This month’s cool creation was built for DJ Beesla (31) of Haul Masters Inc. out of Sacramento, CA. DJ and his business partner/cousin Ranjit Uppal both immigrated to the United States eleven years ago. These two cousins are cool cats that like cool trucks, so we get along great. It seems no matter where you come from or where you’re going, if you like nice stuff, it’s like a disease. Many of us in trucking have it, but that is not a bad thing. The draw of cool rides is just too hard to fight – especially when things turn out right.
DJ and his cousin Ranjit grew up in India. In 2009, they moved to the U.S. for better opportunities. After being here for a few months, they both started working minimum wage jobs, until one day, when another cousin of theirs in the States, told them about trucking. In 2011, DJ got his CDL and started running up and down I-5, driving for GT Logistics out of Lathrop, CA. After two years, he was finally able to buy his own truck – a Peterbilt 386 (which he still has).
A short time later, Ranjit got his CDL, and the two cousins began driving as a team. They both always wanted a custom 389 and knew the only way they were going to get it was to work hard – so that’s what they did. A couple months later, Ranjit got his own truck, and the two cousins continued working, pulling dry vans and reefers. After two years, DJ ordered the orange 389 he always wanted. He drove that rig for a couple months and then got into a slight accident. At that point, he sent the truck down to Pickett Custom Trucks in Arizona to be fully customized.
Driving that orange 389 for several years, DJ sold it in 2019 and got back into his original 386 while his new truck was being built. I ordered his new ride, which is a 2020 Peterbilt 389 with a 48” flat top, a long wheelbase, Low LowAir suspension, a car-hauler front axle and big tanks. Choosing a color scheme he saw on a custom Ford pickup, I was able to formulate a cool non-metallic gray color (no name) for the body parts and we used Cherry red on the chassis. It was surprisingly difficult to find just the right shade of red to fully compliment the gray color.
When the truck showed up, Tyler dropped the front and hid the DEF tank, but then DJ called and said he wanted the sleeper shocks hidden. What started out as a simple build, quickly became a lot more, including a 2-inch body drop! In fact, it got so low, we had to make custom A/C lines because of clearance issues on the tanks, and after the body drop, the DEF tank was hitting the cab, so that had to be redone, too. Although this truck looks effortlessly cool, it was a big task getting it there.
After the folks in the service department got the main essentials done, the body shop crew got the rest dialed in, adding double-round 359 headlights, real glass lights on the roof and breather panels, a custom deck plate box and dummy 6-inch pipes with tall tips. The emblems were removed, and the original air cleaners were swapped to strapless Vortox breathers, as well. The team also painted the fuel and air tanks, made and installed smooth (and painted) lids for the boxes, and added a smooth deck plate. Final touches included half-fenders on hidden brackets and a Jimmy Crain rear light bar.
Once the truck was done, it was time for DJ to come and get it, but due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he had to wait two more months to come out. In the meantime, I took the truck down the street to the park and took all my pictures. While doing that, we realized the truck had a few minor issues that needed to be dealt with, and also decided it needed an over-inflate system to protect the vulnerable tanks. It was nice having that extra time to get it just right, and Charlie put a few miles on the rig testing it out.
I would like to thank my team at KC Peterbilt for their talent and patience – and for not smacking me when I said, “Can we get it lower?” Special thanks go out to the folks at GT Logistics for their involvement in the deal, to my friend JAG for all his help ordering the truck, and to DJ and his cousin Ranjit for just being cool cats that are fun to work with. This truck may look like it was an effortless build but trust me when I say – it wasn’t! But boy did it sure turn out cool!!