This month’s creation was built for Shawn Giesbrecht (45) of J & R Giesbrecht Trucking and Farming in Glenn, California (just north of Sacramento). This fun project was a little different than Clint’s typical builds – it was the first brand new Kenworth he ever ordered and built for a customer at the dealership.
Clint has rebuilt some older KWs, but ordering a new one was a first. The word “can’t” isn’t in Clint’s vocabulary, so when Shawn asked if he could order and build him a KW, Clint’s only available answer was, “Yes, I can.” And although it looks rather stock and simple, this rig had a lot of custom work done to it.
Shawn is the oldest of three children from his parents, Rod and Sharon Giesbrecht. Shawn’s dad Rod was raised in Turlock, California, but in 1950 he moved north to the small town of Glenn. He met his wife while volunteering at a hospital in Halstead, Kansas, and the two were married in 1966. Rod and his brother Jerry started a business partnership in 1967 and called it J & R Giesbrecht. Buying a used 1964 3-axle Kenworth (which they still have today), the two began logging. They did this for a few years, and then decided to cut an axle off the old Kenworth and start hauling grain and fertilizer. Providing excellent service to their customers for decades, this outfit operated until 2000, when they sold the business. Rod kept two trucks and ran them until he passed away in 2008 from cancer at age 62.
When Shawn was younger, he was able to get his CDL at age 16, and then he drove for his dad for about eight years. After that, he got involved in custom farming, until his dad passed away. After his dad’s death, Shawn took over the trucking part of the business and began to expand. In honor of his father’s and uncle’s hard work and dedication, he kept the family business name. His uncle Jerry still drives that original 1964 KW during the harvest time (hauling almonds). In 2010, Randal Toews (pictured) joined Shawn and began helping him dispatch and grow the business even more. Today, they have five trucks, not counting the old 1964 KW. In addition to farming walnuts and almonds, they also haul some flatbed freight and relocate custom-made sheds.
Shawn called Clint one day and asked him if there was a KW guy out there that does what he does (order and personalize new trucks). Clint said, “I am your guy. I like trucks and I always love a good challenge!” So, here is Clint’s first new KW sale/build. Shawn is very particular and believes that trucks should be “clean and simple, but dressed for work” – so that is the look they were aiming for.
The truck is a new KW W900L factory day cab with an ISX Cummins and all the extras. Equipped with a NEWAY ADZ heavy duty suspension out back, Charlie and the guys in the shop did a great job lowering and bagging the front, and then hid the urea tank. Clint’s dad helped make the hidden brackets for the rear bicycle-style fenders, and then the guys in the body shop knocked out all the details that most people would never notice – like seven even cab lights on an uneven roof, custom-made side skins with M1 lights, and relocated antennas (to get them symmetrical). Wanting to get it just right, the body shop installed three different sun visors on the truck until Shawn was happy with the look. Shawn is pleased with how the truck turned out, and is happy he bought his new Kenworth from a Peterbilt salesman.
This new truck is Randal’s baby, and he was nice enough to stop by Clint’s shop on his way back from picking up a new trailer in Pennsylvania to let Clint take a few more pictures. The trailer, a custom shed hauler made by Pine Hill Manufacturing, can virtually unload itself and put a shed exactly where it needs to go upon delivery.
Married to his wife Edna (Eddie) for 21 years, the couple has three children – Stacee (an 18-year-old son who just got his CDL and helps on the farm); Latasha (a 16-year-old daughter that also helps on the farm); and Karson (a 13-year-old son who is still in school and also helps out on the farm).
Shawn is proud to be carrying on the family tradition that his father and uncle started almost 50 years ago. And no matter what they are doing, they do the best they can, and believe fulfilling the customer’s needs is the most important part of their business. Clean and simple, but dressed for work – that short statement can accurately describe both Shawn and his new Kenworth. It’s not about being flashy or cool, it’s about getting the job done, and getting it done right!