This month’s cool creation was ordered for Tony Salinas of Shafter, CA. We say “ordered” because Tony never went to Kansas City and never met Clint in person – this truck was spec’d over the phone, ordered by Clint, and then shipped directly to Tony in California. Then, Tony added a few extras to the truck and went to work. The moral of this story: you don’t need to take the time and money to go to Kansas City to get a cool truck built by Clint Moore – but you can, if you want to.
Married to Mercy, his high school sweetheart, for 26 years, Tony (44) is the oldest of four boys. His parents, Rolando and Laura Salinas, were originally from Texas, but moved to California many years ago. Rolando worked for farmers in the Shafter area, which is about 18 miles northwest of Bakersfield, and then got his CDL and began driving trucks, hauling sugar beets, carrots, wheat and wine grapes. Although he is “semi-retired” today, he still hauls a few loads from time to time to keep himself busy.
Passing the trucking bug to his boys – Tony, Eddie, Rey and Maito – they all have their own trucks today. After graduation, Tony got married and then went to work in the oil fields. He purchased his first home when he was only 20 years old! A few years later, when the oil industry began to slow, Tony switched to the family occupation – trucking!
After getting his CDL, he found and bought an old 1981 IHC 2-axle cabover for $7,000 (with a little help from his dad) and started hauling ag products. However, once he realized that all of the hauls were seasonal, which he did not like, he switched over to pulling pneumatic trailers, which was steady work.
Tony drove his old IHC for just over a year, then he bought a 1991 Freightliner COE, which he ran for the next four years. Next, he traded in the Freightliner for a gray 2000 Peterbilt 379 with an extended hood and a 36-inch sleeper in 2002. Tony is known for keeping his trucks clean, and this rig was no exception. He was also fortunate to pull a pair of polished pneumatic trailers that were owned by Larry Bless, who is known for having nice stuff. For the next few years, Tony enjoyed taking this shiny combo to many truck shows with his trusty side-kick – his son, Steven (24).
Running his 2000 Pete until 2012, Tony then opted to go back to the oil fields – his wife had gotten ill and there was more stability and better insurance in the oil industry. After just a year, he was promoted to supervisor and was managing five trucks! After his wife recovered, the oil work slowed down again, and Tony was laid off in 2014.
Since Tony had left his previous job on good terms, his old boss at TNT allowed him to come back. Finding a Freightliner Cascadia in the Fresno area, he quickly nabbed it up and got back on the road, without hardly missing a day of work. Once he decided that he wanted to stay in trucking, he made the decision to buy a new truck.
Following a recommendation from his brother, Maito, Tony called Clint, and right from the start they hit it off. To save time and money, Tony opted to just have the brand new truck drop-shipped to him in California – he and Clint never met face-to-face throughout the entire process. The truck is a bright red 2017 Peterbilt 389 2-axle long hood with a 44-inch sleeper (what they used to call a 36-inch bunk), a 550-hp ISX Cummins, an 18-speed transmission, a modest wheelbase, and all the good stuff.
Once Tony got the truck, he took it to his friends at the Allenbilt Fabrication Shop in Shafter where they installed one of Clint’s visors, bicycle-style rear fenders, a Texas bumper, seven bullet LED cab lights, breather lights, a rear light bar, some extra under-frame lighting, and steer axle dump valves.
The process was easy – so easy, in fact, Tony hardly missed a day of work. Tony has always had a positive attitude and he surrounds himself with positive people, which is one of the reasons why everyone calls him “EZ Money” – because he always has a smile on his face and he makes even the toughest jobs seem easy. For that, Clint had “Custom Built for EZ Money” put on the truck’s dash plaque.
Tony has always liked to keep his trucks clean – so clean, some people think he’s crazy, but Tony Salinas can’t relax if his truck is dirty, so the quicker he cleans it, the sooner he will be feeling better. In reality, his life and his job is no easier than anyone else’s, but he just keeps on truckin’ and never looks back, and because of that, he makes everything look EZ!