This month’s creation was built for Allen Ray (43) of ASJ, Inc. in Rock Springs, Wisconsin. Married to his wife Stacie for 16 years, the couple has two children – daughter Jaelyn (12) and son Blake (7). Stacie works at the courthouse and does all the billing and paperwork for ASJ Inc. Allen has always believed in the power of hard work and has pursued several different avenues of employment over the years. His latest trucking venture, ASJ Inc., specializes in pulling tankers, and the classic-looking new rig featured here, which has all the finer things, is the latest addition to his fleet.
Allen’s parents, Harlan and Debbie, who were in the dairy business, divorced when he was young, and Allen found himself spending a lot of time at his grandparent’s (Bud and Dee Potter) house. They were his mom’s parents, and they had a 100-head dairy farm. When you live on a dairy farm growing up, you work all the time, and you just learn by example – everyone else is working, and you just don’t know anything different. Allen’s parents are both retired now, and he has an older sister named Sharese and younger half-sister named Amy.
Working on the dairy until he got his driver’s license, Allen was then able to find different work, getting a job at a local gas station. In 1994, he graduated from Reedsburg High school on a Friday and on Monday he went to work as a mason tender. Later, he went on to a bricklaying apprenticeship, and then, about four years after that, started his own company called Allen Ray Masonry. In 1999, he met Stacie through a few mutual friends, and later, the two got married.
In 2007, the recession caused the building industry to slow down, and Allen wound up helping a friend drive a log truck. At the time, Allen had a few friends that drove truck, and Stacie’s uncle Rod was a trucker, too. This got Allen thinking. He was a still a young man, but his body was already getting tired. He thought to himself, “Maybe I should look at doing something else. Something a little easier on my body, so it doesn’t wear out before I retire.” So, he decided to buy a truck and start driving.
Finding a truck for sale at KC Peterbilt in 2007, he and a friend drove down to Kansas City to buy it from one of our sales guys, but when they showed up, the truck had a few issues that almost made them turn back empty-handed. I went out to meet the two of them, and helped them to see the finer things this rig had to offer (I had special ordered it for another customer a few years prior, who had just traded it in for a new truck, so I knew a lot about it). I must have made a good impression, because not only did Allen buy that truck, but when it came time to get another one, he didn’t hesitate to call me.
After buying that viper red and white 2004 Peterbilt from us, Allen went to work hauling flatbed, but he really hated being gone all the time. Wanting to get out of the long-haul trucking game, he sold the Peterbilt, bought a local truck and found tanker work – and hasn’t looked back. Since then, he has added a few trucks and trailers, and now has four of each. He has always lived by the principle that no one gives you anything, you just need to work hard. And, since he likes all the finer things, working hard is the only option.
The new truck seen here is a 2020 Peterbilt 389 with a 44” flattop, a 565-hp X15 Cummins hooked to an 18-speed, a modest wheelbase, Low-Leaf suspension, an air-ride car hauler front axle and a Platinum interior, with all the finer things. When the silver truck showed up, it looked plain, so Allen decided it needed some stripes. Scouring the internet for hours, he couldn’t make up his mind, got frustrated, and told me to just come up with something. I had just got a new computer, and my photo editing program wouldn’t load, so I had to design his stripes old school – I printed a picture of the truck and then used White Out and a Sharpie pen to add the stripes! Allen did not entirely see my vision from that crude mock-up but still gave me the green light to do it. Pat the painter worked his magic, and, in the end, Allen liked it.
Tyler in the Service Dept. hid the DEF tank, built a PTO bracket to conceal Allen’s product pump, and installed Fibertech rear fenders. Cathie gathered up a ton of parts, and then Leonard in the body shop installed most of them, including a drop visor with clearance lights, cab and sleeper skirts with lights underneath, breather light panels, (9) load lights on the back of the sleeper, a Merritt flush deck plate with a welded-in airline box, painted to match the frame, and a set of dummy stacks.
Helping people get the finer things – on their truck – is my specialty, and I am glad that I could not only help Allen see the finer things that 2004 Peterbilt had to offer, but also make sure his new ride had all the finer things, as well. Keep working hard, Allen, and you will continue to enjoy the finer things in life.