He built the platform and painted the truck in his truck repair shop on Black Gap Road in Fayetteville. When the platform was ready in early January, a crane lifted the truck and trailer up to the platform and he welded them in place.
The idea for the truck sign came from his father, Elmer Baumgardner, who is also in the business, he said.
"We checked around with some sign companies and decided we could put up the truck for less than buying a sign," he said.
He still has to paint the stand and install lights to illuminate the truck at night, he said.
The truck brings lots of comments, Baumgardner said. People ask if it's really a truck. Some say they thought it was a sign at first and some people think it's a truck on the side of the road when they first see it from a distance, he said.
"A lot of people ask how we got it up there," he said.
Baumgardner said he opened the used truck lot in 1999.
He sells and leases trucks, about 200 a year, he said.
He buys them at auctions, from other dealers and from truck manufacturing companies that have repossessed them, he said.
Nearly all of his customers are people who drive for trucking companies who want to strike out on their own as independent drivers. All have commercial driver's licenses, a requirement to drive a big rig on the road.
He said many have had bad luck in their lives caused by divorce, financial problems or bad credit. Often leasing or buying a truck on time gives them a chance to re-establish credit, become independent and get a new start on life, Baumgardner said.
Framed letters from satisfied customers adorn the walls of Baumgardner's office and sales room saying how much a truck has changed their lives and gotten them back on their feet.
"Ninety-eight percent of my customers have never owned their own trucks before. They drove for trucking companies," he said.
The sign on his truck in the sky says "No Cash Needed." "Low Payments." "E-Z Credit."
It's like a buy-here-pay-here lot," he said. Some buy trucks outright, others lease them at first, then buy them, he said.
About 10 percent of Baumgardner's customers are women, he said.
Baumgardner said his customers are infatuated with trucks. "All they want to do is get on the road," he said. "They're the last American cowboys."