Toyota Swaps Trucks With Million-Mile Tundra Owner

Tundra Million Mile 2 II

What do you do if you have to drive 125,000 miles per year and have to have a pickup? 

If you're Victor Sheppard of Houma, La., and the year is 2007, you buy one of the first Toyota Tundras built at the new San Antonio production facility. And then you drive it for nine years, taking meticulous care of it.

Believe it or not, Sheppard's pickup recently passed 1,000,000 miles on the odometer, and it still has the original engine, transmission and paint job. Although it now sports a few dents, Sheppard has kept track of every one of its 117 regularly scheduled dealership service visits during the last nine years, with the most serious repairs being a replaced alternator, water pump, and a few timing belts

Once Toyota corporate heard about this special pickup after Sheppard's Houma dealership did a Facebook post about the trip odometer hitting 999,999 miles it didn't take chief truck engineer Mike Sweers and his team long to contact Sheppard to see if Toyota could make a trade. 

"Having a million-mile truck in as pristine condition as this one with original parts is a truly rare find," Sweers said in a statement. "Our team plans to tear down the entire truck, bumper-to-bumper, top-to-bottom to evaluate how the quality and safety we designed, engineered and built into the Tundra has held up to over one-million miles of real-world driving and help us continue providing ever-better vehicles for our customers." 

Sweers and his team will disassemble the truck during the next several months to inspect the engine, chassis, body, interior and other components to gain a better understanding where they should be looking when updating the current full-size Tundra.

As for Sheppard, who is something of a Tundra loyalist, he was happy to swap his 2007 model for a brand-new 2016 version, which will become the 16th Tundra he's owned. 

We don't know how many more million-mile Tundra pickups we'll see (this is the first we've ever heard of), but we're glad the Toyota engineers can study this one with the intent of making this type of milestone happen again

Manufacturer images


Tundra Million Mile 1 VS II



OUTSTANDING!!!! Good for him. Good for Toyota. Glad Toyota gave him a new truck and thrilled Toyota seized the opportunity to examine his truck.

So little went wrong that's how it should be.

Although going to the dealership 13 times a year for serivce is excessive I guess that's the norm though for 111K a year in oil changes, routine maint and the occasional timingbelt...


"...he was happy to swap his 2007 model for a brand-new 2016 version, which will become the 16th Tundra he's owned. "

So he has owned this one for 9 years, that means (assuming he bought one of the first ones that came out in '99) he has owned 15 Tundras over the 8 years prior to buying this one. I'm guessing those didn't make it to 900k miles? Heck if he has been doing a similar amount of driving all the way back to then mathematically most never ticked over 75k.

With modern manufacturing tolerances being what they are, its not too surprising, interior pieces, leather, rubber, paint, etc. shouldn't be worn out in 9 years regardless of whether it just sat around in the driveway or was driven 12 hours a day, and assuming he kept up oil changes and other stuff then trundling down the freeway 150k miles a year probably with the cruise control set, I would be shocked if he had even needed to change out the original brake pads.

Whats more impressive is the fact that this guy averaged 410 miles a day assuming no weekends. The more impressive fact is that he lasted that long, forget the truck.

I feel sorry for the Driver Seat, damn, it must be crushed and must feel like concrete now.

The 15 previous tundras part is definitely off, unless he runs a fleet of them. Actually would be very interesting to know just what is behind so many hours of seat time.


Not sure how "modern manufacturing tolerances" diminish this achievement. A million miles with no major issues is something to be proud of, even if 100% of those miles were done on the freeway with no towing/hauling.

On top of that, it was done in a truck that was purchased the first year of its design. Give the ubiquitous belief that vehicles need to be given a year to "work out the kinks", this is remarkable. The entire truck was new that year. Frame, engine, transmission, everything.

Toyota pressroom says he runs long distance delivery with it. Nothing further about all the other trucks though.

@SerDave- actually, it states that he's had lots of timing belts done- that means the truck had/has the old 2UZ motor and A750 trans, not the bigger (then new) 5.7L UR engine (that uses a timing chain) with the (also then new) AB60 trans. The 2UZ/A750 combination had been around for several years.

Wonder what he does for a living that puts 125,000 miles per year on a truck? I hope My 2007 Dodge at 150,695 can at least get half what he put into his Toyota. I've done regular oil change and tune ups and have only had to replace the battery, tires, and brakes.

They have had 1 million mile Hiluxes here, but the exterior and tray are far from pristine LOL. Taxi's because they are constantly used get that sort of mileage

Kind of a shame they are dismantling it, they should keep driving it and see how far it really will go.

Not that uncommon, this one in New Zealand was traded in at Auction with 750,000 miles

I believe he was a delivery parts driver for the oil industry, that's how he logged so many miles per day.

funny how majority of comments are downplaying this, but if it was their brand it would be time to break out the cake and beer. Kudos to Toyota

That's serious road time with 342 miles per day average and 42 miles per hour assuming 8 hours of drive time per day.

I wouldn't want that job for anything - hard on health and family life.


Wrong, because of drastic improvements in manufacturing tolerances that means that if you keep oil in it, and drive like a sane person, an engine should last well beyond any mileage someone can physically put on it. Same goes for a transmission, barring hard accelerations or excessive stop and go driving that induces slipping, a transmission should never wear out, the entire thing is a massive oil bath hydraulic pup for heavens sake. If you keep the oil fresh, clean and cool and don't boil it off driving like a psycho it should theoretically never wear out. Most of us wont ever put a million miles on our trucks because we don't drive them enough, not because they couldn't do it. The reason you don't see this more often is because most people don't drive as much as this guy.

Most failures of anything on modern vehicles are down to manufacturer defects or age. First model year only increase the probability of a defect but doesn't mean that thousands of perfectly fine cars don't roll off the assembly line without a single issue in a first model year.

New cars can go 10-15k miles between oil changes because of advances in manufacturing capabilities that keep friction and mechanical wear to absolute minimum. Tighter more consistent tolerances decrease combustion seep down which means cleaner oil so the oil doesn't sludge and break down as fast, hi tech materials and bearing surfaces decrease friction and heat which in when combined with fresh oil leads to less mechanical wear on the system.

I mean its cool that this guy got a million miles out of his truck, but honestly it probably has no significant wear on it beyond what you or I would have if we drove a vehicle for 10 years. Most people regardless of how many miles they drive should have no trouble getting 9-10 years on a modern vehicle without a major mechanical issue on their car assuming they follow manufacturers recommended maintenance. Again at that point parts begin to break down because of age, not because of wear and tear.

To get 125-150k miles per year, that means he was averaging 400+ miles a day. It said he had the truck serviced 117 times which means that in a million miles he had it serviced every 8500 miles or so, which at a rate of 400 a day means a service tech saw it roughly every 20-25 days. This truck had more frequent services/checkups than most passenger aircraft do. So, koodos to Toyota, but not at all surprised.

Very impressive!!!!!!

funny how majority of comments are downplaying this, but if it was their brand it would be time to break out the cake and beer. Kudos to Toyota

Posted by: Karma | May 11, 2016 3:00:37 PM

There have been reports from Ford, Chevy, Toyota and what not, we take it with a grain of salt.

Not impressed.

Dodge/Ram has almost 7,000 trucks with over a million miles, more impressive, 3 trucks with over 3,000,000 miles.

My bad, just noticed that I didn't refine my search down. Ram has at least 92 trucks with 1,000,000.

Sweet. Anything that makes it to a million miles is awesome. Good Job Toyota.

16th tundra he's owned? Does he also buy one every year since 2000?

pretty neat story. Nice to see stuff like this. I am surprised they were able to pry him out of that truck. With all that seat time you would think it molded to his figure.

That's serious road time with 342 miles per day average and 42 miles per hour assuming 8 hours of drive time per day.
I wouldn't want that job for anything - hard on health and family life.
Posted by: ken | May 11, 2016

Not really,most long haul truckers do way more miles daily,,
aint for everyone thats for sure..
Id bet this guy didnt race or abused that truck in any way..

Good job Toyota. Keep at it and you might catch up to Ford in reliability.

They are going to find out what to go cheap on after that teardown. There is no need for them to make a 1 million mile truck.

Good for him. Here is a link to a 56 Cadillac Fleetwood that broke over a million miles 40 years ago.

Frank hey where's the Ford? Not there, it's the first loser, in the Million Mile Truck. But hey, be happy they are making a lot of profit from customers like you...heeeeheeeee

Sorry here is the Million Mile Ford....

@gomjabber--Agree, unfortunately Toyota has become more like the old GM--still better quality than the old GM but taking more cost cutting measures that will eventually compromise quality. I would like Toyota to put this truck back together once they are thru studying it and put it in their classic car and truck collection. This truck has earned a place in a collection.

On the contrary, how about doing a story on the shortest run of a new brand new vehicle - a true story;
A close buddy (an airline Capt) bought a spanking new 2016 SRT8 Grand Cherokee in Mar & last week w approx.1200 miles, it stalled on the freeway with engine lights blinking crazy & clanking noise from the engine.
Had it towed to the dealer & they said the engine was completely blocked. He is planning to sue the dealer, return it & get his $$$ back (good luck but he paid almost $130 grand for it).
His last words were; yeah, I should have listened to you - don't buy anything from Fiat. He regrets selling his Cayenne S & now wondering if he can trust another US made vehicle.

Not impressed.

Dodge/Ram has almost 7,000 trucks with over a million miles, more impressive, 3 trucks with over 3,000,000 miles.
Posted by: Been Done | May 11, 2016 3:41:16 PM

Just imagine the 10's of thousands of transmissions those 7,000 trucks have needed! Impressive indeed!

It's a shame you gotta drive such a terribly built truck to get the Cummins.

Buy Toyota not Ram.

As a Tundra owner I have had no issues with my 2009 5.7 it's been flawless with 143k on it
My previous truck was a 2002 F150 which I hastilly bought to Keep America Rolling after September 11th. The patriotism and Detroit advertising had an affect on me. Bought that truck was a POS on wheels. My Lariat 4.6 gutless truck had everything from power seat failure to engine issues to drive line vibrations and everything in between. Not reliable at all.

How pathetic! He has owned 16 Tundras in 17 years? What a joke! Proud to say I have owned one truck for 16 years, GMC!

@Lionel- why did he pay double sticker price for an SRT GC?

@King Frank- BUUURRRN!

That's a big man riding around all day, every day for nearly a decade- that driver's seat has to be whoomped out.

The really cool part:

You can buy a 2016 truck JUST LIKE HIS right now. That's because Toyota really hasn't changed the Tundra since the 2007s came out. Oh joy!

Toyota should be studying the much greater likelihood of part and assembly failures. I bought in that supposed QDR only to be disappointed. Check out my site and see for yourself. It's under development cuz it will take time to scan all the visits to the dealership.

You guys crack me up with all these other claims of million mile vehicles.........LMAO everyone of those has had MAJOR engine rebuilds, replacements, Trans replacement etc etc........


Keep hatin folks its comedy relief for me.

@hemi lol: Yeah, the cam tower leak, rear axel seal leak, rear bearings replaced, the HVAC unit replaced, crappy paint, front differential and a front axle replaced within 60K miles were minor repairs right?

Sorry, forgot that the pickup bed was replaced due to rust perforation and the rusting tailgate was repaired too.

Just posting facts...

He's a parts runner. He probably has other guys doing runs with other trucks too. Could be why he's had 16 tundras. This is a huge achievement. A really good driver for sure

16th Tundra or 16th Toyota he's owned?

There are article all over about this truck. I am trying to find an interior pick but truck trend mentioned that reverse went out on the trans at 700K. He didn't fix it right away so was a manual transmission an option for a V6 truck.

@LMAO- the gen2 tundra offered no manual trans. It's mentioned he's had timing belt service, so that's only on the 4.7 V8 avaible in '07.

Mr Knowitall - In Tahiti, GOVT charges approx. 50-60% import duty taxes on US made vehicles with the shipping costs included. Add another 15% extra for that huge 6.4 liter engine tax + the dealership's markup...yeah I know, it sucks but I guess it's the cost to live in paradise somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean...

It's great to see someone get everything out of their truck and be rewarded for that. He probably has a girl friend in Seattle and drives up to see her on weekends. As far as the million mile Cummins it doesn't mention how many donor trucks each one required. The engines are great and with all the recalled and factory bought back trucks I'm guessing the average was 10 trucks needed for every Cummins that got 1,000,000 miles.

I am glad to see someone get more than their money's worth of use out of a vehicle and then be rewarded. There is a Toyota engineer in my subdivision that has a 92 Camry (4 door 4 cylinder automatic) with about 300k miles that is still running strong. The body needs some attention but he has had it for 24 years. I have a 99 S-10 with about 108k miles which is not that much but in 17 years it has not required anything major. I have had 2 vehicles go 200k but I doubt I will ever put that kind of mileage on a vehicle again since I don't drive as much as I use to and I work at home 4 days a week. When I go into the office I take the Park & Ride bus to work which is 3 miles from my home. My employer pays for my bus fair.

In the past I would put about 15k miles a year on a vehicle but I live much closer to work now. I do not miss all the driving.

Told you so.

Buy a Tundra.

Told you so.

Buy a Tundra.
Posted by: Cooper | May 13, 2016 11:05:40 PM

If you want the most outdated, flimsiest, most fuel thirsty half-ton currently out, then sure. Just make sure you stay on top of rust, those Tundra frames will rot before it's paid off otherwise.

Toyota should be studying the much greater likelihood of part and assembly failures. I bought in that supposed QDR only to be disappointed. Check out my site and see for yourself. It's under development cuz it will take time to scan all the visits to the dealership.
Posted by: NoQDRTundra | May 12, 2016 7:29:30 AM

I agree. Great site by the way.

Toyota quality has been slipping for over a decade now. Cheap steel for the frames, the 5.7 is a cheapened up design vs the previous UFRE's, the AB60 is problematic and intentionally made to be difficult for the owner to service on their own, and Tundra electrical issues are as bad as 90's era GM's were. Toyota is able to sell vehicles today because public perception holds that Toyotas are flawless vehicles but they're average at best.

The 2016 Tacoma has had tons of issues. The Tacoma forums are flooded with upset owners. It's easy to see why Toytoa waited until the last minute to update the Tacoma -- Toyota can't change designs and produce quality vehicles at the same time. They can only deliver quality after they spend a decade making the same product and slowly working the bugs out. The Camry is the best example of this. Get it a new one and besides subtle styling differences, it's the same car it was 15 years ago.

NoQDRTundra -
Your startup clatter is because Toyota switched over to the "net build" manufacturing method for their engines. It saves them money but if the engine isn't designed to account for variations, it'll end up with piston slap. The Tundra 5.7 (3URFE) is very well known for nasty piston slap. The valvetrain is also noisy, clattering/ticking design.

I test drove a 2016 Tacoma and even after all these years, Toyota hasn't gotten rid of the famous "Tacoma tick" either.

Brand new and they still sound like an engine with 300k+ miles on it.

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