This month’s creation was built for Bob Locher out of El Centro, California. Bob owns and operates Bob Locher Hay Company, a small business in Southern California that buys and sells hay. Over the years, Bob (55) has always run older equipment, but needing to be CARB-compliant, after 35 years, he finally decided to buy his first brand new truck. Bob’s driver, Bill Mead (pictured), who bought a truck from Clint many years ago (his July 2008 feature), suggested that Bob call Clint. It sure is a small world out there!
Bob’s grandparents came to the United States from Switzerland a long time ago. They were originally small dairyman in El Centro, but they eventually moved to the San Diego area. Bob’s dad Werner and his brother Walter stayed in the valley. Walter and Werner worked really hard their entire lives. Bob’s dad died at the young age of 68 years old, and his uncle Walter died at the shop in a freak accident when he was 78 years old. Today, Bob and his wife Ronda have five grown daughters (with the youngest one being 21) and six grandchildren.
The company consists of Bob, his full-time driver Bill Mead, and one other driver that just works part time. Before this new truck arrived, they had one 388 Pete, one 379, and an old COE that Bob’s brother won’t let him sell (something about it being a collector’s item). Bob was looking to replace the ‘99 Pete 379 that he bought from Pete Struikman many years ago. Pete sold him that truck when he ordered a new 2007 Peterbilt from Clint way back when. When Bob bought the 379 Pete, he repainted it in his color and striping scheme, added a few extra items, and then ran it until now.
Needing to upgrade to a newer compliant truck, Bob had Bill (his driver) call Clint and spec out what he wanted. Since Bob had never bought a new truck before, Bill was skeptical. In fact, he told Clint, “He probably won’t order it.” But then, without telling Bill, Bob called Clint himself and secretly made the order. Bill did not know the truck was even ordered or built until Bob showed him a picture of it, sitting out in front of the dealership in Kansas City, decked-up and being delivered from the factory. Bill was like, “When did you order that?”
The new truck is a 2017 Pete 389 with a standard hood and a 44-inch flattop sleeper, a 550-hp ISX Cummins, a 13-speed and a modest wheelbase. It was ordered white with a blue frame. When it showed up, the guys in the body shop added Bob’s paint scheme, a visor, two extra cab lights, cab and sleeper lights, and breather lights. Not wanting to look at that big ugly black urea tank, Bob had Clint hide it inside one of the step boxes.
All of Bob’s other trucks have ProTech boxes behind the tanks, so Clint decided to have them build the boxes for this truck, too. It was a slow process, at first, but like we said earlier, it’s a small world. While waiting for the boxes, Clint met the V.P. of sales and marketing at an event, and within a very short time, the boxes were at the shop. Charlie in the service department installed Clint’s brackets to relocate the urea tank, and then he installed the new ProTech boxes.
After 35 years of running used equipment, Bob Locher is excited and pleased with his very first new truck, although he is not one to boast or brag. More importantly, he is thankful that his wife let him order it! We hope Bob and his driver, Bill Mead, enjoy this shiny new ride, because there is nothing like that “new truck” smell! Enjoy.