This month’s cool creation was the second truck built for Greg and Angie Hughes of Tularosa, NM. The first truck was an all-blue 2-axle Peterbilt they bought a couple years ago (my November 2018 article), to keep their feed store supplied with hay and other products. Their driver, Greg’s half-brother Danny Faegen, loves this truck and has been taking good care of it. Greg (55) has been running the same KW for 25 years, and he decided to bring it to Kansas City and let us freshen it up. Not wanting to be without a truck during that time, he bought a stock truck off our lot and then we worked our magic.
Growing up in Texas, Greg followed his work to New Mexico in 1982, and is still there today. Working in construction with his dad, Greg began purchasing trucks in 1986. Eventually realizing that he liked driving trucks more than construction, he went trucking full time. While in New Mexico, he met Angie. A few years later they got married. That was 30 years ago! Today, they have two grown kids, Jason (33) and Brandi (27).
By 1990 Greg was running all 48 states, and 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, their trucks primarily just haul their own stuff for the store. Greg liked a few trucks I built for his friends, so when it came time to order that all-blue 2-axle mentioned earlier, he called me. Now, wanting to renovate his old KW, it only made sense for him to call me again.
Wanting something to drive while his KW was being redone, Greg asked if we had any stock trucks on the lot with a stand-up sleeper and we had two – a white one and a dark blue one. These were the last two stock lot trucks ordered by our co-worker Mike Jacobs who recently passed away unexpectedly. Mike was a great guy and is missed by all of us at KC Peterbilt. Greg really likes blue, but we decided it would be easier to start with the white 2019 Peterbilt 389 and then add his blue color, so that is what we did.
Starting with a stock lot truck instead of ordering a stripped rig made the customization process harder. Before we began, we had to tear the entire truck apart and start from scratch! Tyler swapped the factory air-ride to a Horst kit, and then once the truck was down to its bare bones, the chassis was extensively sanded and prepped and then Pat the painter repainted it all, front to back, with Greg’s blue color and clear-coat. The frame now looks as good as the body!
Not knowing exactly what he wanted, I suggested the half and half paint scheme with a small breaker stripe and Pat made it happen. In addition to the paint, the truck also got an 18” flip bumper, a billet grill, full function straight pipes, a painted DPF box, smooth painted deck plate, painted Fibertech fenders, and painted cab and sleeper panels with lights underneath. They also swapped out the stock 24.5 tires to 22.5s, hid the DEF tank, painted the fuel tanks, removed the factory cab lights and added flush lights and a painted drop visor, changed the load lights to Dual Revolution LEDs from Trux, and mounted a custom rear light box. Finally, the truck got a full-size 5-bell train horn which is hidden but heard, for sure.
Not liking the stock interior, we did a bunch of work for Greg in there, too. The interior was gutted to run hidden coax for the CB antennas, and then Hush Mat was applied throughout. We also installed a painted Rockwood aluminum floor, painted all the panels and steering wheel to match the exterior, and added all the shiny Rockwood dash accessories we could get. While the dash was out, we pulled the stock black steering column and painted it tan to match the rest of interior. While we were at it, we opted to lower and move the seat bases back and down.
When Greg and Angie were finally on their way to pick it up, we realized that the truck still had a standard 5th wheel. Since Greg needed one with a longer slide to accommodate doubles, our crew pulled off a miracle and swapped the 5th wheel before they arrived. Special thanks to Leonard, Pat, Cathie, Tyler, Prayer (our newest team member) and the entire crew at KC Peterbilt for making this truck a reality. When they showed up, Greg and Angie both were very pleased with the final results.
Working on Greg’s 1995 KW W900 with a Studio sleeper, which he bought new and now has two million miles on it, is our next exciting project for Greg. It will be fun to see how the ol’ Kenworth turns out, but it will be hard to beat this Pete. But, knowing Greg, he will probably go all-out on the KW, too. One thing is for sure, “stock” is not an option!