This month’s creation was built for Fred Gilliland Sr. (83) and Fred Gilliland Jr. (43) of FBG Motorlines in Rustburg, VA. Running as a team since 1994, this dynamic duo has logged over three million miles together. Sometimes they fuss at each other and want to drop the other off on the side of the road, but all in all, they wouldn’t have it any other way. And when it came time to get a new ride, they did not want to compromise. But one thing is for sure – they give all the glory to God, saying, “It all belongs to Him.”
Fred Sr. was born in 1935 and grew up on a tobacco farm in Virginia. He joined the Air Force in 1954, and was stationed in various places abroad like Japan, Tripoli, Libya and Benghazi, and stateside in VA, NY, FL, SC and ME. After getting out of the Air Force in 1964, he started hauling furniture twice a week from Virginia to New York for Yates Transfer, with up to 50 drops a trip. In the mid-70s, Fred Sr. purchased a Freightliner COE and began hauling furniture west and produce back east. After a couple years of that, he went back to be a company driver, working for companies like Burlington, Overnite, Jevic and Abilene Motor Express.
On Christmas Day, 1955, Fred married the love of his life, Marie. The two had been married for 58 years when she went home to heaven, and not a day goes by that he doesn’t miss her dearly. The couple was blessed with a son, Fred Jr., in 1974. When Fred Jr. was little, his dad would take two weeks off from his regular driving job, that didn’t allow him to take any riders, and hauled for a friend who did, just so he could take Fred Jr. out on the road with him. During these times, Fred Sr. got to run in a cool 359 Peterbilt, so they rode in style – which further infected young Fred Jr. with the trucking sickness.
After graduating high school in 1994, Fred Jr. joined his dad on the road. Since then, they have logged over three million miles together. Six years ago, Fred and Fred bought their own truck – a used 2008 KW W900 with a Studio sleeper. Two years later, they traded up for a super-nice black Peterbilt 379X. They loved their fancy X-model Peterbilt and put 800,000 miles on it over the next four years. When it came time to replace it, Fred Sr. wanted to upgrade again to another limited edition Peterbilt – their “Pride & Class” model – thinking it will probably be the last new truck he ever orders.
Knowing exactly what they wanted, they came to me with a plan – all I really had to do was be an interpreter! We had some fun, for sure, and I discovered that Fred Jr. was quite the talented artist (he provided detailed drawings of everything they wanted on their truck). The new truck is a 2019 Pete 389 “Pride & Class” edition with a 78” HR sleeper, painted Jet Black with a Cummins Red frame. Sporting a 300” WB, a car-hauler front axle, a 565-hp X15 Cummins and an 18-speed, the rig runs on a Low Leaf suspension and 24.5 low-pro rubber. When the truck showed up, the guys in the body shop went to work, adding a Turbo Wing on top, lots of extra lights, bumper guides, a chrome swan, a diamond-plate deck plate, an Air Weigh scale system, and an old-style cab-mounted fan.
After all that was done, the guys picked up the truck and took it to Marion, IL and had an XP-2000 APU installed. From there, they headed to Thunder Graphix in Joplin, MO for their vinyl lettering and pinstripes. After that, they brought it back to us for some finishing touches. While the new truck was on order, they made a deal with Jerry Piedmont Peterbilt to trade-in their old truck and trailer for a newer stainless reefer, painted up like the new truck, which you can see pictured here. The name of the new truck, Riza-Marie, is based on young Fred’s girlfriend, Riza Oliva, and his mom, Marie Gilliland.
Fred Sr. and Fred Jr. are both very active in their church, First Baptist Church of Republican Grove VA, and very strong believers in Jesus Christ. When they picked the truck up, the weather was bad, so we didn’t get to take any pictures. On one of their trips since, they stopped at a large cross in Texas and took a few photos. Since they attribute all their success and possessions to God, it only seemed fitting to use their pictures for this article. Amen!