You gotta be smart to succeed at the trucking game. Walking the fine line of being cool and being practical can often be the difference between success and failure. Third generation trucker Darrick Divine of White City, Oregon, has found that perfect balance. Driving a long and low Kenworth that is still completely functional, Darrick knew when to stop. This beautiful KW is certainly not a show truck, and Darrick has no problem admitting that, saying, “I took it as far as I could, and now I just want to work it!”
At only 28 years old, Darrick Divine has owned trucks for over 12 years, buying his first rig at the tender age of 16. He was still in high school and couldn’t really do anything with it, but he didn’t care – he had a sweet 1979 Peterbilt 359 with a Big Cam 400 and a 13-speed that ran great – and that was pretty cool! Darrick’s grandfather, John Rodrigues, started trucking in Santa Cruz, California back in the late 1960s, hauling rock with a long-hood Peterbilt transfer, and he has always been one of Darrick’s heroes and mentors. In 1975, grandpa John moved the family to Redding, California, and got into flatbedding. Not long after that, Darrick’s dad, Mike Divine, married John’s daughter (Darrick’s mom), and started trucking, as well. Today, most of Darrick’s family is still in Redding.
Throughout his childhood, Darrick spent a lot of time out on the road with his grandpa and his uncle, Travis Rodrigues, as well as his dad. Darrick’s first real driving “experience” came in the summer before 7th grade. Heading out with his dad on a run, Darrick was surprised when, after only a short time driving, his dad wanted to pull over and take a nap. Darrick said, “How can you be tired? All you do is sit there!” At this point, his dad responded by pulling over and saying, “Well, then you can take over.” Darrick hesitantly slid into the driver’s seat, and from that day on, you couldn’t pry him out of it.
Once he knew how to do it, Darrick started driving his grandpa’s trucks all over the yard, and would even set up cones to practice backing up. Around the time he was in 8th grade, things got tough at home for Darrick and he basically moved in with his grandparents. This situation worked pretty well, since Darrick spent most of his time at grandpa’s yard anyway, when not in school, loading trailers and washing trucks.
Darrick got his CDL in January of 2006 during his senior year at Shasta High School. He still had that 359 Pete, but grandpa John wasn’t sure if it would be a good daily driver for him to get started with, so he made Darrick an offer – when he finished high school, he would sell him a 1992 extended-hood Peterbilt 379 he had and take the 359 as the down-payment. Darrick took the deal. By the time he graduated, six months later, he was all set up with his own authority and insurance. The very next day, he was out on his own, running his own truck, hauling for his grandpa. That year grandpa’s business, Rodrigues Trucking, reached its peak with five of his own trucks and 20 subhaulers.
Being 18 years old, Darrick was confined to running within the state of California, and, for the most part, he adhered to those rules. The following year, he started hauling hay on a step-deck for John Arreche out of Cedarville, California. His bright yellow Peterbilt, which had a 425 B-model Cat and a 13-speed, was a 3-axle tractor with a 63-inch standup sleeper. Wanting to start pulling a set of hay doubles, he cut the truck down to a 2-axle and switched out the big standup sleeper with a 48-inch flattop. He also painted the tanks, boxes, visor and breathers yellow. It was a cool rig. Later, when someone offered him good money for the 48-inch sleeper, he sold it and then mounted a 36-incher (which was really just a place to hold his speakers).
In 2010, Darrick met his future wife, Julia, on Myspace. For those who do not remember Myspace, it was one of the first social media websites and, at one point, the most-visited site on the internet – until Facebook came along. Growing up in a trucking household, as well, Julia lived in southern Oregon but moved to Redding to be with Darrick. Not long after that, they both moved back to Medford, Oregon.
As the economy remained flat for several years, Darrick continued to haul hay until 2011. At this point, he wasn’t making much money and he wasn’t having very much fun – he was burned out! He decided to sell his yellow Peterbilt and, possibly, contemplated going back to school and studying to become a diesel mechanic. After not working for a couple months, he made a call to his friend James Davis and offered to do some fill-in driving for him whenever he might need it. At the time, James, whose amazing black and orange Peterbilt had graced our cover back in 2008, had just purchased a second truck and was looking to start a new venture – JDT Trucking – and Darrick found himself in the right place at the right time. Darrick became JDT’s first driver.
After about six months of running up and down I-5, driving for JDT, Darrick decided to try something new – something he always wanted to do – log trucking. Driving for Rick Mathews out of Eagle Point, Oregon, Darrick learned a lot while running a log truck for about a year. In fact, he thinks every trucker should run a log truck for one year, as it teaches you so much about driving and respecting the equipment. With uneven dirt roads, sharp turns, steep grades and plenty of snow and ice, logging is extremely challenging work. After about a year, Darrick went back to JDT for a few months, and then decided he was ready to be back in his own truck.
In August of 2012, Darrick bought an old 1987 Freightliner cabover that had been sitting in his grandpa’s yard for ten years. The truck had a 96-inch cab, a B-model Cat, and a 13-speed transmission. Darrick had to replace the turbo and do a little work to the engine, but after that, it ran like a champ – and it even got 6.5 mpg! Giving it a Divine “rattle-can special” baby blue paint job, and then adding some cab lights and a visor, it turned out to be a pretty nice-looking rig. Unfortunately, Darrick could never get the heat or A/C to work properly, so he froze in the winter and baked in the summer. Hauling mostly lumber on a flatbed, Darrick ran for Tabs Trucking and JDT. When he decided it was time to upgrade in 2014, he put the cabover on Facebook and it sold to a guy in Nebraska that very same day.
His next truck is also his current truck, and the one you see here on these pages and on our cover and centerfold this month – a 2009 Kenworth W900 with a 72-inch AeroCab, a 400 ISX Cummins, a 13-speed and 3.55 rears. When he first got the truck, it was pretty stock, had a 253-inch wheelbase, and about 500,000 miles on the odometer. Over the last two years, he has transformed it into what you see today, while pulling an all-aluminum 1995 Ravens 48’ x 96” flatbed for RAM Trucking in Brownsville, Oregon, hauling steel and building materials, between Seattle and Los Angeles.
Some of the modifications Darrick made to his Kenworth include stretching it to 313 inches, installing a Moarlow air-ride kit from Bill Mowatt, and adding a white vinyl stripe with a lime green outline from Dave at Southern Oregon Signs. He also added a 20-inch tapered bumper, a 12 Ga. visor, small cab and sleeper extensions, and a painted aluminum deck plate. All of the lights on the rig are incandescent bulbs with glass lenses (Darrick likes the way the old lights glow). The truck also has Hogebuilt aluminum half fenders on custom brackets, a custom steel rear light bar, and a polished and painted headache rack he got from his friend, Walt Kurz. Some of the final exterior touches include painted and polished hubs, old-school 5-inch exhaust, and a swan hood ornament (Julia hates the swan, so now Darrick keeps it on there just to tease her).
Featuring a Seattle Package, with diamond button-tuck done in gray throughout the cab and sleeper, the interior of Darrick’s KW is really nice, too. After removing the stock seats and replacing them with Sears Elite low-back seats, Darrick had Rick Evans, a local hot rod painter, add Von Dutch-style pin-striping to the dash and door panels. He also painted small “Keep on Truckin” murals on each door, and even made the guy resemble Darrick. Lastly, he put “Not Broke, Just Badly Bent” and more pin-striping on the back of Darrick’s visor. Like everything else on this truck, it looks great, but it is still very functional.
With about 720,000 miles on the KW, she is still working hard and running pretty good, although, over the years, she has eaten four turbos, an EGR valve and numerous sensors. Darrick wanted to thank all of his family and close friends (you know who you are) for all of the late-night help with his truck. He also wanted to thank Jeff at Fullbore Diesel & Fabrication in White City, Oregon, for helping him build the rear light bar, mount the air-ride kit, and various other fab jobs, as well as Joe at C Bar C Truck Parts in Central Point, Oregon, for always giving him a great deal on his Hogebuilt fenders.
Darrick and Julia got married in 2014, and she has always been a big supporter of Darrick and his trucks. While he’s out trucking, she runs around Medford for a medical courier. She also sells and delivers truck parts for a local dealer.
Darrick Divine knows that his truck is not perfect, but he doesn’t care. For him, it’s about having fun and making money, not showing off or trying to impress people. Using that “Divine Wisdom” mentioned earlier, Darrick says he’ll keep truckin’ until he can’t do it anymore or until the government takes all the fun out of it. We sure hope that isn’t too soon!