This month’s cool “creation” was built for Mark Plenge (39) of Kahoka, MO. Growing up on a farm, Mark is no stranger to trucks and other equipment. Being the picky one in the family, all of Mark’s vehicles are always kept meticulously clean. He often wonders how everyone puts up with him, but his wife, Hilary, has stuck with him through thick and thin since high school. She and their kids are an excellent support staff for Mark as he’s “GETN THE JOB DONE” in his truck.
Mark’s family farms on about 4,200 acres and has trucks to haul their own stuff, as well as a few dozers and tractors. While growing up, Mark and his brother Matt were always working on their big trucks, tractors and pickups. Mark and Hilary met in high school, when they were 16 and 15 years old respectively, and have been together ever since. After graduating in 1990, Mark was ready to start farming but his parents had other plans – they sent him to college.
After getting his degree from Indian Hills Community College, Mark got a diesel mechanic job at Fox Valley Implement, the local John Deere dealer, where he stayed for eight years. After that, he got a job at the local Case IHC dealer for a year, and then, finally, became a farmer. Today, he enjoys farming with his entire family.
Although the entire family shares the farm, all of the trucks are owned individually. Mark’s dad Ralph has a nice Western Star and a 1992 Freightliner grain truck that Mark and Matt rebuilt from the ground up. Matt had a cool 1999 Pete 379 daycab, but he recently replaced it with a sweet purple Volvo. In addition to his new truck seen here, Mark also still has his first truck – a red 1990 Freightliner sleeper truck with black and grey stripes and a 425 Cat. Hilary’s dad, Ronnie Armstrong, is also a truck driver. He has been driving for Wal-Mart for 25 years and just received a new truck from them in recognition of 3 million miles driven. And, as exciting as that was for Ronnie, he was even more excited for Mark when he got this cool new Peterbilt.
Mark’s new Galaxy Blue truck (his kids helped pick the color) is a 2012 Peterbilt 389 daycab that features a 228” wheelbase, an ISX 525 Cummins, 18-speeds, low-leaf suspension, a car-hauler front axle with air-ride and a dump valve, aluminum cross-members and 5th wheel (to keep the weight down), locking differentials so he won’t get stuck out in the fields, and a Platinum interior with a cockpit full of gauges and switches. When the truck arrived, Clint and his crew installed a set of low-rider Hogebuilt full fenders on a set of Clint’s hidden brackets, then they added one of Clint’s drop visors, and then Clint’s dad chopped the breather screens. The truck really didn’t need much – it was “too cool for school” pretty much right from the start!
Mark and Hilary have been married since 1994 and have four children – Blake (11), Bryton (7), Bree (6) and Bennett (2). Mark gets a lot of support from Hilary and the kids, and for that, he is very appreciative. He is also happy that his dad and brother put up with him, because he knows it ain’t easy. In addition to being an awesome wife and mother, Hilary is a high school teacher, which keeps her very busy.
When he’s not trucking, farming or being a dad, Mark likes to play around with old Oliver tractors (back in the 1960s his dad’s family owned a dealership). But, like his dash plaque says, Mark is usually out “GETN THE JOB DONE” so there ain’t a lot of time for playin’ around!