Award-winning truck builder Randall Robertson, in his own words.
“Our motto here at Rtech Fabrications is, ‘We build trucks to do truck things,'” said Robertson. “And what that means to me is I build things to be structurally right, not cosmetically right. They end up cosmetically right, but you can’t have that without starting with structure.
“Most of the people who buy our trucks want to get out and use them as trucks. Some of them even work out of them. So, you know, we do a really nice paint job, but we don’t do such a “you-can’t-touch-it” kind of a build.”
“You can’t build a pretty truck if it’s not going to hold the ‘pretty’ up.”
Began working on European cars
“When I was 17, I moved to Atlanta. I immediately went to work for a Mercedes-Benz repair shop. I started working on Mercedes right out of my basement garage. A year and a half later, I’ve got over 100 customers. I started doing high-end restorations along with my Mercedes servicing. Another five years go by and I’m now working on Jags and Porsches and BMWs. You know, that went on for 20 years. And I got to a point where I felt like I could just semi-retire, and I did.”
If you build it…
“[Building trucks] was my hobby. I really enjoyed making vehicles. And one day, man, I saw this truck and it was so cool. It was a 1972 Black Chevy Crew Cab, and I’d never seen one before.”
“I just decided, ‘Okay, I’ve got to have one, so I’ll build one.'”
“I did a lot of research. There have been some other people who have built a crew cab out of the ’67 or ’72 body style. And, you know, there’s things that I thought didn’t look like something Chevy would have done. I started cutting up a bunch of vehicles until I thought I had everything I needed to make it completely out of Chevy metal. So I just started building the first crew cab.”
“‘Cowboy’ was the name of that truck. Everybody started commenting, ‘Hey, would you build another one for somebody else? Would you be willing to do that?’ I’d say two years later I’ve got five builds going on, and they just keep coming in.
“The next build I did was the ‘Drill Sergeant.’ The ‘Drill Sergeant’ was – man, that was a cool truck. It was a C50 front end on a three-quarter-ton Suburban frame. And, again, I wanted to make sure it looked like something GM would have done. And, immediately, that was sold.
“Once I sold that, ‘Cowboy’ had sold. I don’t have the truck. You know, I need to build something new. I loved both the trucks and I decided, ‘Hey, what about making a crew-cab 50-series truck? So that’s what [the ‘Duke’] is. I finished the ‘Duke’ two years ago.”
The awards roll in
“Now, there were some little things that still need to be finished up, but I wanted to get it into the show circuit. And it was not only winning awards, but people would swarm around the truck because it was just so different than all the other things out there.
“I do build my trucks to win the Brothers Truck Show. That is my goal every year when I build a truck, even though I know it’ll go to SEMA. The ‘Drill Sergeant’ won last year. And then this year the ‘Duke’ won the same award, which is out of 700 GM trucks.
“For two of my vehicles to win it consecutively, I’m pretty happy with that. I still really enjoy building these trucks. The biggest reward for me would be, how many of these did they make? Because I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before. To me that’s a compliment because I just convinced them that GM made this truck, you know? And that’s all I need.”