This month’s cool “creation” was built for Pete Struikman Jr. of Apple Valley, CA. Pete (54), who hauls hay out west, has been involved with dairies and trucking his entire life. Pete usually keeps his trucks for a long time, but this time, not wanting to wait so long, Pete decided to replace his existing 2007 Peterbilt with a new one and became one of Clint’s “re-Pete” customers.
Pete’s roots go all the way back to Dairy Valley, CA (now known as Cerritos), where his grandfather Louis came to settle from Holland when he was only 16 years old. Pete’s grandpa milked cows in the land of opportunity and then, eventually, went on to own and operate his own dairy. At one point, Louis became part of the city council and was the mayor of Dairy Valley.
Pete’s grandparents, Louis and Alyce, only had one child – Pete Struikman Sr. (Pete’s dad). Pete Sr. grew up on the dairy, and when Louis retired, he took over both their dairy and ranch. Back then, they hauled everything for the dairy themselves, including the milk and hay, but after a few dry years, Pete Sr. sold the dairy and the ranch and began to concentrate on trucking.
Pete is the second oldest of five children, and the only one still involved in trucking. When his father sold the dairy and ranch in 1995, Pete moved to Apple Valley, CA. At that time, Pete was still driving his first truck – a 1991 Freightliner conventional 2-axle. In 1999, one of the dairies that Pete was hauling for gave him a raise and said, “Go buy a nice truck!” So, Pete went to Golden State Peterbilt and ordered a brand new 1999 Peterbilt 379 with a 36-inch sleeper.
Running that 1999 Peterbilt until 2007, Pete then decided it was time to get a new one. At this point, Pete and his friend Scott Armas both ordered new Peterbilts from Clint and then both went to Kansas City together to pick them up (Scott’s truck was featured in Clint’s April 2007 article). Clint put a visor and quarter-fenders on Pete’s 2007 Peterbilt 379, and then installed some temporary mud flaps for the ride home. Pete was so impressed with those temporary mud flaps, that when it came time to order his next new truck, he decided to let Clint do all of the modifications and add-ons, as well.
Having decided that he had waited too long to replace his 1999 Peterbilt, he didn’t want to make that same mistake again so late in 2011, he called Clint and ordered his next truck – the one you see here – a 2012 Peterbilt 389 with a 48-inch flat top sleeper, a Cummins ISX and a 13-speed transmission. The plain red truck (red never gets old) was ordered with all the goodies, including a Platinum interior package.
For some time, Clint has been talking to the guys at SAF-Holland – they had a new suspension and wanted Clint to install it on one of his custom builds. This new ADZ series heavy-duty drive axle air suspension is lighter, tougher and more stable than existing systems – and it sits nice and low! So, Clint had the guys at RC Frame install the new suspension and Pete couldn’t be happier, saying that the truck rides much better and resists side to side movement a lot more when loading and unloading compared to stock suspensions.
In addition to the new suspension, Clint’s team added black cab and sleeper extensions and painted the front fenders black with a red accent stripe. They also installed deck plates, one of Clint’s visors, Hogebuilt quarter fenders, and a special “Jimmy Crain” rear light bar.
Pete and his wife Sandy have been married for 30 years and have three grown children. Pete hauls hay all over the west with a set of 2006 Utility Ultra-Light trailers. Clint can’t wait for the time when Pete Struikman has to “re-Pete” again, because his trucks just keep getting better.