Category Archives: Blog

11 Common Questions Small Business-Owners Ask About Section 179 Deductions In 2018
Section 179 Tax Deduction

As 2018 draws to a close, specialized truck buyers are rushing to take advantage of the IRS Section 179 deduction. If the acquisition of trucking equipment is important to grow and run your own business, then you should be similarly excited about Section 179 and take action as soon as possible.


The new and improved clauses in Section 179 makes 2018 an incredible year to save on taxes and give your small and medium-sized business the fillip it needs to scale up over the next few years.


At Custom Truck One Source, we are receiving a lot of queries from potential buyers of specialized trucks – dump trucks, boom trucks, forestry trucks, building supply trucks, diggers, trailers etc. – about how they can take advantage of Section 179 before December 31st, 2018.


In this article, we’re answering 11 most common questions we’re getting asked about Section 179 by our customers. And while this is by no means legal advice on how you can use Section 179 to improve your business, we are the first single-source provider of specialized trucks and heavy equipment solutions in North America and have the largest rental line-up in the nation.


If you have any questions about purchases or leases before December 31st, 2018, do call us at 844-282-1838 or Email us at: We’re standing by to help you get the most value from Section 179 deductions with the largest selection of equipment to suit every budget.


#1: Why is Section 179 Deduction Such an Exciting Proposition In 2018?


  • The $500,000 limit of 2017 has been extended to $1,000,000 in 2018. What this means is a small business owner can deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment purchased or financed during the tax year. So if you buy/lease a qualifying equipment, like a specialized truck from Custom Truck, you can deduct the full purchase price from your gross income. This is a rare incentive that is being offered by the US government to encourage small and medium-sized businesses to look forward, buy equipment and do a faster and quicker job of scaling their operations for their future.


#2: Has the Bonus Depreciation Also Been Raised?


  • Yes, the bonus depreciation, which is used beyond Section 179, has also been increased to 100% (from the earlier 50%) through 2022. It covered only `new’ equipment until the most recent tax laws were passed, and `used’ equipment was also brought into its fold.


Bonus Depreciation is useful to very large businesses spending more than the Section 179 Spending Cap (currently $2,500,000) on new capital equipment.


#3: What About the Phase-Out Purchase Limit?


  • From $2,030,000 in 2017, the phase-out limit has been raised to $2,500,000 which means your deductions will start to decrease dollar-for-dollar only after you have exceeded this new limit.


For example, if you purchased $4 million worth of equipment, you would now be $1,500,000 over the phase-out purchase limit, and your deduction would decrease by $1,500,000.


#4: What is the Big Advantage Of Section 179?


  • The major advantage of Code Section 179 expensing is that it is flexible, and lets business-owners choose between individual assets as compared to bonus depreciation which also allows for a 100% write-off, but has to be elected for an entire class of assets.


#5: What is the Disadvantage Of Section 179?


  • It can only be used if the trade or business has taxable income for the year.


#6: Where Can We Find A Section 179 Calculator?


  • Here’s an updated example of Section 179 at work during the 2018 tax year. (Source:


Section 179 Calculation



#7: Are Specialized Trucks An Eligible Deduction?


  • Absolutely! Which is why we’re urging buyers to act before December 31, 2018 to take advantage of the deductions on new, used and leased specialized trucks and heavy equipment from Custom Trucks One Source. (Check out our inventory by clicking here.)


#8: How Can Section 179 Be Combined With Equipment Financing?


  • This is a very important conversation to have with your financial lender. According to Justin Forbrook, Vice President at U.S. Bank: “The amount you deduct will almost always exceed your cash outlay for the year when you combine (i) a properly structured Equipment Lease or Equipment Finance Agreement with (ii) a full Section 179 deduction. It is a bottom line enhancing tool (plus, you get the new equipment you’re adding to your business).”


#9: What Is Section 179 Depreciation Recapture?


  • If you sell an asset after taking depreciation on it, you have to declare the amount you sold it for as “income”, in order to “recapture” the income on the depreciation you have just taken.


#10: What Is A Section 179 Carryover?


  • In case you have taken a Section 179 deduction in excess of your taxable income, you can carry that amount over to the next year. For example: You take $50,000 of Section 179, but only have $20,000 of taxable income before the deduction. The $30,000 is carried forward to the next tax year.


#11: What Is Section 179 Amended Return?


  • You go back to a previous year – 2015, for example – and amend the return to change the amount of Section 179 that was taken of the return.


* This information is provided for general use only and does not constitute specific tax or legal advice on any particular matter.  Any liability resulting from reliance on this information is expressly disclaimed.  Please discuss any specific circumstances with your accounting, legal and tax advisors.


* Sources:, DeltaModTech and HawkinsAshCPAs.


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Improved Safety Features: New Growth Area In Vocational Truck Specs

Given that vocational trucks represented less than 6% of new Class 8 vehicle registrations in 2017, the niche nature of the market means innovations are slow to catch on here. But that said, more and more technologies initially developed for on-road fleets are now migrating to vocational trucks.


As an older generation of drivers is phasing out of the workforce, a younger generation is replacing them with a modern outlook that readily embraces technology to improve drivability, safety and overall job-related performance. From a fleet management point of view, their adoption affords long-term benefits that reduce operational costs and retain a healthy and experienced workforce for the long term.


Safety-related specs are one of several technology-backed innovations that can be applied to vocational trucks and are currently a major area of interest:




Working in closed urban neighborhoods and sharing busy, congested road space with an increasing number of passenger cars, safety is one of the most pressing concerns with vocational trucks these days.


As of now, over-the-road fleets definitely have an advantage over vocational ones when it comes to advanced safety specs like tire pressure management systems, active driving systems, automatic braking, human detection systems, side-looking vehicle detection systems etc.


Features such as these, which would make vocational trucks safer on the roads, especially for young, inexperienced operators, are still not so commonplace that you can spec them easily from OEMs.


But that day is soon coming.


Vocational trucks often work in more dynamic, unpredictable and congested environments than long-haul trucks, and the more safety features they can be fortified with the better it’s going to look for a business’ bottomline with less chances of accidents, injuries, escalating healthcare and insurance costs etc.




The manual gearbox is getting antiquated in vocational fleets – especially in medium-duty applications where driving is only a part of the job.


Automated and automatic transmissions are already here, and definitely the way of the future, as the workforce gets younger and new drivers find it easier to transition safely into the job with less intensive training. Thanks to these two-pedal transmissions, there is one less distraction on the road, not to mention less physical fatigue that usually results from clutching and shifting a manual transmission.


And it isn’t just improved driver health and safety that reduces maintenance costs in the long run either.


Automatic and automated transmissions are offering application-related features that are congruent with the very specific needs of construction companies, road pavers, cement mixers and other vocations in which old-timer operators have traditionally been biased in favor of three pedals to get tasks done.


The amazing versatility of these transmissions on jobsites and on highways mean less burnt-out clutches and broken axles, improved vehicle maneuverability, fuel economy etc. – which all add up to make fleet management more robust and operationally less expensive in the long run.


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2018 Section 179 At-A-Glance

As we come to the end of 2018, equipment buyers are looking to take advantage of the IRS Section 179 deduction – and with good reason too! Learn more about Section 179 and how you can optimize your fleet while saving your business money:


Section 179 At-A-Glance Infographic


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10 Things to Consider When Buying or Renting a Bucket Truck
Terex Hi-Ranger Optima TC55 Bucket Truck

Bucket trucks are essential equipment these days for a variety of industries. From exterior painting and window washing to construction, electric utility and telecom – the right bucket truck applied to the right kind of job can make all the difference between getting it done and getting it done efficiently, quickly and well within budget.


However, choosing the right bucket truck for your fleet or your business requires a careful analysis of your needs, expectations and the unique requirements of the jobs it is expected to perform.


This quick primer will help you think about your situation and then make a shortlist of the best equipment possible before you go shopping:



  • The finance guy at your business may not be the best person to decide which bucket/boom truck you should buy. Costs aside, there are specs to consider, and personnel who handle these equipments on a day-to-day basis or have real world experience of them should be part of the decision-making process.


  • Explore the kind of jobs your new (or new-to-you) equipment is going to be used for.

For example, how high will the aerial equipment need to reach? (If the job is at 50 feet but cannot be accessed from directly underneath, you will need a truck that is rated for greater working height than 50 feet because the further the equipment has to be positioned back, the more height allowance will be necessary.)


  • An articulated boom/bucket truck is constructed with parts on joints that fold and bend easily. This affords a lot of extra maneuverability, especially indoors or in tight spaces where the equipment has to negotiate around a variety of obstacles.


Within the articulated category, there are things like Over Center and Non-Over Center to consider. An Over Center lift will allow the bucket to move beyond the center of the truck, extending the side reach (very useful feature for forestry and construction jobs). A Non-Over Center lift cannot move beyond the center of the truck and therefore is more restricted in its reach.


Unlike an Articulated bucket, a Telescopic one does not have jointed moving parts. Instead, it moves upwards and outwards. But what the Telescopic lacks in maneuverability, it makes up for in stability. So if the job is located at a great height, or the terrain is rough and rocky, or if heavy materials are being moved from one point to another, then the Telescopic will probably be a more efficient choice than an Articulated one.


  • The body type you choose – steel, aluminum or fiberglass — will have a direct impact on factors like intended use, fuel efficiency and durability.


  • Most bucket trucks have a platform capacity that ranges between 400 lbs and 2,000 lbs. The higher the elevation afforded and the greater the side reach, the lesser you get by way of platform weight capacity.


  • Besides regulation necessities, the type of chassis you select can affect things like platform height, material handling capacity, payload etc.


  • Though bucket trucks are mostly powered by a diesel engine, some newer models are incorporating hybrid technology into their power systems, which allows the truck to run on diesel, while the aerial functions are powered by the electric motor.


  • Both manual and automatic transmissions are employed for bucket trucks. Cost of operating the two is roughly the same, so the choice usually comes down to a matter of preference. However, a manual transmission does offer more control, while an automatic transmission (which costs a little more) affords a smoother driving experience with less roll-back on inclines.


  • Choice of accessories depends on the nature of the tasks a bucket truck is expected to perform, and can largely be divided into three industries: telecom, forestry and general utilities.


Telecom: Wire dispenser, hotline jumper holder, air compressor, bucket step.


Forestry: Chainsaw scabbards, chainsaw boom, boom strap.


General Utilities: Toolbox, bucket cover, ground protection mat, wheel chock.


  • When it comes to bucket trucks, one size doesn’t fit all. If your must-have list of features has some special specifications, customization may be the most cost-effective option depending on the nature of the job you have at hand.





Custom Truck One Source is the first true single-source provider of specialized truck and heavy equipment solutions. With sales, rentals, aftermarket parts and service, equipment customization, remanufacturing, financing solutions, and asset disposal, our team of experts, vast equipment breadth and integrated network of locations across North America offer superior service and unmatched efficiency for our customers.


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End Dump vs. Bottom Dump: Which Trailer is Right for You?
Load King End Dump Trailer

For materials-moving operations, you need to consider all your options when choosing dump trailers. What are the choices that you have? There are a few configurations of dump trailers including end dumps, bottom dumps, side dumps, etc. However, people are generally asked to choose between end dumps and bottom dumps.


Determining the right type of dump trailer for your operation is easier said than done. To make the right choice, it is imperative that you find out the use of both end dump trailers and bottom dump trailers as well as the difference between the two.


Understanding the Differences Between End Dumps and Bottom Dump Trailers
Compared to a standard dump truck, an end dump trailer can carry larger loads. Additionally, it offers rapid unloading. Not only that, end dumps are also capable of hauling difficult materials such as large demolition debris. How are end dump trailers able to handle such abusive material? By incorporating a heavy-sided design. Typically, end dumps have higher sides than bottom and side dumps and thus carry more cubic yardage. However, this doesn’t necessarily translate into more weight.


Bottom dump trailers are dump trailers comprising of a clamshell dump gate on the bottom of the trailer. Opening the clamshell allows materials to be precisely laid in a window left and right or spread evenly across the rear of the trailer when it opens front to rear. Bottom dumps are commonly used for three types of applications: stockpiling, material transport, and asphalt paving.


Bottom dumps can offer an extremely quick turnaround time as their wheels never stop turning. You can drive a bottom dump right through the dump zone and can dump an entire 21-yd. load in about 25 ft. Additionally, the material can be easily handled with the loader or dozer.


Bottom dumps trailers are also a popular choice for laying a window of asphalt in front of a paver laydown machine. This is possible due to the ability of bottom dumps to produce a higher quality mat with fewer seams. While the bottom dump is quite versatile in its use, it has its limitations. There are restrictions on material size that can come down through the gate and flow out cleanly underneath the axles.


Load King, the manufacturing arm of Custom Truck One Source, has been manufacturing Bottom Dumps and End Dump Trailers for over 50 years, in addition to several other types of trailers and vocational trucks. Check out the latest models of End Dumps and Bottom Dumps and contact your local sales or rental representative if you have questions or would like a quote.


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What is a material handler?
Material Handling Bucket Truck

From telecom and forestry to construction firms and local utility companies, bucket trucks are fast becoming the primary vehicles for many industries today. Bucket trucks enable workers to safely reach heights of more than 100 feet while allowing them to reposition the bucket to reach out-of-the-way spots that would be impossible or unsafe to attempt with a ladder or scissor lift.


One type of bucket truck that is increasing in popularity and use each day is the material handling bucket truck. As the name suggests, material handling bucket trucks focus on the material handling features that distinguish this type of truck from other bucket trucks. Modified versions of the traditional bucket trucks, material handling bucket trucks are designed specifically to handle moderate sized loads in addition to supporting personnel in buckets. The purpose of a material handling bucket truck is the quick, safe and easy movement of materials as compared to doing it manually.


While there are many benefits of using a material handling bucket truck, operating the truck safely requires knowledge of the differences between a traditional bucket truck and a material handling truck, as well as the skills for properly handling loads. So, what makes material handling bucket trucks useful? This is best explained through uses and benefits of a material handling bucket truck.


The Uses and Benefits of Material Handling Bucket Trucks
A bucket truck with a material handler makes it easy to move material from one spot to another. This can entail pivoting, turning, or stacking the material. Not only does this help cut down on human fatigue, but it also ensures safe handling of equipment which is difficult and unsafe to move manually.


Additionally, a bucket truck with a material handler can stabilize or hold equipment to prevent movement during transportation or storage. Material handling bucket trucks can lift heavy loads without additional equipment or special rigging.


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The Sprayer Truck: A Custom-Built Vegetation Control Hi-Rail Vehicle
CTOS Rail Sprayer Truck

What comes to mind when I say railroad?


When asked, many might conjure up thoughts of freight trains, steam engines, frustrating waits at crossing gates, or the historic expansion to the old west. However, regarding the many rail professionals, who serve to maintain and construct our railway systems, we’d wager a few other things come to mind such as tie replacement, tie pick up and disposal, rail renewal, rail grinding, track surfacing, or today’s topic: vegetation control.


Weeds, Trees, & Railways  

Invasive vegetation may merely exist as an eyesore for many of us, but the same can’t be said for those MOW personnel tasked with maintaining the many rail systems that traverse our country’s landscape. When it comes to the railroads, these eyesores quickly turn into operational impediments and safety hazards. Railroads must adhere to strict regulations mandated by the FRA with regards to track clearance and grade crossings’ line of sight.


Such invasive vegetation is at its worst during the summer months of the year. Given the importance of meeting FRA regulations, railroads have in-depth programs and fleets to combat the advances of the dreaded weed and its counterparts. Multiple times a year, pre-emergent herbicides and other products used to prevent/neutralize invasive growth are sprayed alongside and atop the trackbed to secure its infrastructure. Mother Nature can be resilient, but fortunately for all of us, the men and women who maintain our railway systems are, too.


Combating the Mean Green: The CTOS Sprayer Truck


CTOS Spraying Truck on Railroad


As a consistent innovator of specialized hi-rail vehicles, one Shortline Railroad came to us in need of a unit that was more than the average sprayer truck. Asking ourselves “What are a few things a MOW crew must take into consideration when working a job?”, effectiveness, deadlines and versatility came to mind.


With these considerations, we took the job and decided to streamline the pre-existing notion of a spray-truck. Custom Truck One Source (CTOS) is proud to present our recent addition to the vegetation marketplace.


Just how we like things, the sprayer truck is a practical, streamlined, and adaptive system. Comprised of an F750 Extended Cab, a flatbed body, DMF Rail Gear, a specialized spray system, and a touchscreen control panel, this truck proves a reliable and expedient solution for many a MOW crew’s vegetation maintenance needs.


Sprayer Truck Features:

  • 1000 Gallon Elliptical Tank
  • Frame Sprayer Kit W/ Fork Pockets
  • Dual Duty Design
  • Raven 4 Injection System
  • Dash Mounted Touchscreen Control Panel
  • Hypro Spray Gun – 12V Hose Reel W/ Guide
  • 300 FT of ½” Hose
  • Honda GX 160 Hypro Pump
  • 30 FT Collapsible Sprayer Boom
  • Adjustable Boom Lengths & Nozzle Flows


Sprayer Truck Features



The sprayer kit utilizes Raven 4’s quad injection system. With dedicated product reservoirs and variable flow controls, the task of meeting the optimum water-to-product ratio is simplified. Once mixed within the dedicated reservoirs, strategically positioned spray nozzles dispense the product across the spray boom.


Depending on the boom’s configuration, the Sprayer Truck’s spray span may reach either 22 ft or 30 ft in length. Additionally, the Sprayer Truck’s boom may articulate via spring-loaded pivot points when meeting obstructions. The spray-boom’s sections may shift in either direction, smoothly retracting back into the proper position as the obstacle is passed. With a day’s work complete, both booms may be retracted and folded in an upright position. The adaptability of the boom provides the operator both the ability to refine spraying patterns and some much-needed peace of mind.


CTOS Sprayer Truck


The Sprayer Truck also comes equipped with a Hypro Spray Gun. With 300 ft of hose, the operator can efficiently address clusters of vegetation outside the reach of the spray boom. The ½” hose retracts, via push button control, back onto its reel, which is conveniently located within the compartment below the spray gun’s dedicated tank.


With simplicity in mind, the sprayer system is managed through a touchscreen console. Situated inside the cab, within reach of the operator, the console controls all sprayer functions and provides a wide range of customizable features. One such feature allows the operator to save injector flow rates for future use. Each injector is allotted three unique flow rates, providing a myriad of presets to be utilized during future jobs.


Sprayer Truck Functionalities


Finally, the CTOS Sprayer Truck is very multi-functional. Say you’re in a pinch. You have a situation that requires a hi-rail truck, but find the rest of your fleet allocated elsewhere. To pull an asset from its current job will put you behind schedule. To wait for one to free up will do the same. Well, no worries! With ease, an operator may convert the CTOS Sprayer Truck into a basic Hi-Rail flatbed. When initially approaching the bid, we did so with the intentions of making The Sprayer Truck a dedicated vegetation control vehicle; but as we ruminated on the project, we asked ourselves “Why make something dedicated when you don’t have to?”


CTOS Sprayer Truck


Instead of welding the sprayer kit’s frame to the flatbed, we chose to make it a bolt-down attachment on a stripped-down version of our Spec 538T series. Engineered with removal in mind, fork pockets line the kit frame’s side channels. Upon removing the frame’s fasteners, the spray system may be lifted via forklift and stored somewhere safe, thus freeing the vehicle up for use as a Hi-Rail Flatbed.


It’s All in Our Name

We feel this Sprayer Truck is a testament to the customer-care provided by our sales staff, the ingenuity of our engineers and operations staff, and the execution of our mechanics.


Our customer shared with us that had they not received this truck when they did, they would have been forced to hire a contractor at a cost equal to that of the truck. In its first season the truck has paid for itself. When our products save our customers time and money, driving production forward, we may say that we’ve served them well.


We all have unique obstacles laid before us in our journeys. Sometimes the only way to overcome a unique obstacle is to employ a unique solution. If you find yourself in need of something that requires a custom touch, we’d ask that you keep us in mind because as we’ve said before… it’s all in our name: Custom Truck One Source.


CTOS Sprayer Truck


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CDL vs. Under CDL
Under CDL Bucket Truck

Federal law requires drivers to possess a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to drive certain types of commercial vehicles. For licensing drivers, vehicles are classified into two types based on the vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) among other criteria. The two types of driver’s license are a CDL license and an Under-CDL license.


You need to apply with the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state to receive either form of license. Additionally, the requirements and costs for these licenses will vary from state to state. So, what is the difference between CDL vehicles and Under CDL vehicles? Let’s find out.


A CDL allows you to drive vehicles with a gross weight of more than 26,001 lbs. There are three classes of CDL licenses, one of which will make it legal for drivers to transport 15 or more passengers and hazardous materials. A person can hold a CDL in only one state and they must be at least 21 years old to obtain the license for transporting hazardous materials. There is some training required to prepare for the test to get one’s CDL and there are strict guidelines and laws regarding the operation of the vehicle.


Under CDL
An Under CDL license allows you to drive a vehicle with a weight of 26,000 lbs. or less. Vehicles covered under this license include passenger cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. We carry several under CDL options at Custom Truck One Source. For example, Load King’s 2,000-gallon water trucks are under CDL and may be operated by anyone with a valid driver’s license. Additionally, any equipment mounted on a Dodge Ram 5500 or Ford F550 would be considered under CDL as well.


The main difference between CDL and Under CDL license is that the former allows you to drive/operate a commercial vehicle while the latter does not. Today, it is somewhat difficult to find drivers with CDL license and a major reason for this is that the test to get a CDL license includes questions regarding the use of the vehicle systems, which only an experienced commercial vehicle driver can answer.


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Custom Truck One Source, Revitalizing Kansas City’s Industrial Heritage
CTOS New Production Building

Nestled at the east edge of Kansas City’s Historic Northeast Neighborhoods is an industrial district once anchored by a very special steel mill known as Armco Steel. The site has history as far back as 1888, when the business was known as the Kansas City Bolt and Nut Company, “the department store of the steel industry”.


The plant, sitting in the shadow of one of the first (now shuttered) Ford assembly plants outside of Detroit, was left to near ruin. It took a local family-owned business that started in 1996, Custom Truck & Equipment (CTE), nearly 20 years of hard work and vision to realize the dream of revitalizing this historical site – a site that was once an employer of choice and an economic anchor for the surrounding community.


Attracting investment from leading investment firm Blackstone in 2015, CTE re-branded in 2018 as Custom Truck One Source, billed as “the first true single-source provider of specialized truck and heavy equipment solutions”. The company may be hearkening back to its 1888 predecessor; this time reborn as “the department store of the truck and heavy equipment industry”.


Custom Truck One Source now has a coast-to-coast footprint and is made up of a conglomeration of many vocational truck businesses that believe in building quality custom products for their customers. The most recent investment comes in the form of a 110,000 square foot production facility, in Kansas City, proudly sitting just south of Independence Avenue – before and after photo is shown below. Stay tuned for more to come on the new addition to the Kansas City Headquarters.


KC Production Facility Before & After



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Personnel Carriers: Safely Transporting Employees in the Field
Personnel Carrier

With the ever-growing concern for safety in the workplace, the demand for transporting employees safely in the field is vastly growing in the Oil & Gas and Utility Industry. Custom Truck One Source’s personnel carriers remain committed to efficiency, quality and the safe transport of employees in and out of the job site in any weather or rough terrain condition. Our rubber tracked, low ground pressure PC’s come in open ROPS (Roll Over Protection System) or fully enclosed with heat and air conditioning. We can handle just about any size crew from our 4-man personnel carriers, all the way to our 22-man personnel carriers. Whether you are working in the mud or hilly terrain, let our personnel carriers safely transport your personnel.


You might also see a pink personnel carrier roaming the rough terrains! In 2016, Custom Truck One Source built and painted a pink personnel carrier for the Susan G. Komen, Arkansas Chapter, Race for the Cure. The 10-man personnel carrier transported several breast cancer survivors and led the Race for the Cure.



Pink Personnel Carrier



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