Some guys just like to be different. Chris Rocha (35), owner of C. Rocha Enterprises in Modesto, California, is one of those guys. Known as “Whiskey” by his friends, Chris has a different kind of ride than most commodity drivers – an International LoneStar. Chris always wanted to be on his own and do his own thing, and that finally came true. His saying is, “Why make money for someone else when you can make it for yourself?” Going out on his own was the best thing he ever did, but owning your own equipment isn’t always cheaper or easier. Chris loves the fact that he can do what he wants when he wants, but there will always be ups and downs when running your own outfit.
Growing up, his dad had a dairy and a bunch of trucks, which made Chris want to get a CDL when he grew up and be a truck driver. White Lightning Express out of Hilmar, California was nice enough to loan Chris the truck to go get his Class-A license in 2003, then he started driving for them. He stayed there for a few years and then went back to work on his dad’s dairy. After two years there, he went to work for West Coast Trucking for a year and a half, and then he went out on his own. Tom Genasci and Kenny Mendonca introduced Chris to Fiscalini Farms, which helped Chris get started.
His rig is a 2013 International LoneStar that pulls a 2016 Western belt trailer. The tractor was bought brand new back in 2014. Powered by a 500 MaxxForce engine and featuring a 220” wheelbase, the striking daycab rig is painted a dark metallic red. Some of the things Chris has added to the truck include a custom light bar, 255 low-pro tires, extra lights on the visor, and Hogebuilt quarter fenders. Chris wanted to be different, which is why he bought the LoneStar, but it was also cheaper to buy then most other trucks, which was a nice added benefit.
Chris chose the Western belt trailer over a normal walking floor trailer because it unloads a lot faster. The belt trailer has all the bells and whistles you can order, like extra lights, quarter fenders, 255 low-pro tires, air door locks, and a quick draw tarp, which doesn’t need to be strapped down with ratchet straps, like many of the other commodity trailer setups out there. It’s a real nice combination!
Hauling commodities all over California six days a week, every week, Chris tries to stay as busy as possible. Hauling mostly feed for dairies, he basically hauls just about anything that can go inside a belt trailer. When Chris is not driving “the train” as he calls it, he is either at rodeos having fun with his friends or out with his girlfriend. He also enjoys sipping a little Crown Royal when not on the road, hence his previously mentioned nickname, Whiskey.
Owning your own business is not easy, but Chris is glad he went out on his own and did things a little different. After all, he’d rather pay himself – he is the best boss he’s ever had!