This month’s cool “creation” was built last year for RoadWorks Mfg. in Lafayette, Indiana. Every year, the company builds a truck and then outfits it with their latest accessories. The rig is then sent out on a year-long truck show tour. For the last few years, RoadWorks has ordered their trucks through Clint, who does the initial customizing before sending it to RoadWorks for the final accessories. At the end of the year, the truck goes back to Clint to sell and a new truck is ordered and built for the next year (Clint just delivered their 2011 rig). This truck went on the 2010 show circuit, but is now proudly owned by Arnaldo “Nery” Martinez (52) of Denver, CO.
Nery was born and raised in Honduras. At the young age of 11, he found himself living in the streets, but was blessed to be taken in by Father Lucas McGrath and Father Paul Kersey of the “Friends of Olancho” Missionary of the Catholic Church. These two men helped Nery by educating him and giving him guidance. At 16, Nery met an American couple, Bob & JoAnn Eisel, who, along with their small children, had moved to Honduras as missionaries. Nery became very close to this American family. Back then, it was Nery’s job to drive all the local kids to school on the back of a beat-up flatbed truck that needed to be push-started every morning by the children. After one of their kids fell ill, Bob & JoAnn returned to the United States.
Nery has been driving for most of his life, and he knows what a “rough” truck is, but he always did the best he could with what he had. When Nery was about 27 years old, he filed for a visa and moved to the United States with no more than the bag in his hand and the clothes on his back. After attending a language school in New York, he reunited with the Eisel family and moved in with them in their home in Monte Vista, CO. It was a small town, but Nery had big dreams – he got a CDL and began driving for the first company that would hire him.
Hanging out with a few tanker drivers, Nery met some nice people who became great friends. One of these friendships led Nery to California, where he took a job working for Steve Beneto of Beneto Tank Lines. Over the years, Steve taught him a lot, and Nery, still to this day, follows the standards that he learned while there. Three years ago, Nery got a call from Dave & Martina Culver of Lakewood, CO. The couple was looking to start a tanker operation and wanted Nery to join them, so he bought his first truck – a 378 Peterbilt – and then leased on with them. Today, Culver Transit has three trucks of its own and two leased owner operators (Nery is one of them).
Dave Culver had bought a few trucks from Clint in the past, so when it came time for Nery to upgrade, he told him to call Clint, who had just taken in the barely-used RoadWorks show truck. The truck is a 2010 Peterbilt 389 Ultra Cab with a 277” WB, a chopped 48” sleeper, a Cummins ISX 600, a factory black and grey paint job, and all of the latest and greatest products available from RoadWorks (there is just too much to mention it all here). Extra special thanks go out to the folks at Fibertech and Lifetime Nut Covers for all of their help (and parts) that went into this rig.
Having driven the terrible trucks that are in Honduras, Nery is feeling pretty spoiled in this one. Coming to the United States legally has made Nery’s life more difficult, but it was the right thing to do. Nery is still trying to become an American citizen, but he is confident that day will come soon. Nery’s life was changed by a few extraordinary people, but all of those people feel that he actually changed their lives for the better, too. Arnaldo “Nery” Martinez is truly living (and appreciating) the American Dream.