Some guys just know how to do it big! Kenny Mendonca (30) of Turlock, CA is one of those guys. After spending about a year in a cool older Peterbilt cabover, his first truck, Kenny decided to get in the game and upgrade to be compliant with the California emissions regulations. His new ride, the slick red and white 2-axle 1998 Peterbilt long hood seen here, has been retrofitted with a DPF filter to be compliant.
Working up to 15 hours a day hauling hay locally or out-of-state, Kenny has very little time to spend with his family – his beautiful wife Angie and their five-year-old son, who loves “daddy’s truck” a lot.
After working for many people in California’s central valley, like Brian Quadros and, later on, Tom Genasci, young Kenny decided to buy his first truck – a bright yellow and white Pete 362 cabover that was originally owned by Mike Maggini in Riverdale, CA (a past 10-4 cover trucker from way back in March of 2003). This truck has been through quite a few owners, and Kenny was one of them. This cabover started out as a hay truck and trailer setup, then the previous owner removed the hay bed and the pull trailer and sold it to Kenny, who ran it for a while, pulling a stepdeck. Then, wanting to pull doubles, he cut the 3-axle down to a 2-axle and started pulling hay trailers for Tom Genasci.
Needing to be compliant, Kenny decided to sell this sweet cabover and buy the 2-axle 1998 Peterbilt long hood seen here. The Previous owner, Richard Hettinga, kept up on the truck like Kenny is now doing. When Richard bought it from Rob Hillarides in Tulare, CA (another past 10-4 cover trucker from December 2008), he changed a few things on it. Kenny decided to buy it to upgrade and be compliant with California’s truck emission laws – he didn’t really want to, but to continue hauling in his home state, most of the companies there are now requiring their lease operator’s trucks to be compliant.
Pulling a set of amazing hay trailers purchased from John Silva of Silva Customs in Chowchilla, CA, this older set of trailers includes custom pinstriping, lights and paint – and was hooked to John Silva’s Red Pete when he was featured on the cover of 10-4 in March 2010. They didn’t haul much hay on them until Tom Genasci of Modesto, CA recently bought them – they now get used six days a week (sometimes seven), but he tries not to push the drivers too much. But, with hay hauling, you can’t stop – cows have to eat, just like us! Pulling Tom Genasci’s custom trailers each and every day, Kenny keeps them looking like they were his own. “Once I have enough green, I’ll be able to buy my own custom hay trailers,” said Kenny.
Kenny wanted to thank Tom Genasci, because he wouldn’t be where he is today without him. He also wanted to thank Shawn Weaver of Shawn’s Polishing for getting his ride all waxed and polished before we did the photo shoot.
Everything Kenny has driven, whether it was his own truck or a company-owned ride, has always been super clean and “dialed in” with plenty of lights – he likes to make sure people can see him coming down the road at night. But he doesn’t just want to have lights and chrome, he wants to be “blinged out” completely, by always being clean, polished and shining, from top to bottom. Kenny Mendonca is one of those young hay hustlers that’s “doin’ it big” as he goes down the highway – and he is loving it!
EDITOR’S NOTE: We at 10-4 would like to thank Jared Fagundes, who is still in high school and just getting started, for getting this photo shoot done and writing this, his very first article, on his own. We hope it is the beginning of many more cool features to come. If you live or run in California’s central valley and would like to schedule a photo shoot with young Jared, he can be reached at (209) 417-7783 or via email at Jfagundes1@aol.com. Who knows, if things go well, he might even consider featuring you and your truck in a future article in the magazine! Good luck!!