Robert Rodriguez is already living “life in the fast lane” of trucking – and he’s only 22 years old. But, young as he is, he has already done a lot. Robert’s dad worked local for a recycling company in Southern California and, every summer vacation, Robert would tag along with his dad to see how this trucking thing would go. After that, he knew that he wanted to be a truck driver just like his dad. Dispatching trucks when he was only sixteen years old for friends and family, Robert now has his own company, Rodriguez Express in Mira Loma, California, and a small fleet of well-maintained trucks, which include this slick new Kenworth.
Robert’s first truck was an abandoned 2000 Peterbilt 379 that he picked up in his friend’s back yard. It had just been sitting there for years, so he grabbed it. The truck has a 3406 E-Model Caterpillar motor with a 10-speed and a 265-inch wheelbase. Robert installed a few add-ons to the rig – stacks, bumper, visor, etc. – but nothing too serious. He just kept it simple. He still has this truck, and it still runs every day.
Robert’s newest ride is the blue 2016 Kenworth W900L seen here. The rig has a 550 Cummins, an 18-speed transmission, 3:36 rears and a 290-inch wheelbase, which helps gives it that “badass” look. Robert bought his Kenworth brand new and took it straight to Pickett Custom Trucks in Tolleson, Arizona, where Rod installed a visor, bumper, an air-ride front end (Air Ride by Horse), Hogebuilt half-fenders, a full front-to-back deck plate, and different exhaust tips. Rod also painted the fuel tanks blue, to match the truck. Robert wanted that simple and clean look, and I think Rod nailed it.
Behind this beautiful rig, Robert pulls an equally-impressive 48-foot 2016 MAC flatbed with under-glow lighting and blue “Dual Revolution” lights from Trux all the way around. Robert currently runs the 11 western states, but mostly the I-5 corridor. He hauls primarily building materials, but he will load just about anything that will go on his flatbed (the lighter the better, of course).
When Robert isn’t trucking, he likes to go out to the desert (Glamis) and take his toys out for some fun with friends and family. He also enjoys doing social events with his family. Robert wants to thank his parents for supporting him since day one, as well as his sisters and his brothers. Special thanks go out to Jose at Popelino’s Transport for being a good mentor, Rod Pickett for building his dream truck, and last but not least, Robert’s team of drivers and owner operators, for all of their hard work and dedication.
As the Dynaflex show in Ventura, CA was just coming to an end, I asked Robert if he would be able to drive down by the beach to do a shoot for my 2018 calendar and he said, “Sure, hop in!” We then drove down by the beach (which was basically right there next to the show) and went through a parking lot not big enough for this 290-inch beast, but Robert drove that thing and turned it around like it was a car (or something small like that). After I positioned him at a good angle, he dropped it to the ground and I began shooting. Needless to say, it did not take long for us to attract a crowd there at the beach. There was a sidewalk next to where we parked, and a lot of the spectators stopped and asked questions – they were looking at Robert’s ride like they had never seen a semi before. It was pretty cool!
After I finished taking my pictures, I asked Robert if he would like to be featured in 10-4 Magazine. He looked at me like I was joking and then asked, “Me?” I said, “Yes, you!” He told me that it would be an honor, so from then on Robert has been patiently waiting (sort of) to see this article. Robert and I have been friends for a while and I had wanted to shoot his new truck, so it was nice to finally find the time – and a nice background – to get it done.
It takes a lot of time and money to have rigs like this and to clean them up all the time for shows and events, but Robert loves doing it for his friends, family, and the spectators. At only 22 years old, Robert still has a lot of time to do a whole lot more, but for now he will keep living “life in the fast lane” on that I-5 super-slab, doing what he does best. As he always says, “Hard work pays off” – and he is correct – it certainly does. And the proof is right here on these pages!