This month’s cool creation was ordered for Bret Schmid of Scio, Oregon. But Clint did not do the “building” on this one – just the ordering. This truck was dropped shipped directly to Bret (34), and then he and his friends put it all together. Not wanting to go too far, he kept this build pretty tame, so the truck would still be functional, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t cool.
Bret is the third generation of Schmids to drive a truck. His late grandfather, Bernie Schmid, was a jack-of-all-trades, but when things got tough, he went trucking. Bret’s father Ted began as a company driver, but when Bret was eight years old, he bought his own truck. Over the next ten years, he grew to 25 trucks, hauling mostly container freight under the name E.T. SCHMID Trucking. Dad worked in the shop and drove, while Bret’s mom Jan, along with three other people, worked in the office.
Unfortunately, they were the victims of a Workers’ Comp audit, which said that they needed to cover their owner operators. They fought as hard as they could, but eventually ran out of money and had to close their doors. They kept just one truck (which is currently a project in their shop). Sad thing is, two years later, they were found not guilty – but by then it was too late.
Growing up around trucks, Bret liked anything that had to do with driving – he enjoyed doing it and was good at it, too. Active in the FFA, he once got 1st place in a tractor driving contest. When he was 18 years old, he got his CDL. His childhood dream was to have a fleet of cool Peterbilts, like the Van Dykes and Joel Olson’s of the world, but he knew that would take time.
In 2002, at just 20 years old, Bret started his own company, Bret Schmid Trucking, and then bought his first truck – and it was exactly the opposite of what he wanted in a truck. It was a 1997 Pete 379 with a Detroit (he wanted a Cat), a 10-speed (he wanted an 18-speed), tall air ride (he wanted it to be long and low), and it had a basic interior (he wanted the fanciest they made). The only things it DID have were a hood, low miles, black paint, and a Peterbilt logo on the side – the rest he would just have to deal with. He still has this truck today.
In the beginning, Bret worked for his dad for almost a year, then he leased to Van Dyke for five years. In 2007 he decided to go out on his own, but just a year later, in 2008, when the economy began to slow, he found himself doing whatever he could. Back then, he hauled a lot of hay, which he really enjoyed.
In 2010, things were going pretty good, so he decided to add a truck and his dad started driving for him. They bought a 2001 Pete 379 with a 70-inch standup (which he still has), and Bret and his dad became trucking buddies – they went everywhere together.
These days, with five long hood Petes and a cool COE project, Bret is on his way. He also has multiple trailers – walking floors, flatbeds, dumps and curtain vans – he wants to be as versatile as possible, so when the customers call, he can tell them, “Yes, I can haul that!”
When Bret began talking about wanting a new truck with his friend Jeff Houts, who has purchased a few cool rides from Clint which have also been featured, Jeff suggested that maybe Bret should call Clint… and away they went.
The new truck, pictured here, is a 2016 Peterbilt 389 flattop with a high-torque ISX, an 18-speed, a 295-inch wheelbase, Low-Air, and all of the nice stuff. Ordered black with a lime green frame, the truck was drop-shipped directly to Bret, since he had experience hanging stuff and chopping on trucks.
Bret wanted the urea tank to be hidden, so Clint made him a deal and sent him the stuff, along with instructions, and he and a friend did it. The rest is pretty normal stuff for him and his friends – drop visor, cab and sleeper skirts, painted tanks, straight pipes, half-fenders, JDT light bars, and a complete Rockwood interior. The final touch was an “Air by Horse” front end kit, which put it a lot closer to the ground.
Special thanks go out to his buddy Larry Stevens for helping put the truck together, and to Colby Williams of Fueled Photography for taking the pictures. Engaged to Danielle McClain, Bret also has two daughters – Makenzie (10) and Taylor (7) – who he spends as much time with as possible. Bret tries not to worry about what other people think and do… he just does his own thing, for the most part.
The “theory of cool” these days seems to be that the less practical you can make your truck, the cooler it is. Well, with that said, Bret Schmid didn’t want this truck to be too cool – he wanted to be able to use it. Besides, what good is a “cool” truck if it is so over-the-top that you can’t even run it or make any money with it? I guess that “theory” has been debunked!