Palaniuk rescues big rig

Ken Duke
Brandon Palaniuk moves his Toyota Tundra into place as he prepares to pull out the big rig.

The story of former B.A.S.S. Nation Champion turned top Bassmaster Elite Series pro Brandon Palaniuk using his Toyota Tundra for sleeping quarters has been well documented. What you may not have heard is that Palaniuk also uses his big Tundra as a tow truck.

Palaniuk, who knows all about tow straps from his time spent in the snow and logging industry of his native Idaho, found his pulling power in need this past weekend at Bull Shoals when the giant show rig used by his primary sponsor Rigid Industries got stuck in the mud near the weigh-in stage.

Dave Davis of Rigid Industries, originators of highly efficient and intense LED light bars, tells the story. “Our Big Rigid Rig was stuck in the mud following its use as a display for fishing fans to see at the weigh-in. The weight of the truck, coupled with slick highway tires just kept spinning the rig into a deeper hole,” said Davis. “The first attempt ended with the Big Rig rolling back while Brandon’s Tundra pulled forward, and the tow strap actually broke.”

“We made a few adjustments to the towing strap, and Brandon was able to pull us out on to the pavement,” smiled Davis.

Palaniuk dominated the 2012 Bassmaster Elite at Bull Shoals en route to his eventual $100,000 victory. He didn’t fair nearly as well on The Bull’s clearer waters this year, but he was able to help his primary sponsor get out of a muddy situation, and that counts for a lot.

“We figured if a Tundra could tow a space shuttle, then it oughta be able to pull a 42-foot Freightliner – and it did,” said the likeable Palaniuk.

With a 5.7L V8 engine, producing 381 horsepower and 401 lb.-ft of torque, Brandon’s Tundra proved itself worthy of more than just really cool looks, and a makeshift hotel room. Add to the list a “tow truck,” too.

See photos of Brandon towing the Rigid Industries big rig with his Tundra.

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