This month’s cool “creation” was built for Moitozo & Sons Trucking out of Gustine, CA. Ran by father and son duo Mike and John Moitozo, respectively, these two are part of a larger family that run a variety of businesses and operations. But, when it comes to cow-trucking and ranching, these two guys run the show.
Mike’s grandfather came to the United States from Portugal in the early 1900s. He started out working at a dairy and eventually was able to purchase his own in San Jose, CA. Mike’s dad Matt and his uncle Anthony later took over the operation. After WW-II, the family bought 1,000 acres and started farming, as well. Mike grew up on the family farm and was driving trucks long before he was old enough to get a license.
In 1973, Mike moved to Clear Lake, CA to run one of the family ranches growing pears. Things were going great until 2001 when the local cannery closed down. Mike immediately ripped out all of the pear trees, planted hay, and moved to the cattle ranch in Gustine.
Married and divorced twice, Mike (66) had three kids – one that died as an infant, his son and business partner John (31), and a daughter named Michelle, who is married and has a set of 2-year-old twins (a boy named Michael and a girl named Natalie) with her husband, Will. John is not married and works every day on the family farm, raising cattle and helping out with all of the other family businesses and properties.
Over the years, they have bought a few trucks, and just about every one of them they purchased, they still own today – and they are all dark green, like the new one seen here. Their first truck was a 1946 Chevy and then, in 1948, they bought a tandem straight truck and trailer. In 1957 they bought a new GMC semi, and then in 1966 a new single-axle KW. A few years later, they bought a 1970 single-axle KW. All of these trucks they still own, and some are still used.
In the 70s and 80s they purchased a couple of used IHCs, and in 2006 they bought a nice single-axle Peterbilt 379 extended-hood daycab. Today, that truck only has 80,000 miles on it! Being big fans and readers of 10-4 Magazine, when it came time to order a new 3-axle truck, they called Clint to “get what they wanted.”
The truck is a 2015 Peterbilt 389 with a 44” flattop sleeper, a 260” wheelbase, a car-hauler front axle on air-ride, and low low air-ride out back. Powered by a 600 hp ISX Cummins and a high-torque 18-speed transmission, this rig was ordered with all the right stuff.
Once the truck arrived at the dealership, Clint and his guys went to work, doing their best to keep this truck simple and clean. After adding nine bullet cab lights, a painted drop visor, extra grill bars and breather lights (front and rear), they installed 8” Dynaflex straight pipes with Pickett elbows, a Jimmy Crain rear light bar, long Hogebuilt quarter-fenders, and then they hid the urea tank. To finish it off, Clint’s dad chopped the lids on the air cleaners and then the stock seats were replaced with Bostrom low-riders. Having just bought a new Merritt cattle pot with polished stainless on the front and rear, this truck, when hooked to the new trailer, looks even better.
When not trucking, farming or working on the ranch, Mike and John both enjoy fast cars, and have several sweet “weekend” rides to play with. Back in his early days, Mike once dreamed of becoming the next big NASCAR driver, but he could never convince his father to sponsor him, so he just kept working, which was probably a smarter decision. Currently, Moitozo & Sons is not for hire – they just use all of their cool trucks, old and new, to haul their own hay and cattle.
Some trucks scream at you, demanding to be admired, while others can quietly pass you by unnoticed. This truck, like all of the Moitozo rigs, fits into the latter category. Clint and his team wanted the truck to look like a factory-built custom ride, and we think they pulled it off. Everyone worked very hard to make this truck look “effortless” – even though it wasn’t.