This month’s cool “creation” was built for Evan Wilson of ES Wilson Transport based out of Abilene, Kansas. Actually, it was ordered and built for Evan’s longtime driver Cory “Hammer” Hoffman. Cory has been hangin’ out and workin’ with Evan since he was a teenager, and for the last few years, driving Evan’s only Peterbilt in his 15-truck fleet of Freightliners and Volvos.
Evan (50) and his six brothers and sisters grew up on the farm. Farming and trucking can be traced back to Evan’s grandfather Ray, who hauled his own hay. After WW-II, grandpa Ray (and later Evan’s dad, Warren) began hauling hay and cattle to the Kansas City stockyards. While still in high school, Evan and his older brothers, Mark and Greg, started running the family farm, along with the trucking. Not too long ago, Evan stepped away from the farm and took over the transportation side of things.
Over the years, there have been a lot of trucks, but the one that gave Evan “the bug” was a 1969 Ford COE day cab. Later, when his dad needed a sleeper, they bought a CLT Ford 9000 COE. Back then, these Fords were the Cadillac of cabovers. Evan has a true passion for these trucks, which is how Clint met him (he sold him a CLT Ford 9000 COE over 20 years ago). Now, whenever one of these trucks ends up at the dealership, Clint always calls Evan first.
The first new truck the family ever bought was a 1988 Volvo with a 42-inch sleeper. Today, as mentioned before, Evan has 15 trucks – four of them pull tankers all over the United States and the rest of them haul bulk feed. Although most of his trucks are Freightliners and Volvos, he also had one 1996 Peterbilt 379 long hood with a 36-inch sleeper. Driver Cory “Hammer” Hoffman had been piloting this rig for the last four years, but with 1.7 million miles on the odometer, it was time to upgrade the Pete of the fleet.
Not wanting to spend too much (or get a truck with all of the new emission items), Evan opted instead to have Clint order him a new glider kit. He had been running a Sterling with a 6NZ Caterpillar in it for the last three years and knew how good the engine was, so it became the organ donor for the glider kit. Evan, who loves a good challenge, took on the daunting task of rounding up most of the parts, and he did good (all of the pieces were painted and ready to be just dropped in by the time Clint got them).
Since the truck runs some empty miles, they decided to do a single drive with a dead axle. Ordered with a 290-inch wheelbase, the Pete 389 has factory two-tone paint in dark blue and cream (although it looks black in these pictures), an air-ride front axle with a car-hauler beam and a Platinum interior with all of the goodies.
Once the truck arrived, Charlie out in the service shop did an excellent job of gettin’ the truck up and running. Then, Cory drove it back to Abilene for a PTO, then to Nebraska to get the lift axle. He then brought it back to Clint in Kansas City to be finished. Jesus in the shop installed almost everything including one of Clint’s visors, cab and sleeper skirts, two extra cab lights, a dump valve for the steer axle, and true working old-school spotlights in the pillar posts.
Evan and his wife Annette met in high school and have been married since 1983. They have two grown children – Kelly (26) and Jordan (23). Every year, the family gets season passes and RV parking for all of the K-State home football games and it has become a family tradition for everyone to meet there and hang out together. Hangin’ out at football games is fun, but it’s “Hammer Time” for Cory! And just so he never forgets, the dash plaque says, Custom Built for… “Who Loves You!” Needless to say, Cory is one happy driver.