Joe Gomes & Sons Trucking of Turlock, California has been hauling oil and gas for a staggering 50 years and, because of that, Joe and his boys are living the dream. From humble beginnings, the company slowly grew, and today they not only haul fuel and lubricants to many locations throughout California’s Central Valley, but they also have their own filling station in their hometown of Turlock, which they keep supplied, as well.
Joe Gomes has four boys – Greg (58) handles much of the day-to-day operations of the company, Jeff is the dispatcher in the office, Gary owns his own fuel company (called G&G Transport), and Ronnie has his own lawn service business. Although all of Joe’s boys are not completely involved in the company, they are all still very close to each other.
Starting the company in 1965, Joe bought his first truck – a 1961 Chevy bobtail from Tidewater Oil Company. In the beginning, they were just hauling other people’s gas, but in 1975 they began buying and selling their own fuel, which they still do today.
In 1981 Joe bought their first truck and trailer – a GMC General with a 350 Cummins and a colorful General Motors paint scheme that featured white paint with a sunset orange, scarlet red and burgundy stripe (each color was separated with a silver line). Almost 35 years later, this same scheme is the one they have on all their trucks today!
As the company continued to grow, they began adding more trucks. In 1985, they bought their first Peterbilt – a 359 with a 400 Cummins. Shortly after that, they bought a 379 truck and trailer with a 425 Cat 3406B, and then just kept expanding when necessary. Today, they run seven units, both trucks and trailers and semis, ranging in years from 2001-2013.
The truck featured here (#14) is a 2013 extended hood Peterbilt 389 with an NTC 400 Cummins with DEF, an 18-speed transmission, and 3:48 rear-ends. Some of the rig’s added features include a nice sound system, Bostrom low-rider seats, a drop visor and plenty of extra lights. Down the sides of the truck and trailer’s Clough tanks, Greg redid all of the lights by drilling new holes and then mounting them right, using all Synflex tubing, and then he had everything chrome-plated to keep it looking good – and a little custom.
Greg (pictured) started learning how to drive when he was 12 years old. In 1975 he got his first driving job, hauling livestock for Dompeling (his first trip took him to Missoula, Montana). Greg gets out and drives once in a while, usually going down to Los Angeles to get oil or go see his friend, Vic Caliva, to get some polishing done on the truck (Vic polished the tanks on this rig two years ago and they still look like perfect rolling mirrors).
Keeping a truck like this clean is not easy, but driver Jeff York gets it done. Jeff has been with Joe Gomes & Sons for over 20 years, and feels like part of the family. Washing the truck on a regular basis, Jeff pretty much doesn’t let anyone else touch it. Greg wanted to thank Jeff for taking such good care of this truck and for representing the company so well while out there rolling down the road every day.
Wanting to give credit where credit is due, Greg would like to thank his parents for everything they have done to help him live a life he loves. He also wanted to thank Dutch Boy (a mobile detailer) for keeping all of their trucks polished and shining, and, more specifically, for helping to get this rig ready for the photo shoot, as well as Williams Tank Lines (they work together), Peterbilt in Turlock (they buy all of their trucks from them), Bonander Truck & Trailer in Turlock for all the parts and accessories they buy, and, most importantly, all of their great customers (some of them have been around since the very beginning).
Keeping their trucks loaded and rolling five days a week can be stressful at times, but Greg loves it, saying, “This is more than a dream come true.” One day in the not-so-distant future, Greg will probably end up with the company, and he is excited and ready for when that day comes. But, in the meantime, he will just keep “living the dream” of working with his dad and playing with cool trucks every day!