This month’s “creation” was built for Alonzo Sykes Jr. of Montana Farms. But, Alonzo (37) is not from Montana – he lives in Aberdeen, Mississippi – and he doesn’t own a farm – he hauls reefer freight! But we’ll get into that later. Alonzo is a hustler, for sure, saying, “I don’t drive trucks, I hustle trucks, because if you don’t hustle in this business, you won’t make it.” And that is true.
Growing up in a small town in Mississippi, Alonzo is one of four children – and the only boy. Wanting to take care of his family, Alonzo’s dad always had a lot of different jobs, but his favorite is at the New Life Missionary Baptist Church in Aberdeen, where he has been a preacher for the past 21 years (in addition to all of his other full-time jobs). Alonzo’s mom Josephine also works, and together, with Alonzo’s dad, they taught their children that you can have things, as long as you work for them.
Like most of us, Alonzo liked trucks when he was growing up, and he had two uncles that were in the business. One of them gave him a ride to Chicago when he was about nine years old, and he fell in love with trucks on that trip. Alonzo graduated from high school and then did a year of college, but he really had no idea at the time what he wanted to do. That changed when a friend, Hurie Wilson, took Alonzo on a cattle haul.
Alonzo got his CDL when he was 21 years old. His first job was with MS Carriers. He drove for them for 10 months, and then purchased his first truck – a 1996 Kenworth W900. Just six short months later, he added a second Kenworth with a driver. Two years went by, and then MS Carriers sold out to Swift. From there, he switched to American Transport for a few years and then to Aldean out of Chicago, hauling LTL freight.
When the price of diesel fuel got outrageous, Alonzo sold his trucks and got a job with Robert Henderson, as a company driver, from 2006 to 2012. After that, he went to Volume Transportation from 2012 to 2014.
Being a hard-working man of faith, Alonzo took a “leap of faith” in 2014 when he purchased another truck and started his own company called Montana Farms. He got the “Montana” from the movie Scarface, as in Tony Montana, and the “Farms” was chosen because most of the time it meant reefer freight – and that is what he wanted to haul. He currently owns seven trucks and has two people leased to him and, as they say, he’s makin’ things happen. “You don’t get anywhere sitting still, you gotta move,” says Alonzo.
Wanting “something special” but not quite sure what, Alonzo called Clint. After some discussions, and a whirlwind visit to the dealership, he opted for a 2016 “Pride and Class” Peterbilt 389 in black. Powered by a 550 ISX hooked to an 18-speed trans and 3:36 rears, the truck was ordered with a 312-inch wheelbase that sits on a Low-Air suspension, as well as a big stand-up sleeper and an air-ride front axle.
After the truck arrived, Tyler and the “night shift” hid the urea tank and added Lincoln Chrome “Next Level” pipes. The body shop installed one of Clint’s visors, five flush cab lights, a flush (painted) deck plate, Hogebuilt low-rider half-fenders on hidden brackets, and six load lights on the back of the sleeper (three on each side, like hot rod taillights). Then, low-ride seat bases were installed, a dump valve was added to the front axle, and Clint’s dad chopped the air cleaner screens.
Needing something nice to pull with his new ride, Alonzo ordered a new 2016 stainless 53’ Great Dane Everest reefer with a 12-foot spread. The trailer has a lift axle, painted rails and back doors, a 100-gallon fuel tank, lights under the spread, and a TK unit with chrome grills and lights. The truck is sweet and the trailer is cool, but when hooked together, you have pure awesomeness!
Alonzo has two children from a previous relationship – a daughter named Sabrina (20) and a son named Avance (9). He also has a 4-year-old daughter named Jayda. Alonzo’s lady and his “partner in crime” is Jessica. She is very involved in the business, and works as hard as Alonzo to make it a success. Together, they “hustle trucks” to make it all work, because, as Alonzo says, “You got to grind to shine!” And boy does he shine!!