Over 60 years ago my grandfather started trucking on his own, hauling produce off the farm, and later, hay from Eastern to Western Washington and Canada. My dad followed the same path, purchasing his first truck in 1970, and hauling hay. He also ran a lot of produce out of California, and for over the last 20 years, has been dump trucking. He has always owned super-clean rides that represented the West Coast well. This is my trucking heritage.
As a former owner-operator, I started my own business in 1999. I also ran California, pulled flatbeds and dump trucked. In 2006 I ventured out and became a chrome shop owner with my wife, while still hauling hay and building supplies across Oregon, Washington and Idaho, with my own truck, to supplement our income.
After the economy tanked in 2009, I was forced to quit self-employment and go back to working for wages. After four years of driving for a local hay company, I was blessed with the opportunity to sell Kenworth trucks. I began working for Papé Kenworth Northwest in Yakima, Washington, where I have been a new and used truck salesman for almost five years. With the passion I have for trucks and a dedication to take care of my customers, it has been a great fit.
When I first started selling trucks, I was fortunate to be able to meet and work with some great customers but was never able to build a real “one off” highway truck until a friend of mine, Brett Millard of Millard Enterprises Inc., let me work with him on a new W900L.
Brett owned a beautiful 379 Peterbilt that he took immaculate care of but was getting tired of working on it nights and weekends, fixing all the little things, which started to nickel and dime him to death. After a lot of thought, he decided to give me a call and spec out his new W900L. Taking cues from his Peterbilt, along with some ideas he and I both had, together we made one of my favorite trucks, so far. In the end, it is the customer’s vision that gets built – I am just the conduit that makes that vision come to life.
The 2016 W900L was ordered with a 600 ISX, an 18-speed and 40K rears on AG400L. The wheelbase was set at 270” to make the truck manageable in the hay stack yards and keep the proportions looking right. After the truck arrived, it was sent directly to Kevin Pickett at Pickett Repair in Marysville, Washington, where it got an air-ride steer axle, shaved turn signals, bus lights, an RLK visor and a custom deck plate. After the air cleaners and tanks were painted, Hogebuilt half fenders were installed.
This truck came out super-clean due to keeping the extra add-ons to a minimum and by ordering as many delete options as possible. My motto has always been, “It is easier to drill a hole than to fill a hole.” This goes for all the stock W900s I order, as well. If someone wants extras, we can put them on, but if someone wants a cleaner look, they don’t have to spend a bunch of money doing body work to make it happen.
Since this W900L was built, it has opened up doors that have allowed me to do what I love. I have met a bunch of awesome people since selling Kenworths. I consider all of them friends and treat them like family. I hope to continue to be a part of the custom truck world for years and gain many more friends along the way.
If you are in the market for a new or used truck or would like to custom spec a new KW, please contact me at Papé Kenworth Northwest in Yakima, Washington, at (509) 452-8564. I look forward to featuring some of my other custom builds in upcoming issues of 10-4 Magazine. Thanks to Colby Williams of Fueled Photography for supplying the pictures for this story.