This month’s cool creation was built for Jake Weber of Branded Livestock, LLC in Aurora, Colorado. Actually, Clint first ordered this truck as a “stock truck” (a truck for the lot without a buyer). At only 30 years old, Jake has already seen a lot of ups and downs in his business, but like his grandparents always say, “Things are always going to happen – but just keep on going.” And that is exactly what Jake has done.
Jake grew up in beautiful upstate New York, where his grandparents, Charles & Gaile Vanwie, still own a dairy. They have always been a big source of inspiration and support to Jake over the years, sharing their insights about running a business. Jake’s parents, Frank & Suzan Weber, are also pretty important people in Jake’s life. Jake’s dad had a factory job when he was little, but in 1993 he began driving a truck – for the last 16 years he has driven for a grocery chain.
After graduating from high school, Jake attended college for two years and then left to start working full time. Tired of milking cows, he answered an ad looking for temporary workers in Kansas for the wheat harvest and never looked back. He always had a fascination with trucks, and there were a lot more opportunities in the Midwest to start (and grow) a trucking business, so Jake went for it!
In 2005, Jake bought his first truck with some help from his friend Bill Curtis. He worked with Bill for almost five years and then bought out another company called John D. Smith Trucking in 2010. This company came with three trucks, but things are not always easy. After a rocky start, Jake had to sell a few of the trucks, but since then, he has built his operation back up to four trucks by doing exactly what his grandparents always taught him – “Just keep on going.”
Not too long ago, Jake left Kansas and moved to Colorado, wanting to put down some roots of his own. Hauling all kinds of livestock, Jake has been fortunate to have had good luck with the new emission-compliant trucks, so when it came time to order another one, he called Clint. But, when he saw the brown and cream truck (seen here) sitting on the lot he said, “With a few modifications, we could make that one work.”
The 2013 Peterbilt 389 was ordered with a 48” flattop, a 280” wheelbase, a car-hauler front axle on air-ride, upgraded rears with fully locking differentials, an ISX 525 Cummins, an 18-speed transmission, horizontal exhaust, a tan Platinum interior package, and a back window. The brown and cream two-tone factory paint was inspired by the 1956 Chevy Clint’s family had when he was a kid – he loved riding around in that car!
Some of the changes they made for Jake included adding a new visor, five flush cab lights, Hogebuilt half-fenders with hidden brackets, and 7” dummy pipes. They also chopped the breather screens, painted the fuel tanks, hid the urea tank, added a dump valve to the front end, and added a Jimmy Crain light bar and mud-flap setup. To finish it off, Clint installed a set of one-off extra wide 389 cowl panels. She was lookin’ sweet, as she headed out down the street!
Married to his wife Jessica for almost two years, Jake has a 10-year-old stepdaughter named Adreama and a 10-month-old daughter named Tailynn. Jake has already accomplished a lot in his life, and he works hard every day to provide for his family. Much of his success can be attributed to the advice and encouragement he has received from his grandparents. They have always inspired him to “keep on going” no matter what – and that advice has served him well.