Somewhere between hot and cold, there is Mark Warm

May 2020

Bryan "Boss Man" Martin


This month’s feature is a slight change of pace from our normal fully blinged-out rigs.

Rather than a heavily chromed and custom-painted look, Mark Warm wanted to make a statement with his 2000 Freightliner Classic XL’s initial appearance, all the while retaining some of the “original equipment, mainstream, working show truck” characteristics.

Mafia Secrets - Article
The Classic XL was the most popular Freightliner model for owner-operators.

He bought the truck more than 15 years ago and fell in love with all the storage and interior space the Classic Freightliner body style provides. If you have worked around trucks for any length of time, you know that this is also one of the easiest to work on and most reliable truck models on the highway. Despite the recent makeover, he really hasn’t had to spend a ton of money replacing parts or performing any major repairs.

At well over 1 million miles on the odometer, the Detroit 470HP Series 60 and 13-speed Fuller are still running strong and delivering freight all over the Midwest USA. Based out of northeastern Iowa, Mark hauls a lot of beer, Whirlpool washers and dryers, Pella windows and doors, and general freight anywhere the load takes him.

He credits a great deal of his success on the support of his wife, Mikki, and his five kids. Like many of you, it truly is a family effort. The group plans to keep the trucking going well after Mark may decide to slow down.

When he dropped the truck off at Chrome Shop Mafia HQ, it was in real decent shape but would “blend into the mix” on any truck stop parking lot. Warm loves the timeless look of black and chrome, so that’s what we gave him. Keeping the original sun visor, exhaust stacks, and wheelbase, he added a good bit of polished stainless steel trim. Beginning with a Chrome Shop Mafia rear light bar, Hogebuilt tear drop rear full fenders, a smooth frame cover, shiny airline box, cab and sleeper light panels, air cleaner lights, and one of the coolest features – a logoed custom grille showcasing his name. Not to quit too easy, he spec’d new LED headlights and a 20-inch Valley Chrome boxed end front bumper-loaded with amber lights.

When asked what advice he would give to an industry newbie, Mark confidently stated, “Make sure you have some extra capital set aside before you enter the owner-operator field. Whether you start with a new or a used truck, unexpected things will take place that cause you to dig deep into your finances from time to time. If you lease on to someone, make sure you research and do your due diligence before signing up, as the last thing you want is for your company to fold up or suffer financial difficulty that affects your livelihood.”

Mark then added, “Lastly, be open-minded. No matter how long you’ve been trucking, there are valuable lessons to be learned almost daily.”

He gave the Chrome Shop Mafia crew one goal: Build me an old, sporty-looking truck that looks brand new.

Mission accomplished. LL

Can’t get enough Mafia Secrets? Check out last issue’s edition here.