It’s not every day that opportunity knocks on your door, but when it does, you probably should answer it. Not the case for driver Robby Zillmer of Sussex, WI. Back in 1999, not long after getting started in trucking, he was offered a driving job at one of the best companies in his area, but he had other plans, so he declined. Twelve years later, he heard that knock again, but this time, he opened the door! Driving for Jack C. Moss Trucking in Germantown, WI, for the past five years, Robby’s ride was recently upgraded to the cool combo seen here – and he couldn’t be happier.
Growing up in a trucking family, Robby’s dad got his Chauffeur’s license back in 1968 and has been truckin’ his whole life. Robby (42) started running with his father when he was only three years old. His cousin Paul drove, too, so he spent a lot of time out on the road with him, as well. He learned how to clean and maintain trucks long before he ever started driving them, but by the time he was 13, he was driving while his dad napped in the bunk. Dad was always a Peterbilt fan, and Robby certainly is one, too.
In 1995, at 21 years old, Robby got his CDL and began running over-the-road. In 1999 he got the chance to go work for Jack and Steve Moss, but he turned them down. After several years out on the road, he met his future wife, Trina, got married, and then started having kids. Wanting to be closer to home (and home more often), he was again offered a job at Jack C. Moss Trucking in 2011, and this time he took it. For the first few years, Robby drove a very nice blue and gray 2001 Peterbilt 379, but in 2015 the company traded it in for the sweet truck you see here.
Originally ordered and built by Clint Moore of Kansas City Peterbilt for Tommy Devlin, the truck was a mint green glider with black fenders. Tommy owned it for two years, and in those two years, only put 2,000 miles on it. Realizing that he didn’t really need it, the truck ended up back at K.C. Peterbilt, so Clint called Steve Moss and told him about it. Steve liked what he heard and bought it. After getting it home to Wisconsin, they re-did the rig. Wanting Robby to have exactly what he wanted, they let him make most of the decisions.
The truck is a 2013 Peterbilt 389 with a 550 Cat, an 18-speed transmission, and a modest 272-inch wheelbase. Repainting all of the black parts mint green, they also painted the tanks and the rear fenders. The truck has polished stainless cab and sleeper extensions, as well as stainless extensions under the frame rails, 6-inch straight pipes with old-style heat shields, and is covered with watermelon-style LEDs, including several hidden underneath the truck. The interior also features many painted panels and green LED lighting, but not wanting it to look too gaudy, they kept much of the cab stock (except for the seats).
The trailer Robby pulls is a 48-foot 2012 Reitnouer Conestoga, which has a 10-foot spread, and has been painted and polished to match the truck. The landing gear, frame, suspension covers and light bars were all painted mint green, while the landing gear supports were just polished. Extra stainless pieces were added to the back of the trailer and along the sides, and many lights were mounted throughout, including 18 yellow LEDs underneath, which provide a cool under-glow.
Home every night, Robby only runs Monday through Friday, and loves it. This company not only provides him with an awesome truck to drive, but they also allow him to be home with his wife and kids, which he can’t thank them enough for. He loves taking care of his family and spending as much time as possible with them. Married for 13 years to his beautiful wife Trina, the couple has two children – a daughter named Rianna (13) and a son named Codey (11). Trina grew up in a trucking family, too, so she knows and understands the trucking deal.
Both kids love trucks, but Codey is really crazy about them. Codey loves to go out with his dad when he can, and will spend hours upon hours helping him clean it for a show. He was with Robby when we took these pictures, and he was a big part of why the truck looked so good. He plans to eventually get a college degree and then become a diesel mechanic, but if for some reason that doesn’t work out, he’ll drive truck. At only 11 years old, this kid has already got it all figured out!
Jack C. Moss started trucking in the 1970s in a cabover Kenworth for Highway Transit. In 1980, he bought his first rig – a 1974 Pete 359 short hood with a 30-inch sleeper – and then in 1989, he bought his first new Peterbilt. From there, the rest is history. Today, hauling mostly steel coils destined to be cans for various food products, their current operation consists of 12 Peterbilt trucks and even more trailers. They primarily run in and around the states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Minnesota.
Jack’s son Steve bought his first truck – a 1984 Peterbilt 359 (which he still has today) – when he was only 17 years old, and has been driving ever since. His bright red 1952 Peterbilt 350 “Iron Nose” was even featured on our cover back in December of 2011 (he still has that one, too). A few years ago, Steve began working in the office with his dad and is currently in the process of slowly buying him out, so Jack can retire in a few years.
Robby Zillmer loves working for Jack and Steve Moss, and says he’ll keep driving for them for as long as they let him – he isn’t planning to go anywhere. After watching his dad own a truck, and seeing the highs and lows that come with being an owner operator, Robby is happy to just be a driver. Taking care of his family is priority, and he can’t imagine a better way to do it. And, being a clean freak, a great driver, and a dedicated and trustworthy employee, Jack and Steve are happy to have him, as well. Robby is happy that he answered that second knock on the door, but thinks that maybe it would have been good to have answered it the first time, instead.