This month’s creation was built for the folks at JM Resources, Inc. out of Friendswood, TX. A true family operation, the outfit is owned by Joe and Virginia Matlock and ran by their son Brian. Needing to add another truck to their small fleet, Brian Matlock wanted something that would be low maintenance, because he loves spending time with his family – not working on trucks.
After years of working as a DOT officer in Texas, Joe Matlock retired in 1991. How many trucking company owners do you know that were once DOT officers? Joe said, “I kinda learned what to do and a few things you shouldn’t, but made a lot of friends along the way, which in trucking isn’t a bad thing, because sometimes it’s not what you know, but who.” With help from his wife of almost 50 years, Virginia, and their son Brian (43), the couple built a solid business. Brian’s younger brother Brad went to school for engineering and has a career in that field.
Like most companies, they had struggles. At one point, they found themselves “too big to be small, and too small to be big.” But these challenges just made them stronger. Deciding to focus on the trucking side of their construction business, they got rid of some equipment and began just running their 4-axle 1997 Pete 378. In 2012, Joe sold the 1997 and bought a nice gray Peterbilt 388. In 2013 they added a second new gray Peterbilt from a dealer in Texas.
Brian loves working in the family business, and like lots of us, he likes cool trucks. When it came time to get another truck, Brian called me. He was looking for something cool but low maintenance, because he loves spending time with his family, which includes his wife Diana and their two girls – Madison (11) and Regan (8). The couple has been married for 12 years.
With young kids of my own, I can relate to needing more time to do activities with them. So, with this in mind, we ordered a “I got things to do but I still want to look cool” truck. All three of their trucks are the same color, and so are their trailers, including the new 55-ton Fontaine detach lowboy that this truck will be pulling.
The new truck is a 2020 Peterbilt 389 long hood with a 44-inch flattop, an X15 Cummins, an 18-speed, Low Air suspension and a car-hauler front axle. Loaded up with all the goodies, Brian also ordered a headache rack from Brunners and had it shipped to us in Kansas City.
When the truck showed up, Tyler hid the DEF tank and then installed functioning 7-inch straight stacks and the headache rack. After that, Jake installed the cab lights, breather lights and stainless bicycle-style fenders, while Cathie gathered all the parts. Pat painted a ton of stuff, and this simple-looking gray color required some extra attention – it wasn’t so easy to match!
The truck also got painted drop panels with lights underneath, a square hood emblem, dump valves on the front axle, a stainless drop visor and painted steer axle hubs with chrome caps. Loving the family connection, Brian had my dad chop his air cleaners, saying, “It just wouldn’t be the same without your dad’s touch.”
Spending time with family is important to Brian Matlock. In fact, the entire Matlock family still hangs out together each week after church on Sundays. Building a “low maintenance” truck that still looks good just made sense – and I’m glad I could do it for this great family and their successful family business.