This month’s cool “creation” was built for Howard Ryan of West Caldwell, New Jersey. At only 26 years old, Howard is just getting started, and this is his first truck. Thanks to a lot of help and support from family and friends, Howard is doing what he can, while he can – which is why he ordered the dash plaque on this truck to say “Custom Built For In The Living Years”.
Howard was born in New Hampshire. When he was just four years old, his parents split up and his mom moved he and his sister to New Jersey. Howard’s dad, Francis, who at one point owned a heavy haul outfit in Vermont (which he sold in 1970), was a well-known antique truck collector. Over the years, Howard’s dad had a lot of cool old iron, but he wasn’t the one that got Howard into trucking.
After graduating from high school, Howard worked a few jobs and then started a landscape company. He bought a 10-wheeler dump truck for his business, but what he really wanted to do was go trucking, so he began driving part time for his friend’s cousin, Joe Ciottariello. Joe let Howard run one of his trucks to help him out, and then bought him a nice trailer to pull. But, wanting his own rig, Howard called Clint.
At first, Howard tried to buy a used truck, but he couldn’t get financing, so Clint ordered Howard the new 2011 Peterbilt 389 seen here. The truck, which is powered by a 500 Cat, has a 48” flattop sleeper, a 280” wheelbase, low-air suspension, an 18-speed transmission, a car hauler front axle with air-ride and a dump valve, and, unlike most of the trucks Clint builds, tall 24.5 rubber. The truck was ordered solid black with a burgundy frame. Clint worked hard to give this new 389 that “classic” truck look.
After the truck arrived, Clint and his crew added the red and silver pearl stripes, along with a deep charcoal “ghost” stripe which can only be seen in certain lighting conditions. The guys also added five cab lights, one of Clint’s visors, body skirts, a smooth and flush deck plate, a rear tail box, and stainless steel Hogebuilt full fenders, mounted with a set of Clint’s hidden brackets. Clint’s dad chopped the breather lids, and George at Crosslink Powder Coating of KC powder coated the fuel tanks. The guys also added painted 359 headlights, four more grille bars, and wide tank straps. To finish off the project, Dale Stamp of Vidas Mechanical in Basehor, KS installed a wet kit so Howard could pull his 42’ scrap trailer.
Where Howard is from, it is popular to put a slogan on the back of your truck, so once he got it home, he had a local painter put, “Don’t Talk About It, Be About It” on the back of his sleeper. This comment, which was said to Howard when he was talking about getting his own truck, has been stuck in his head ever since – and it really sums up how he feels about many things.
Howard is thankful for all of the help and support he has received from Joe Ciottariello, but he also gets a lot of answers and good advice from an old friend of his dad’s named Jim Galfetti. Jim is always there to help Howard, whenever needed. But, Howard is proud to say that his biggest supporter is his mom, Joanne. He also has a great group of friends that he runs with, as well as a supportive girlfriend named Michelle. Although he is still very young, it seems that Howard Ryan has come to realize and appreciate the value of making the most of each and every day – and that is something many of us don’t ever figure out or don’t realize until it’s too late!
~ If you would like Clint Moore to order and/or build you a new custom truck, contact him at Kansas City Peterbilt via e-mail at email@example.com or call him at (913) 484-7768. You can also visit his website at www.custombilt4.com and check out pictures of other custom trucks he has built.