This month’s creation was built for Rich Brown (50) of Triple B Transport Inc. out of Liberty, IL. In high school, Friday night fun was usually reserved for dances and football games, but for Rich, it meant his favorite thing – trucking with his dad. Over the years, Rich has owned a lot of Kenworths, but he always thought that Peterbilts looked cool – and that look lured him to finally buy a new one.
Rich is the only child of Gary and Ann Brown. They were high school sweethearts that married young and then had Rich. When he was 2 years old, they got a divorce. Both have had relationships since, but both are currently single. Rich said, “My mom and dad are not together, but they still get along.” Rich’s dad drove a truck and just recently retired.
As long as he can remember, Rich always liked Friday nights. Hauling livestock, his dad would take an extra run to Michigan to the kill plant, and Rich would go with him. One night, needing a break, his dad slipped in the back and let Rich take over, while still keeping an eye on him – Rich was only 11 years old. Before long, Rich had to wake his dad up, saying, “I need some money for this toll road.” He had managed to pilot the truck all the way to Chicago. “I knew where we were going, so I just headed that way,” he said. And from there, Rich never looked back.
As soon as Rich graduated high school, he got a job hauling propane in Illinois, and when he turned 21, he went over the road. When he turned 27, he bought his first truck – a 1996 KW W900L Aero II with an N-14 Cummins. He drove that rig for three years and then ordered several new W900Ls, including a 2002, a 2004, and then a 2007. He ran that until 2010 and then bought a used 2007 Peterbilt. He drove that until 2012, and then ordered the 2013 W900L he ran until he got this new Peterbilt.
Rich has always liked the looks of a Peterbilt, but no matter what kind of truck he has, it has to be long. “Once I had a long truck, I couldn’t go back,” he said. Rich is a single truck owner operator, but he has three trailers, so he can be versatile. When he decided to order a new Peterbilt, a few of his friends suggested he call me.
The new truck is a 2020 Peterbilt 389 with a factory 320” wheelbase and a 72” stand-up, a 565-hp X15 Cummins with 2050 torque, an 18-speed, a car-hauler axle, Low AirLeaf, Platinum interior, and all the good stuff. He picked the same color that was on his 2007 KW (Deep Tropical Blue). When the truck arrived, Charlie in the Service Department installed a Mike Horst air-ride kit on the steer axle while Cathie gathered all the pieces for the build, which was mostly done by our newest member of the team, Cody.
Since Rich occasionally hauls oversize loads, we opted to add a strobe kit to his seven cab lights, and Cody added the strobes to the button lights on the breathers, as well. After the painters painted the tanks and the Merritt flush deck plate with a V-box, Cody hid the DEF tank and then added a Valley Chrome bumper, four extra grill bars, and double round headlights. Other accessories include custom cowl panels, stainless blank skirts around the bottom of the cab and bunk, four tool boxes, and a Jimmy Crain light bar, mounted under a custom set of RGN ramps, made by Cody. Lastly, he installed a set of Hogebuilt half fenders on my brackets and nine load lights.
Rich loves hanging out at his dad’s shop, where they do a lot of bonding. And speaking of family, Rich has two boys. His oldest from his first marriage is Garrett (27), who is an owner operator that owns a 2013 Peterbilt 389, and his youngest, from his second marriage, Boston (16), who loves tractor pulling, and has three garden tractors he pulls with.
Rich is planning to add some underglow lighting to the truck, but is excited about how it turned out. When you love what you do, it really isn’t work. Rich is ready to do what he loves – trucking – just like those fun Friday nights growing up.