This month’s creation was built for Drake Farms Trucking in San Luis Obispo, CA. Owned and operated by brothers Steve and Barry Drake, this is a true family operation which, oddly enough, does not include a farm anymore. Drake Farms Trucking (DFT) currently operates 33 trucks and over 50 trailers, running refrigerated freight (both LTL and full truckloads). But, in the very beginning, it wasn’t about trucking at all – it was about egg farming.
Steve and Barry’s parents, John and Alberta Drake, who met in high school, formed Drake Farms in Paso Robles, CA after graduating in 1957. In 1970, they purchased another farm in San Luis Obispo, CA named Royal Farms, which they renamed Drake Royal Farms. At that point, they moved the family to San Luis Obispo, where they still live today. John (who is now 77) and Alberta Drake have three grown children – Bill (58), Barry (50), and Steve (47). Bill was adopted at age five, and has a truck working for DFT, as well as a son named John (23) and three step-children, Tony, Christina and Josh.
Barry and Steve are co-owners of DFT, in addition to some other ventures the family is involved in. Barry is married to Deanna and they have two children – Derek (16) and Desire (14). Derek, who is an up-and-coming motocross racer, is sponsored by Troy Lee Designs, GoPro, KTM, Red Bull and a few others – this kid is the real deal, and could be the next Jeremy McGrath!
Steve is married to Susie and they have two kids, as well – Logan (23) and Kellie (20). Steve has been racing dirt cars in the Late Model class for 25 years and won the West Coast Late Model Shootout Championship in 2014. Logan not only runs the truck shop at DFT, but he is also his dad’s crew chief – and he races, too. Steve’s daughter Kellie has some skills, too – she is a two-time national champion riding and showing Arabian horses.
When John and Alberta first started their egg farming operation, they didn’t have anything – they just worked hard. As their egg business grew, the need for transportation became important, so John decided to buy a truck in 1985. Steve went with him at age 15, and they ended up with a new 362 Peterbilt COE. Their second truck was a 359 Pete, which they still own today.
The brothers (Barry and Steve) always took pride in making sure they had nice trucks, and both of them drove when they were young. As the trucking side of things grew, John and Alberta eventually got out of the egg business, and Barry and Steve went on to form DFT.
DFT has bought over 20 trucks (mostly aero-style fuel-squeezers) from Clint since they first called him in 2010. This time, they decided to order something special for a driver, Jerry “Jerdog” Miller (pictured), who has been with the company for 19 years. Steve’s son Logan was pretty much in charge of the project, so he and Clint, along with Jerdog, ordered the truck you see here.
Over the years, the company colors had evolved to red trucks with dark blue frames, so on this one, to be different, they decided to reverse the scheme and get a dark blue truck with a red frame. The truck is a 2016 Peterbilt 389 with a 72” flattop that sits on a 280” wheelbase and has a 500-hp PACCAR MX engine, an 18-speed, Low-Air suspension, and a Platinum interior package with all of the extra bells and whistles. The goal on this build was to add just enough stuff to make it cool, but not too much.
Once the truck showed up, the body shop went to work, adding four extra grill bars, a Texas-style bumper, dummy straight pipes, and one of Clint’s drop visors. They also hid the urea tank, painted the air and fuel tanks, added painted body drop panels, installed dump valves on the front suspension, and mounted Hogebuilt half-fenders on Clint’s hidden brackets. The final details included painting the front hubs and adding polished oiler caps, a smooth painted deck plate with recessed airline box, and modified seat bases, to move them back for a little extra leg room.
Everyone at DFT is happy with how the project turned out, and “Jerdog” is still smiling from ear to ear. If you see him out and about in this slick new rig, let him know what you think. With trucks and race cars and motorcycles and horses and who knows what else, this family is about as busy as one could be, but that is how they like it. And farm or no farm, John and Alberta taught their boys how to work hard and have fun in everything they do, and it is a lesson they never forgot!