Scott Haley (38) of Oakdale, California is “earnin’ his keep” each and every day! Growing up as a “country kid” in Oakdale, Scott began to realize that cattle were a big deal, so he thought that helping a friend out on the weekends while still in high school would be a great idea. His friend owned a cattle truck, so Scott asked him to teach him a few things about it. Later on, Scott was rolling down the highway, while his friend was getting some much-needed shut-eye.
Growing up in a trucking family, Scott’s dad Keith has been an owner operator since 1983 (Scott was six years old). After getting his CDL in 1997, Scott started hauling grapes and wine in his dad’s 1964 narrow-nose Peterbilt 335, which had a set of 5+4 sticks. Scott became an owner operator when he bought his first truck in 1998 – a 1980 cabover Peterbilt 352 with a 400 Big Cam Cummins and yellow and brown paint. Scott ordered his first brand new truck in October of 1999 and got it in May of 2000. It was a Peterbilt 379 with a Signature 600 Cummins and an 18-speed transmission (this was the first year with the new-style dash).
In addition to his father, three of Scott’s uncles were in trucking, as well. One of these uncles that drove truck was Bob Parker, someone that Scott was really close to. Bob was diagnosed with cancer, so Scott took him on a few extra trips with him to see him smile. Unfortunately, he passed away on July 31, 2002. Ten years later, to the day, on July 31, 2012, Scott ordered a new truck, which was a 2013 Peterbilt 389 long hood. A few years after that, he sold this truck to J.S. Homen in Turlock, California, and then bought his latest ride – the white and black 2016 Peterbilt 389 you see here – which he uses to haul cattle in and around the 11 western states.
Scott’s current rig features a car-hauler front axle, a custom visor, and several hand-fabricated parts, including the light bar, deck plate, fifth wheel spacer and fender brackets. The interior has a wood-grain dash, Bostrom Wide Ride seats, a full gauge package, platinum gray upholstery and extra switches that were moved from the dash to the headliner.
The 2007 Wilson cattle trailer he pulls has a “Canadian spread” (which is rare) and plenty of LEDs, including extra lights inside the trailer, to keep tabs on the cattle. He also added some extra LEDs on the back end of the trailer to help him see better at night when backing up to dark cattle chutes.
Married to his wonderful wife Amy, the couple has two kids – Natalie (9) and Kendall (10). Scott misses his small family when he’s out on the road “earnin’ his keep” but that is why he is out there! When Scott isn’t out trucking hard, he is either watching his two daughters play soccer or enjoying some simple family time (Natalie and Kendall both love to ride in daddy’s truck). His wife Amy is more than a devoted wife and dedicated mom – she also manages the entire business when Scott isn’t home, so you can imagine how busy she usually is. Scott says he will probably get a new truck sometime in the future, and start fresh, all over again.
The day before the photo shoot, Scott asked if I wanted to go with him to Fresno to see how the cattle guys do it. Figuring this would be a great time to interview him for this story, I jumped at the chance. We rolled down to Fresno that night and talked about what we like to do and I got to know a lot about Scott (spending time with someone is so much better than just “getting to know them” on Facebook). He told me about how he learned to drive, about how he had to get the hang of shifting his dad’s twin-stick, and just lots of other great stories and stuff about him and trucking – we had a great time.
A big thank you goes out to Scott’s dad Keith for getting Scott started in trucking, as well as his wife Amy and their daughters, for being patient and understanding when he has to be gone for long periods at a time. Also, thanks to Ryan Sabean at Valley Peterbilt for getting the last two trucks he ordered spec’ed out just right, Jason at Hick’s Welding and Repair in Oakdale for all of the custom fabrication he did on Scott’s last two rides, and Trent at Rackley Bilt Custom Trailers in Stockton for doing the fuel tanks and middle fender brackets on this one. And, last but not least, thanks to Farmers Sale Yard for letting us shoot the pictures at their location.
These days, there are not a lot of young people out there that are willing to work hard and get the job done, but that is not the case with Scott Haley. He has been “earnin’ his keep” for almost 20 years now, and has no intention of stopping anytime soon. I guess that’s just how the cattle guys do it!