This month’s cool creation was built for Greg Hughes (54) of Tularosa, NM. Sometimes our lives follow a set plan, but that was not the case for Greg. Most of the things that have happened in his life have just led him to other things – like this truck, for example. Through a series of unplanned circumstances, Greg found himself with a truck and a trucking company, and now he finds himself with a new Peterbilt.
Growing up in Anson, Texas, Greg’s parents, James and Jeanette, had three children. Greg was the oldest, followed by Sherry and Scott. When Greg was 18, his parents split. His mom remarried a man named Steve Faegen, and they had a son named Danny. Steve passed away in a tragic accident in 2002, and after that, Greg’s mom never remarried. His father, James Hughes, worked construction and was a welder for the oil fields in Texas. In 1982, he moved to New Mexico for work and Greg followed him.
Working in construction together, Greg’s dad ran a crusher and Greg ran an asphalt plant. Merely by accident, Greg became the boss over the trucking side of the construction business, and after a few years of hiring and dispatching, he decided he needed a truck, too. Purchasing a 1960 Peterbilt 10-wheeler dump truck in 1986, Greg started driving between jobs to fill in the gaps. Greg eventually realized that he liked driving the truck more than running the plant, so he went driving full time.
Greg took the trucks to Espanola, NM to work and one night, by accident, he met a young lady named Angie. After asking her out and landing a date, a few years later they flew to Las Vegas, just the two of them, and got married all by themselves. That was 29 years ago! Wow, time flies!! Today, the couple has two children – Jason (32) and Brandi (26).
During the Desert Storm war, one of the main companies Greg was working for had a freeze on their money for almost three months, which nearly broke him. Looking for other work, he called one of the companies he worked for before back in Tularosa, and they said he could bring the trucks back to work there on one condition – he had to run the asphalt plant again. So, he did that for three years (hey, he had to eat).
By 1990 he was running all 48 states with the truck. One of the back hauls was feed from Colorado. Greg said his dad always thought having a feed store would be cool, so in 1996, Angie, Greg and his dad started Hughes Farm & Ranch Supply. Since then, the trucks primarily haul their own stuff for the store now.
Back in 2008, I sold a couple 2-axle tractors to Dusty Dockstader (featured in April 2008) and Bill Mead (featured in July 2008). They came to pick up these trucks together and, while on their way home, stopped by Greg’s place. When Greg saw those two rigs, he loved them. Later, when Bill Mead sold his, Greg bought it. The truck was a blue 2-axle Peterbilt 388 with a 48” flattop. Greg ran that truck for years, and when it came time to replace it, he called me and said, “I love my blue truck you built for Bill, but now I want one built just for me.”
I was excited to hear he wanted a cool truck, so when it came time to order, his wife and younger brother Danny talked him into a white 389 (Danny was going to be the driver of this new truck). About six weeks before the truck went down the line, Greg called me and said, “Don’t tell anybody, but let’s change the color to blue – I love blue trucks!” Greg and Angie were the only two to know we changed the color. When they showed up at the dealership to pick it up, Danny was speechless, stunned and confused, but he eventually said, “It’s beautiful. Not what I was expecting, but beautiful!”
The truck is a 2018 2-axle Peterbilt 389 with a 58” HR sleeper, a 565-hp Cummins X15, an 18-speed, Reyco air-ride and all the good stuff. When the truck showed up, the Service Department hid the DEF tank and installed some straight pipes, and then the Body Shop sanded the frame and repainted it to match the body perfectly. They also painted the fuel tanks, door handles, window chops, breathers and hubs, and then added flush lights to the roof, a drop visor, a 20” bumper, dump valves on the steer axle and matching body drop panels. To finish it off, they installed a billet grill, breather blanks, stainless Hogebuilt quarter fenders, a smooth painted deck plate, and a light bar from Jim Crain.
Danny Faegen (34) gets to pilot this sweet little blue truck all over the Southwest, hauling hay and feed, and he loves it. Sometimes, a plan is good, but other times, you just gotta go where life leads you. Greg Hughes never set out to be a truck owner or to own a feed store, but here he is – and everything is great!