News 9 storm trackers log more than 200,000 miles a year covering Oklahoma's weather, from rain and snow to tornadoes and even wildfires. And their rides take a beating, keeping them safe while they do their jobs to keep us safe.
Val Castor has gone through his share of trucks, around 10 of them over the years and this year he says this is his biggest and toughest one to date.
"Equipment is vital," said Val Castor, News 9 Storm Tracker. "You gotta have the right equipment to do the right job."
That's why Val and his storm chasing partner/wife Amy invest so much into their truck.
"We put it through the ringer, probably more than what it's designed to be put through," he said.
This latest upgrade includes a new front and back end, new axle, bigger tires and wheels and an anemometer. The retractable device is new this year and rises above the truck to calculate wind speeds.
"We're going to be able to tell when there's a squaw line bearing down on Oklahoma City to know whether it had 60 mph winds or 90 mph winds," Val said. "That's pretty important for people's safety."
With the upgrades on the truck, the Castor's are looking for longevity and something that will last.
"I do feel like I'm in a monster truck, but it feels very safe," said Amy Castor. "It's just so nice to have a truck where you know you're going to get through it and be able to continue on safely."
"We're trying to keep our viewers safe," said Val.