Haul Talk The Cat Truck Engine Podcast
Haul Talk The Cat Truck Engine Podcast

The Ride-Along Trucking Podcast

With trucking tales, tips and tricks

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Finally — a podcast for the Cat® truck engine owners, operators and fans who help keep trucks rolling, goods moving and the world turning. It’s about the people and places essential to our industry, covering Cat engines and the truckers who love them.

Each episode you can find advice from trucking experts or insights from the customers who know how to get things done.  We’ll cover things like:

  • Maintaining your engine
  • Reducing your repair costs
  • Protecting you and your truck
  • Getting your business where it needs to go
  • Taking your engine past the million-mile mark
  • Finding the resources available to people in the industry
  • Doing what it takes to build your own team
  • Making the most of the customer/dealer relationship
  • The latest trucking trade shows
  • The ins and outs of life on the road 

Find practical and timely suggestions in our free-wheeling conversations — all from folks dedicated to supporting highway heroes like you.


Play an Episode, Binge the Series

Whether you listen in your cab, your shop or your free time, Haul Talk is here for everyone who seeks a smooth ride ahead. Just press play.



Season 3, Episode 5: 3 Generations of Trucking with Roger Lang of Byron Lang Trucking

Kurt and Zach’s guest Roger Lang owns Byron Lang Trucking, a third-generation family business with 50 trucks in its stable. As a guy who grew up around trucks, he’s a fan of Cat® engines and has been getting millions of miles out of his. How? Overhauls of his older ones and even a Cat® Reman engine with new content. If you love talking shop, you’ll love this episode.

Season 3, Episode 4: Talk Shop with Garrett Smith of MHC Kenworth

When Garrett Smith was 17, he decided he didn’t want to sell donuts for the rest of his life. His love for lifted trucks and diesel inspired him to pursue a career in truck service, and now he’s a Service Manager at MHC, one of Caterpillar’s largest Truck Engine Parts and Service (TEPS) dealerships. He sits down with the guys to talk Cat® engines, customer support, and developing the next generation of expert service techs.

Season 3, Episode 3: Four Million Miles with Alan Kitzhaber and his Cat 3406E Engine

How many of us can say we’ve got nearly 4 million miles on our engine? Meet a trucker who can: owner-operator Alan Kitzhaber, who’s been driving with the same Cat 3406E engine in his truck for the past 30 years. After three decades of driving, Alan has no shortage of tips and tricks to share.

Season 3, Episode 2: Billy Frank, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Division

Kurt and Zach chat with Billy Frank, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Division. which plays a big role in keeping Cat on-highway trucks rolling. Billy’s been at Caterpillar for 24 years, including time as an on-highway truck engine service rep. He knows what’s on the line for truckers and takes pride in helping their wheels keep turning. Billy shares his love for the industry and its people and discusses how Cat® Reman can help with engine longevity.

Season 3, Episode 1: Trucking in Alaska with Mike Jette and Cole Leaf of CM Field Services

From ice roads to iced-up air lines, these guys have seen it all. Brothers-in-law Mike Jette and Cole Leaf own an Alaska-based business that provides mobile repairs and maintenance to truckers hauling critical supplies across the most desolate roads imaginable. In this episode, they describe what it’s like hauling in these extreme conditions, when being stuck could mean life or death—and you always seem to need a part at the wrong time.

Season 2, Episode 5: 40+ Years of Truck Engines with Bob Keene

Do you remember the Cat 1693 truck engine? Bob Keene does. When he started at Caterpillar in 1967, he joined the team working to replace that model with the 3406. In fact, Bob helped launch many of the Cat truck engines still on the road today. In this episode, he takes Kurt and Zach on a trip down memory lane — sharing insights into the many transitions in trucking (and truck engines) he witnessed over 40+ years at Caterpillar.

Season 2, Episode 4: Two Million Miles with Michael Punter

Just like every business needs a good accountant, every trucker needs a good mechanic. That’s Michael Punter’s philosophy. He sat down with Kurt and Zach to talk about his 40 years of experience, hauling everything from groceries to helicopter simulators to Beyoncé’s concert gear. Through it all, his Cat truck engine has topped two million miles. What’s the secret to his longevity? “Caterpillar keeps it rolling.”

Season 2, Episode 3: Full Circle Support with Chris Cipperley

How do Cat dealers, Truck Engine Parts and Service (TEPS) dealers, and independent repair shops work together to support Cat truck engine owners? Chris Cipperley, TEPS program manager for Milton Cat, has the answer. (Spoiler alert: It has a lot to do with trust. Plus, “a sense of urgency that is palpable.”) He tells the guys how those relationships — and the repair options available to keep Cat truck engines running — evolve over time.

Season 2, Episode 2: Repair Relationships with Ryan DeBroux

As a small business owner, Ryan DeBroux understands the importance of relationships. And he’s built a solid one with Caterpillar as owner of one of our valued independent repair facilities. In this episode, Ryan chats with Kurt and Zach about his early days hauling everything from diesel fuel to liquid manure — and how that evolved into DeBroux Custom Work, a company that repairs and overhauls Cat truck engines to the highest standards.

Season 2, Episode 1: Playin’ with Fire with Ryan DeBroux

Ryan DeBroux’s been a volunteer firefighter since he graduated from high school over 25 years ago. But when he’s not fighting fires — or running his hauling and repair businesses — you’ll find him behind the wheel of the Caterpillar-sponsored Playin’ with Fire semi-pulling truck. Hear how Ryan got his start in competition, the thrills and challenges of semi-pulling and the modifications he’s made to help his Cat truck engine handle the heat.

Season 1, Episode 4: We’re All Cat® Yellow with TEPS Manager Jeff Picard

The Truck Engine Parts and Service (TEPS) Dealer Network makes sure truck engine owners and operators have expert dealer support in their neck of the woods. To drive this point home, the guys sit down with Jeff Picard, TEPS manager for Western State’s Equipment Company in Idaho. Jeff shares some stories from the dealer side and discusses the importance of the relationship between Caterpillar, dealers and customers. 

Season 1, Episode 3: Having True Grit with True Grit Transportation 

Zach and Kurt chat with Chris and Josh from True Grit Transportation about life on the road and the challenges along the way. With over 10 trucks above a million miles, Chris and Josh know what it means to really have “true grit”. They share advice, stories from the road and how they keep their trucks powered through multiple lives with yellow engines.   

Season 1, Episode 2: 50 Years of Cat® Reman with Steve Stark

Meet Steve Stark, an original Cat Reman team member who started at Caterpillar’s first remanufacturing facility in Bettendorf, Iowa back in 1973. He joins Kurt and Zach to talk about the development of the Cat Reman program and how his family played a fundamental role in its legacy. Steve’s memories stretch back to the first engine off the line…right down to the serial number. 

Season 1, Episode 1: Truckers Helping Truckers with the King Family 

Mike and Aaron King of King Country Trailer sit down with our hosts to discuss their business, both in trucking and philanthropy. The King family’s been in trucking for over 50 years, and their dedication to the industry is clear in the level of service they bring to their work. They also go above and beyond, offering financial assistance with the DT and Joan King Foundation. Their mantra, “Truckers Helping Truckers,” is a way of life for this family company.

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See How We Roll


Haul Talk features guests from a wide range of backgrounds. Within the thumbnail image for each installment, the following icons note the focus of a given episode. 

Customer Interviews


Customer Interviews


Conversations with Caterpillar


dealer discussions


Conversations with Caterpillar




Meet the Hosts

These guys spent years working with truckers, shop owners, dealers and many others. Now, they’re here to tell tales and find new stories. Let’s get to know them. 

OHTE - Kurt Freidinger


Kurt joined Caterpillar nearly 20 years ago — starting as a fork truck operator at the distribution center in Morton, Illinois. Soon afterward, Kurt’s lifelong interest in trucks and his studies at Illinois Central College and Robert Morris University helped him secure a role at the Cat On-Highway Truck call center. Now an account manager for the On-Highway Truck Engine team, Kurt helped launch the display engine program and supports the legacy of Cat truck engines.

In addition to hoisting the product support efforts throughout the Cat dealer network, Kurt competes in a German stein hoisting contest and loves to smoke meats with family and friends at his home in Morton.

OHTE - Zach Barrett


Zach works with his hands — whether it’s on cars, woodworking projects or home improvements in Kansas City, where he lives with his wife and two kids. He brings his hands-on approach to the Cat On-Highway Truck Engine team as a parts and service marketing consultant. Prior to joining in 2020, he spent 12 years in the service department at one of our largest Kenworth dealers after studying automotive technology at Pittsburgh State University.

With a career rooted in trucking, he takes pride in his team’s commitment to performance and reliability — promoting Cat Reman engines and long blocks as viable repair options and developing new aftermarket solutions to keep truck engines running. Zach can be seen discussing some of these solutions in our Myth Buster video series.



We Want to Hear From You

Haul Talk listeners, we want your insight on our latest episodes! Share what you liked, what topics you'd like to see in the future and if you're interested in being featured in an episode. We want to hear from our listeners who love Cat truck engines as much as we do.

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Read Between the Lines

Go beyond the conversations. Browse these articles to explore repair options, maintenance tips and trucking tales featured in the show.