If you are a trucker and you are on Facebook or Instagram, you probably know Leon Murillo. Leon has made quite a name for himself by snapping cool pictures of trucks on the road and then posting them online. He takes these pictures while rolling down the road, so you might not expect them to be very good, but, surprisingly, he does a great job. So great, in fact, many others have started doing the very same thing that he has been doing for years. And, even if you are not computer savvy, you still might know Leon, as he has been featured in the magazine in the past (Editor’s Choice February 2013), and, not to mention, he is a cool guy who has always ran head-turning rigs.
Leon Murillo (27) of Porterville, California always knew he wanted to be a truck driver, just like his father, Leon Murillo Sr. Losing his mother at an early age, Leon was raised by his father in the seat of a truck, learning to drive at just nine or ten years old. Leon remembers sitting in his dad’s lap, steering the truck, and whenever he began to drift out of the lane he was in, his dad would flick one of his ears, right or left, depending on which way he wanted him to go. At just eleven years old, much to the surprise of the other drivers around, young Leon was already backing his dad’s truck into the docks at his deliveries.
After graduating high school, he immediately took his driving test, earned his CDL, became an owner operator, and then hit the road in a black 1999 Peterbilt 379 short hood he bought from his dad. This cool truck had a 70-inch Ultra sleeper, a turned-up 3406-E Cat (from 475 to 550) hooked to a Super-10 transmission, a painted drop visor, a custom rear light bar, polished aluminum half-fenders, and HID headlights. Leon ran that truck until July of 2013, when he traded it in for an all-white 2010 Peterbilt 389 from Clint. This rig, which had a 70-inch high roof sleeper and an ISX Cummins, was loaded! Leon ran that truck until his dad sold his 2008 Freightliner Cascadia a few weeks ago, so Leon passed the white one to him and upgraded his ride to the bright yellow one seen here.
Leon’s new truck is a 2016 Pete 389 long hood with a 36-inch flattop sleeper, an ISX Cummins with an 18-speed transmission, a 270-inch wheelbase, full locking differentials, Low-Air suspension, a Platinum interior package and all the goodies. This truck was not ordered by Leon – it was a stock custom truck that Clint had ordered for the lot, but Leon said it was like he had ordered it for him, as it had everything he wanted (he didn’t think he wanted a yellow truck, but now he loves it).
The boys in the shop hid the urea tank, hung some dummy stacks, and then added a drop visor and five nicely-spaced cab lights up on top. They also dumped the steer axle, installed half-fenders on hidden brackets and a Jim Crain light bar, and then swapped out the 5th wheel to one with a longer slide for more versatility. Kenny in the shop installed an ESPAR heater in the sleeper, Leonard added six load lights to the back of the sleeper, and Clint’s dad chopped the air cleaner screens and seat bases. As a final touch, Clint added some thin black accent stripes to the truck.
Married to his wife Ginger for two years, she is partners with her mom in a bakery in their hometown of Porterville, California. A third generation baker, Ginger recently earned a degree in interior design from Fresno State University. Leon really enjoys trucking, and agrees that when you enjoy what you do, it’s not really work. He also enjoys shooting and posting his pictures from the road, and seems to make friends wherever he goes. In fact, while at the dealership to pick up his truck, he got to meet and visit with Matt Olson and a couple other guys who were there that recognized his name from the internet.
Hauling all sorts of refrigerated produce throughout the country, Leon is excited to have a new ride, and to be featured in the magazine again. He has been picking up and reading 10-4 for as long as he can remember, and is a big fan. At only 27 years old, he has already done a lot, but he still has plenty of time to do even more. In the meantime, he will continue to post his cool shots from road, and enjoy his “celebrity status” while it lasts – and do his best to avoid the paparazzi!