Marion man clocks 400,000 miles on 2001 truck

Jun 17, 2020

MARION — Dave Robbins has gone through eight sets of tires, four batteries, three fuel pumps, two alternators, two water pumps, and one radiator to keep his 2001 GMC Sierra 2500HD truck running. It’s been running so well that Robbins hit 400,000 miles in the 2500, or as he calls it, “Big Red,” on June 7.

“I do whatever I can to keep it going,” he said.

His commute from Marion to the Barnstable area as a finish contractor helped him rack up the miles. He also used to travel to the Florida Keys every winter to work in warmer weather, plus a few road trips to Virginia. 

Though he travels in his truck extensively, it only gets 11 miles to the gallon.

“The only thing I can’t pass is the gas station,” Robbins said.

He bought his car two weeks after 9/11, when gas was about $1.25 per gallon. When gas prices shot to upwards of $4 a gallon in the last nine years, paying $30 at the pump would get him only a quarter of a tank.

He could’ve traded in his truck a long time ago, but he has kept it running because of its quality.

“They don’t make them like this” anymore, Robbins said. 

His 2001 GMC Sierra 2500HD is a gas-powered truck that has a 8.1-liter General Motors engine and an Allison transmission under the hood. This trio of specifications is a rarity, as his type of truck was only made for five years. 

The navy veteran hit the milestone on a June 7 Sunday drive in front of his 88-year-old father’s house in Dartmouth, something he said wasn’t planned. 

Between then and June 12, when he was interviewed, Robbins clocked in at 150 miles, so “Big Red” shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.