For some time now, cabovers have been making a comeback on the trucking scene. And with trucks like the McAllister Enterprises’ 362 Peterbilt seen here, it’s easy to see why. But this truck, like all of the McAllister rigs, is more than just a cool ride – it’s a family affair. McAllister Enterprises, based in American Fork, Utah, has always been about family.
Starting back in 1994 when Matt McAllister bought his first dump truck, McAllister Enterprises began as a dirt-hauling operation. Over the years, the company grew, and in 1999 Matt bought his first new truck – a 379 Pete featuring an Alumatech dump bed. Being painted a bright, canary yellow, this truck also began the tradition of McAllister’s signature yellow rigs. Eventually, McAllister would branch into lowboy, flatbed and equipment hauling services, as well, and now does both dirt work and equipment transport. With eight trucks currently in operation and a ninth one in the process of being built, McAllister can handle plenty of construction needs.
The truck seen here is Matt McAllister’s most-recent build. Ever since he was given the opportunity to ride on the doghouse of a cabover in a parade, he’s always wanted to build one. And, for years, he knew precisely which truck he wanted to buy. Another local company, Utah Pacific Bridge and Steel, had a stretched-out 1995 Peterbilt 362 that for years Matt tried to buy, but Utah Pacific never seemed quite ready to sell the truck. Eventually, in the summer of 2013, Matt, along with his son Weston (18), found a 1986 cabover Peterbilt and bought it with the intentions of stretching it out and building it into what they really wanted. Wouldn’t you know it, though, shortly thereafter, Utah Pacific decided they were finally ready to sell their cabover. So, Matt bought that one, too! Choosing to build the ’95 for its drivability, Weston sketched-up exactly how he knew the truck should look, and that’s where the family project began.
Motivated by an N14 Celect Cummins, the truck turns a 15-speed transmission and 3.55 DS402 cogs out back, sitting on 260-inches of factory wheelbase. Custom features include a drop visor, a custom mesh grill, an 18-inch front bumper and a rear light bar, both from Valley Chrome. The truck also features LED lighting throughout, a unique “doghouse” shuttered grille on the back of the cab, and 8-inch miter-cut straight stacks. Zack Moorman also built the rig a custom hydraulic tank, unique stack brackets with LED lights, and a custom deck plate. The interior was kept fairly stock, featuring chrome gauges, a wood-grain dash, and plenty of oxblood carpeting and leather (as well as the biggest Johnny-bar you’ve ever seen). Wrapped in a simple but classic stripe scheme featuring white and the McAllister yellow, the truck toes the line between understated and eye-popping.
But, the paint itself has much more of a story behind it than one might think. Paint was handled by Telaina Lewis and her right hand man, Fidel Archuleta, at their local shop, TLC Auto Body & Paint. Telaina and her ex-husband originally ran Precision Body & Paint, but in March of 2012 they legally separated and he left, leaving Telaina to run the company. Telaina was “handed” a company with plenty of debt and a lot of legal problems. As a single mother raising children, she didn’t let the task ahead stop her. Learning through doing, Telaina began the process of turning the shop into a profitable business.
Bidding wrecks and rebuilds, Telaina began to learn the ins-and-outs of the heavy duty truck collision repair and painting industry. There’s a lot of work that goes into laying a new paint job out on a rig – it is not simply spraying paint, but metal work, filler and prep (perhaps the most important step of all) – with plenty of land-mines along the way. Today, however, with dedication, a never-quit attitude and a love for the industry, she is one of only a few women in the heavy duty collision industry to triple her business in the first four months. Telaina is very grateful to her many customers, like Matt McAllister, who believed in her abilities and gave her the opportunity to make his truck what it is today.
Through all of this, Matt’s son, Weston, was getting his trucking career started, as well. Not surprisingly, while growing up, Weston loved trucks and trucking, and he loved riding along with his father. As soon as Weston could learn to drive he did, and as soon as he turned 18 he got his CDL. Now working with his father, Weston pulls a side-dump trailer with a clean 379 daycab. Weston also has a 16-year-old sister named Alexis, a 12-year-old brother named Carson, and an 8-year-old sister named Stella. Undoubtedly, Weston (and his siblings) will carry McAllister Enterprises into the next generation.
We’d like to thank Matt McAllister, his wife Andrea and Weston for their time to put the photo shoot together. We’d also like to thank Telaina Lewis for her time during the shoot, as well. Shooting the day after the Salt Lake Kidney Kamp show, we ran around southern Salt Lake City looking for just the right spot, and in the process learned that McAllister’s 362 Peterbilt is more than just a cool ride – it’s a real runner. It takes time, commitment and effort to get a photo shoot accomplished, and the McAllister’s had no problem helping to make sure we got the job done – and that we did it right!
In trucking, family can often carry you a long way, and the McAllister’s are proof of that. Often, some of the best builds happen when there’s more than just building a cool truck involved. More than simply a truck build, the cabover became a family project to make something everyone was proud of. And whether it was the build, the paint or the driving, family values were there for the McAllister’s most recent truck. And we’re sure that those family values, coupled with hard work, will continue to propel McAllister Enterprises forward as one of the premier construction, dirt and equipment hauling operations in the entire Salt Lake area.
On another note, the McAllister’s still have the 1986 Peterbilt 362 cabover they originally bought, and now it’s for sale. If you’re interested, please contact Matt at (801) 420-2245 for more details. For more information about paint and body work possibilities, contact Telaina Lewis at TLC Auto Body & Paint in West Valley, Utah at (385) 313-0852. And keep your eyes peeled, too, because the next wild ride from McAllister Enterprises is right around the bend!