This month’s cool creation was built for Johnny Gandy of Gandy’s Transport in Ft. Worth, TX in honor of their 20th anniversary. Wanting to build something special to commemorate this milestone, I’m proud and happy that they came to me to get it done. And with lots of extra hours put into this clean ride, and a very unique color, I think it turned out just right.
Originally from Muskogee, OK, Johnny (51) grew up in a trucking family – his grandpa and dad trucked – but the guy that got him hooked was his Uncle Felix “Alley Cat” Gandy. In the summer, when Johnny was young, ol’ “Alley Cat” would take him trucking. Johnny always liked trucks and cars, but when he got out of school, he landed a good job at Oklahoma Gas & Electric, where he dispatched. Seven years later, when deregulations occurred, he got laid off.
Looking to switch gears, Johnny moved to Dallas, TX in 1997 and opened a detail shop, where he bought and sold cars. Later that year, Johnny’s Uncle “Alley Cat” talked him into buying a truck and trailer, saying, “If you buy it, I’ll drive it” – and Gandy’s Transport was born. This first rig was a 1995 Peterbilt 379 pulling a reefer, and away they went, eventually growing to the seven-truck fleet they have today.
The road has been far from smooth, but Johnny is thankful for his dedicated employees and customers that have stuck with him over the years. Johnny prides himself in treating others as he wants to be treated, and is blessed that his crew takes care of him the same. Gandy’s has a great group of drivers, that all do different jobs – five haul frac sand, one pulls a step-deck and one drags a reefer, so as not to put all their eggs in one basket. At one point, when things got rough, Johnny had to sell two trucks and two trailers just to keep things going, but the ups and downs are all part of trucking.
One of Johnny’s longtime drivers, Juan Wortham, likes trucks as much as Johnny, and the two have collaborated on three cool builds in the past, always striving to out-do the previous one. Johnny told Juan, for their 20th anniversary in business, they needed to build the baddest truck yet, so they called me.
Originally, they were thinking about going with Legendary Brown for the color, but while looking through some paint chips, we ran across an unpublished formulated yellow color that looks brown. We all agreed this color would be different – and look sweet. Johnny decided he needed a nice trailer to go behind this new big ride, so he also ordered a new stainless Utility reefer from Jeff Meehan, next door at our sister company, Utility Trailer Sales of KC.
The truck is a 2018 Peterbilt 389 with a 63” HR sleeper, a 309” wheelbase, and Low Low air-ride. Powered by a Cummins X15 with 2,050 torque and an 18-speed transmission, the rig also rides on low 24.5 rubber.
Once it came in, Charlie and Tyler installed a Mike Horst air-ride kit under the front end, hid the DEF tank under the driver’s door, and added Talladega bicycle-style fenders. Five cab lights, a stainless drop visor, extra grill bars and a Texas-style bumper, were also installed. Jose and Pat worked hard at matching the color on all the parts, and then painted the tanks, boxes, cab and sleeper skirts, breathers, and mirror brackets. The rig also has a smooth and flush deck plate, air and electric connections at both ends, an I-panel between the tanks, under-glow lighting, and 7” full-function straight pipes.
Not forgetting the new trailer, the body shop painted the rails, the Thermo King “Precedent” unit (which was also ordered with the chrome grill package and lights) and the back doors, and then a matching set of Talladega fenders were installed on the trailer to match the truck. Thanks to all the help from Leonard, Bill, Jesus and all the other guys in the shop for helping to get this huge project done – and for doing such great work (all the time).
Uncle “Alley Cat” drove for Johnny for ten years, and then retired due to health issues. After that, he lived the rest of his trucking career vicariously through Johnny and the boys, and then passed away a few years ago. Ol’ “Alley Cat” is missed every day, but Johnny knows that he would be proud of this build, and just as excited as the rest of them. Special recognition and thanks goes out to Hearn Trucking out of Weatherford, TX and EEE Trucking in Seagoville, TX, as well as the entire Gandy family, for all their support over the years.
If you see Juan piloting this phenomenal combo out there on the big road, give him a shout and let him know what you think. He will be running Texas to Florida to California and back, across the bottom of the US, and looking really good while doing it. Congratulations to Johnny and everyone at Gandy’s Transport on your 20th anniversary – here’s to 20 more!