Mary and Steve Kephart of Hughson, California both like to “Giddy-Up, Go!” As longtime owner operators, Mary (54) and Steve (54) have both had successful careers in trucking, separately and together. Steve did some customizing to Mary’s Garnet Pearl Red 2-axle Western Star shortly after they bought it and gave it a horse-related theme, in honor of Mary’s rodeo-based background. Mary says it’s a great truck with lots of power – in fact, it really likes to “Giddy-Up, Go!”
The name, reputation and power of this truck represents Mary and Steve well. The truck is a 2010 Western Star with a Detroit DD15 and a 185-inch wheelbase. Steve also custom-painted a set of bottom dump trailers to match the truck, adding lights and other details, to help it stand out from the crowd (as if Mary herself doesn’t stand out enough). Working the truck every day, Mary hauls all sorts of gravel, asphalt, and whatever else will fit in the double bottom dump trailers. Steve also runs a Western Star truck, hauling the same sort of products as Mary, on a daily basis.
Mary started driving trucks 24 years ago. At first, she drove long haul, pulling a 53-foot dry van, and then she pulled walking floors and chain-driven farm beds, low-beds, and then bottom dumps and flats. Her first rig was a 1989 2-axle Peterbilt 379 hooked to a set of ‘99 bottom dump trailers (she also had a set of flatbed trailers). In those early days, Mary hauled rock in the summer and hay in the winter.
Steve comes from a family with an extensive background in farming and trucking that dates back to the 1940s. Steve is a well-known (and awesome) mechanic for all types of diesel trucks, with over 40 years of experience (he got started early).
Mary and Steve started trucking together in 2005, and then they got married in 2007. Hauling hay and working construction (rock hauling) have always been their bread and butter, but there were times when construction slowed. But that didn’t slow them down – they just said “Giddy-Up” and kept going! Over the years, they have hauled all sorts of things to “fill in the gaps” between construction jobs, when necessary.
The company name – “Giddy-Up, Go!” – came from Mary wanting a catchy name for her business which had to do with horses. Back in the day, Mary did a lot of rodeos, and has always loved horses. Mary’s daughter Mandie came up with the name, which was perfect for Mary and her go-getting attitude and reputation. Also, the “Giddy-Up” dates back to when Mary was a small child, listing “Giddy-Up, Horsey” as her favorite story in her baby book. Mandie also came up with the idea of the horse and horseshoes on the logo, which is on the door of Mary’s rig.
Mary also taught her daughter Mandie how to drive in her Peterbilt while she was still going to college. Today, Mandie no longer drives trucks – she finished school and is now a Registered Nurse. Back then, when Mary was teaching Mandie how to drive, the two of them turned a lot of heads and got thumbs-up and honks from enthusiastic people who had never seen two women in a big truck together. Mary’s other daughter, Marla, also enjoyed going on rides with her mom, and the reactions they got from the public were the same. They had a lot of fun together, back in those days!
Mary and Steve would like to thank 10-4 for publishing their story in “such an awesome magazine” and Jared Fagundes for taking such nice pictures. Thanks also go out to Shawn Weaver Polishing in Modesto, CA for getting the truck clean and shining for the shoot, along with the crew at Bonander Truck and Trailer in Turlock, CA for helping make this truck a dream come true. Lastly, a very special “thank you” goes out to Knife River Construction for opening their yard on a weekend so we could get the photo shoot done.
Trucking has been great for Mary and Steve Kephart – the two work well together and are a great team! Their choice to get involved in trucking was a good one, because it has been a very successful ride. And so, without any further ado, it’s time to stop talking and start moving – so… “Giddy-Up, Go!”