning and their Porsche race team at PCA events at famous race tracks around the country that include names such as Sebring International, Daytona International, Watkins Glen, Road America and others.

Anthony has been married to his wife Lisa for 35 years. and outside of trucking or playing with trucks, he enjoys spending time with his friends and family, traveling with Lisa and relaxing on the beach.

  • Special thanks to Anthony Russo for sharing his story and his trucks with our readers!
  • Do you own a unique rig? Get your truck featured here on our website and show-it-off to the world! Click Here to contact us and tell us about your truck!

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