Some people get a lot of help financially from their family when building a business, while some don’t. When there’s too much help, people tend to take their success for granted and not appreciate what they have. When there’s a lack of help, sometimes it stifles and discourages people from growing and they give up. Neither of these scenarios apply to Gary Jones Jr. Striving for success on his own, Gary turned the tables and used that lack of help to fuel his fire. Not that he hasn’t had a lot of help and support from a lot of people, but he is proud of the fact that everything he has and has built came from his own efforts – nothing was given to him. Case in point – his latest show-worthy ride, which he affectionately calls “Not Daddy’s Money!”
Born on February 14, 1982, Gary Jones (38) was raised in Liberal, KS. His entire family was all about trucking, including his grandfather, father (Gary Jones Sr.), and several of his cousins. Gary’s grandfather and dad both drove for National Carriers, also based out of Liberal, KS. Unfortunately, Gary’s grandfather, while hauling livestock, got kicked in the head by a bull he was trying to unload. At first, he was okay, but shortly after getting home from the hospital, he died suddenly of a brain aneurysm caused by the blow to his head from the bull.
While Gary was growing up, his parents moved around a little bit, but they eventually settled in Lawson, MO – which is where Gary still lives today. Gary loved going out on the road with his father in his Freightliner whenever he could, and at 12 years old, he was taking the wheel and driving across the desert as his dad napped in the sleeper, which became a regular occurrence. The driveway going into their yard was kind of long, and Gary remembers practicing his shifting on it so when he drove with his dad he would be as smooth as possible and not miss any gears. He would run down the driveway as far as he could, going through a few gears, then stop, back up, and do it again.
At 16 years old, Gary decided he was done with school and quit to go trucking full time. Buying his first truck – a 1996 Kenworth T600 with a Detroit and 5” straight pipes – he started running to the west coast, pulling a step-deck by himself, with no CDL. As you can imagine, he got a lot of tickets in those early days, but he just kept on trucking. One time in Colorado, he got a ticket in that T600 because it was so loud. On the ticket, the cop stated “Threat to cause an avalanche” as the reason for the citation. A couple years later he bought his first Peterbilt – a long and low 1994 Peterbilt 379 with an extended hood and flames. When he turned 18, he took that truck, hooked to a loaded RGN trailer, to the local DMV to take his driving test.
After passing the test and getting his CDL, which limited him to only trucking in his home state until he turned 21, Gary immediately headed west. He said, “I was gonna pass that test and get my license, but I was going to California to make that delivery with or without it.” Of course, he continued to get tickets – lots of them. Gary joked about not making any money until he was maybe 27 years old, because all of his pay went to tickets and attorneys! But he didn’t care. He just wanted to keep trucking.
At 20 years old, after getting stopped once again by the same cop in the same town, the officer would not let Gary continue driving and threatened to take him to jail. Gary’s dad drove his pickup truck all the way to him, jumped in the truck, and with Gary following behind in the pickup, they drove to the state line. From there, Gary got back in the truck and then continued on his way to make his delivery. These guys were both hardcore truckers! Realizing they needed to do something, Gary hired a young woman in her early 20s who had just got her CDL and paid her a salary to sit in the passenger seat while he trucked. Whenever they rolled through a scale, they switched seats, and whenever Gary got pulled over for speeding (or whatever), they changed seats and she got the ticket (he paid for it, of course). This went on for a year, until he finally turned 21 and was legal for OTR.
After turning 21, he took this woman home to the state of Washington, where she lived, and then started making his way east towards home. He got as far as Wyoming, and then was stopped for doing 86 in a 75-mph zone. He didn’t even last a day! Running for his dad back in those days, at his company called Xtreme Carriers, Gary acknowledged that he wasn’t the easiest kid to deal with and is thankful that his father was very patient with him. Gary eventually realized that this was not a good way to operate and cleaned up his act. He stayed at his father’s company until 2014, at which point he started his own outfit called SPB Trucking.
At the age of 19, Gary went to the Sonic Drive Thru in Excelsior Springs, MO with a friend and got more than a meal – he met his future partner and wife, Devery, who was 18 at the time. Two weeks later, she quit that job and joined Gary in the truck and has been by his side ever since. Later, she started taking the wheel late at night while Gary would nap in the sleeper, just like he did for his dad, and she didn’t have her CDL yet, either. In 2012 the two got married, and then in 2014, when Gary and Devery (along with Gary’s sister Cindy Haight) started SPB Trucking, Devery finally got her CDL.
When SPB Trucking was formed Gary had five trucks at his father’s company, which he immediately moved to their company. Gary and Devery decided early on that they did not want to have kids, but they do have some dogs – three Miniature Boston Terriers named Sweetie (the mom), Parker (the dad) and BB (the baby). Their company, SPB Trucking, was named after their dog’s initials. Over the next five years, the company, which specializes in hauling various oversize loads, grew to 13 trucks. At that point, it became hard for them to manage the company, so they decided to let a bunch of drivers go and sell off a bunch of their equipment and go back to being just a five-truck operation. To this day, that seems to be their sweet spot.
About four years ago, in 2016, Gary bought a 1995 Peterbilt 379 short hood he found in a field from Charley Peaster. “The truck was a basket case,” he said. Over the next year and a half, wanting to start participating in truck shows, Gary completely rebuilt the truck. With a 308” wheelbase and a 3406-E CAT hooked to an 18-speed and 3.36 rears, Gary took the truck to Mike Robinson at Talladega Fiberglass where it got all new fenders (front and rear), cowl and body drop panels, a frame cover, box covers, a visor, and T-bars in front of and behind the rear fenders. In addition, the truck was covered with tons of 4” round LEDs, single round headlights, big stacks, and everything was painted white, except the pipes, air cleaners and front bumper. Gary did all the work on this truck himself, with help from a few friends, in his own shop.
To finish off the truck, Gary took it to Jones Custom Collision in Excelsior Springs, MO where Chris Jones spent over 800 hours airbrushing dark gray smoke all over the truck, which he named “Excessive Behavior” (which we will just call EB1). As a nod to his friend for all the help, Gary had a rather large copy of the Talladega Fiberglass logo and their website painted on the sides of the frame. Because of this, many people thought it was a truck owned by the accessories company, but that is not the case at all – this is Gary Jones’ truck! The truck made its debut at the 2018 MATS show in Louisville, KY and, surprisingly, won nothing.
Taking it to several more shows throughout 2018, the truck ended up winning many awards. The final show of the year was in October at the ATSC Dynaflex Monster Stacks Shootout held in Ventura, CA. Shortly after that show, driving the truck on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, Gary got hit by a 4-wheeler, which destroyed the front of the truck. The truck spent the next four or five months being rebuilt. In the meantime, Gary had bought another truck – a 1999 Peterbilt 379 with an extended hood – and started building a sister truck to EB1, which he would later call “Excessive Behavior II” (EB2), for himself.
This second truck was found in a junk yard in Illinois, and Gary barely got it home. After shortening the frame four feet (down to just 300 inches) and installing a new 4th axle, Gary dropped in a new 525-hp N14 Cummins engine, mounted a 70” flattop sleeper, and then added all the goodies, including lots of Talladega Fiberglass accessories and LED lights. Wanting a trailer to match, Gary ordered a new 55-ton 2019 Globe trailer, which was painted and fitted with lights and stainless to match the truck by Charley Peaster and his son Jed at Peasterbilt Customs in Sweet Springs, MO. Just like EB1, the graphics on this second truck (EB2) and the trailer were painted by Chris Jones, who spent over 1,200 hours airbrushing the dark gray smoke all over the white combination. In the end, these two trucks were very similar, except one was a short hood and one was a long hood, and one was a 3-axle and one was a 4-axle.
The two trucks made their debut together at the 2019 MATS show in Louisville, KY – EB1 had been rebuilt and refined a bit from the previous year after being wrecked and was competing in the Working Bobtail classes, while EB2 was making its initial debut, competing in the Working Combo classes. In the end, both trucks earned a 1st Place trophy in the paint category, and EB2 finished 2nd in its class. After the show, both trucks went to work full-time, with Devery behind the wheel of EB1 and Gary piloting EB2. Typically, if you see one of these trucks on the road, you will probably see the other one, too, because they almost always run together.
Now, to get to the truck on this month’s cover and centerfold (and these pages here). Gary purchased the 1991 Peterbilt 379 with an extended hood in the summer of 2018 for a driver to run. Back then, the brown truck was just a stock day cab, and it was rough. It was straight and solid, but it was not a looker. After that driver quit, saying, “You guys work way too hard,” Gary ran it for a year, and then in August 2019 he took it off the road and began the rebuild, which took about six months.
Powered by a 3406-B CAT hooked to a 15-speed and 3.55 rears, the 265” truck, which ran a lot in Canada before Gary bought it, has a Canadian spread (the drive axles are 5’ apart instead of the typical 4’-6”). Taking it down to bare frame rails, the truck was fitted with a 36” bunk with an oval-shaped window in the back, single round headlights on Double JJ brackets, a custom rear fender bracket system, and a custom T-bar on the back. Most of the build and paint work was done at Peasterbilt Customs, except for the graphics, including a totally custom air-ride system on the front axle. Some of the other modifications include shortened fuel tanks with the filler caps moved to the ends, chopped breather screens, handmade polished door sills, and Talladega rear fiberglass fenders.
Wanting the truck to sit as low as possible, Gary installed tires made for a step-deck trailer all around the truck (Firestone FS560 tires sized at 255/70R 22.5) which are smaller. By doing this, he also had to change the rear ends and the drivelines, to accommodate the smaller size. The engine, which was in good shape, was repainted orange, and several of the pieces under the hood were painted white or orange. Up on top, 11 watermelon cab lights were installed, along with another seven on each of the breather light panels, and over 200 small LED “penny lights” were added all over the exterior, with some of them mounted to spell out NDM (which stands for “Not Daddy’s Money” and is the name of the truck) behind the front bumper and on a filler panel between the fuel tanks. They also installed a stainless firewall cover made by RoadWorks.
And speaking of RoadWorks, they made all of the “shiny” parts for Gary, including the 20” boxed-end bumper, the visor, long drop body panels, deck plates, 8” exhaust with Stove Top pipes and long drop elbows, and the punched oval grill and grill bars. They also made the breather light panels, door trims, a two-sided airline connection box with watermelon lights facing each way, custom engraved hub covers, under hood trim, windshield trim and step box covers. The parts they are most proud of are the stainless dash panels that were laser-etched with each switch label. Make no mistake, this is a Gary Jones creation, but RoadWorks was happy and proud to help make his dream truck come to life. Josh Foster of RoadWorks Custom said, “Thanks to Gary and Devery Jones for giving us the opportunity to be involved with such an epic build. It’s been amazing working with both of them and I can’t wait to see what comes next.”
In addition to the cool etched dash panels made by RoadWorks, the interior also features a painted Talladega Fiberglass floor and door panels, a smoothed-out and painted white dash, a painted steering wheel, painted orange gauge bezels, switch extensions and knobs, and billet foot pedals with orange accents. The interior, done at a local upholstery shop in Sedalia, MO, features white diamond tuck leather with orange buttons, white seats with orange stitching (no buttons), and a stainless overhead console made by RoadWorks. The floor, the door panels, and the back of the visor are all covered in airbrushed graphics that match the exterior.
The guys at Peasterbilt Customs did all the white paint and orange stripes, but then, like all of Gary’s other trucks mentioned, Chris Jones of Jones Custom Collision did all of the hand airbrushed graphics. For this one, he added white smoke with dollar signs ($) here and there, as well as the name of the truck (Not Daddy’s Money) in a few places, like on the floor inside and on the underside of the hood, along with the phrase “Earned… Not Given” also under the hood and on the back of the sleeper. The back of the sleeper also has (16) 4” load lights. For this one, Chris worked for about 400 hours.
The final touch on this truck is custom milled and polished aluminum oval-shaped logos that say “$NDM$” mounted on quarter-inch thick pieces of steel painted orange. Made by a local machine shop, one of these emblems is on the front and one is on each side, mounted on the lower cowl panels. Wanting to put a matching trailer behind this truck, Gary ordered a brand new Reitnouer drop-deck trailer, but when the COVID-19 crisis hit, he decided to cancel the order because he was unsure of the future. Set to debut NDM at MATS 2020, thanks to COVID-19, that didn’t happen, either. Later this year, Gary plans to fix up one of their existing trailers to pull behind NDM, put a driver in it, and then send it out to work. But he hopes to take it to a few shows before putting it to work.
SPB Trucking runs in all 48 states and specializes in hauling all sorts of oversize loads. Over the years, Gary has hauled some interesting loads – like the real Optimus Prime truck from the Transformers movies, a rocket for NASA and, shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, several fortified and bullet-proof guard shacks for many federal facilities and landmarks, including The Library of Congress, the Washington Monument and The White House (he backed his truck up on the West Lawn to make that delivery). Currently, he is hauling a lot of oversize loads to SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, which, when completed, will be the new home of two NFL football teams (Rams and Chargers). Not long ago, while at the site, a 300’ crane fell and landed just a few feet in front of his truck. Gary saw it coming and dove under his trailer for protection. Thankfully, neither he nor his truck were harmed.
Wanting to mention and recognize a few special people, Gary wanted to say “thank you” to Josh Foster and everyone at RoadWorks Manufacturing, Mike Robinson and everyone at Talladega Fiberglass, Charley and Jed Peaster at Peasterbilt Customs, and Chris Jones at Jones Custom Collision. He also wanted to say a special “thank you” and send lots of love to his mom, Sharon Jones, who has always been supportive of Gary and his biggest fan. Also, thanks go to his wife and partner, Devery, for her hard work and ongoing love and commitment to him and their business. Lastly, thanks to his sister, Cindy Haight, for running the office and taking care of all the paperwork – he and Devery couldn’t do what they do if not for Cindy and her efforts.
We at 10-4 would like to acknowledge and thank our contributor, Stephanie Haas, for taking the pictures for this feature (and the cover and centerfold). She drove from her home in Georgia to Missouri and then spent two days, at four or five different locations, getting these awesome pictures of Gary and his “Not Daddy’s Money” truck. Gary has been picking up 10-4 Magazine since he was coming to California as a kid and is very honored to have been chosen for the cover, adding, “This is something I can now check off my bucket list.” He even has a wall in his garage covered with 10-4 Magazine centerfolds, along with other cool truck pictures. Now, he will be able to put up a 10-4 Magazine centerfold of HIS truck on that wall!
Happy with the size and scope of their current business, Gary and Devery have no plans to grow their operation, except maybe add one owner operator, to pull one of their trailers, just to see how it goes. Running often with his wife and dad, Gary Jones Jr. is a trucker through and through. This guy has been hardcore since day one and won’t be slowing down any time soon. He absolutely loves trucking, and it shows in his work ethic and positive attitude. He is proud of his accomplishments, and proud of the fact that nothing was ever given to him – he earned it all on his own – not daddy’s money!