Two men, two trucks and a dream that became a reality. These two men, father and son, John and Hunter Jenkins from Leesburg, FL own two trucks that look very similar, but the difference in years is quite a span of time. The funny thing is, the older truck is owned by the son, and the newer rig is owned by the dad, which is a small but surprising twist on this story about yesterday and today.
I happened upon these two twin trucks with a picture that was taken at the 75 Chrome Shop Truck Show in Wildwood, FL in 2017. The uniqueness of the colors and the matching paint schemes are what caught my attention. In the beginning of 2018 I had plans to visit Florida, so it seemed only fitting that I would contact Jenkins Farms to set up a photo shoot. Originally residing in Wisconsin, the thought of farm country in Florida was unbeknownst to me but driving up to their home gave me a side of Florida that I didn’t know existed.
John Jenkins was born on August 5, 1965 and started driving in 1983 at the age of 18. He bought his first truck in 1990 – a 1987 KW T600. In November 1994, John married Kimmy and together they had six kids – four daughters and two sons – which includes Hunter (22).
Previous to now, John owned a fleet of trucks and had been out of a truck since 2002 in order to take care of the operations aspect of the company. His wife Kimmy has been, and still remains, an at-home mom who homeschools the children. Currently there are four that are still being homeschooled. Kimmy used to help with the billing for the company until John hired a secretary to ease Kimmy’s workload. About a year or so ago, John sold the trucking side of the business, but still works part time dispatching for the company that purchased the trucks.
Of all six children, Hunter was the only one that had an interest in trucking. He had his mind set on purchasing a Peterbilt 359 when the right one came along. He had been searching in truck papers and online when he finally found what he wanted. He had a conversation with his dad and told him that was the one he was going to buy.
In the fall of 2013, at the age of 17, Hunter purchased a 1984 Peterbilt 359 with the same colors and stripe pattern that you see today. A few months later, when he turned 18, Hunter obtained his CDL and the 359 went on the road in 2015. Restoration of this truck started in the fall of 2016. This restoration wasn’t to change the truck, but to restore it to its original condition, with some fresh paint and a few extra add-ons.
Hunter’s goal was to keep the truck as original as possible. The truck has the same original base color after the re-paint of Dark Beachwood. He bought a 387 that was strictly a parts truck to assist in the restoration process of his 359. The truck boasts the original factory 400-hp B-Model CAT. Additions to the truck were 6” Dynaflex stacks, a Texas bumper, a nice set of used half-fenders and Legacy leather seats. The finished rig was back on the road in January of 2017 and then unveiled at the 75 Chrome Shop Truck Show in Wildwood, FL a few months later in April. At the time of the photo shoot, this truck ran only intrastate, with permits purchased on occasion to wander out-of-state. But, watch for this truck out on the big road, as she will be sporting apportioned plates soon.
Although John had been out of the driver’s seat for many years, he and Hunter had talks of John purchasing a Peterbilt glider painted almost identical to Hunter’s 359. Having had previous experience with Fitzgerald Glider Kits in Tennessee, it seemed only fitting that he would go to them for this particularly wild ride. In 2016, John went to them with a vision and Adam Fitzgerald helped to make the truck what it is today. Included in the making of this truck was a 650-hp CAT C-15 that was taken from Hunter’s 387 parts truck, which was then taken to Fitzgerald’s to have them install it. John took delivery of his 2016 Peterbilt 389 Fitzgerald Glider in November of 2016 and, along with Hunter’s 359, it was unveiled at that 75 Chrome Shop Truck Show in Wildwood, FL last year along with Hunter’s matching 359.
Hunter married his wife Alexa in July 2017 and she is his full-time co-pilot. This lady isn’t just riding around with her husband, she also assists Hunter with loading and unloading, invoicing, and makes a mean sandwich while they are out on the road. Currently, the 359 pulls a 2008 Utility refrigerated trailer and the 389 pulls a 2017 Vanguard refrigerated trailer. The 389 works every other week with John in the seat, and Hunter runs the old 359 full-time, with an occasional turn in the newer 389.
In the pictures, you will notice both rigs have bug shields along with wording on each. They are representations of the ages of the trucks and songs that hold special meaning to each. The 359 reads “Back in Time” which is a song by Huey Lewis and The News. This truck is old, and when you lay your eyes on it, it takes you back in time. The 389’s bug shield says “Time Stand Still” – which is not only the name of this ride, but also one of John’s favorite songs by the iconic rock band Rush. But it is more than that – it is also a statement about how John and Hunter would both love for time to stand still and for trucks to just stay how they used to be… clean and classy!
With a span of over three decades between these two amazing trucks, a lot has changed – but not everything. Over the years, one thing has remained constant – John and his son Hunter both share a love of trucks and trucking that is evident in their matching rides from different eras. But, whether it be an old classic or a brand-new glider, you can’t hide the pride and dedication these two men have for each other and the industry. True, a span of time has passed, but if you squint your eyes, you’d never even know it! As always, to all the drivers out there doing the deal, truck safe.