This month’s creation was built for Rich Owens (32) of Shafter, CA. As some may remember, this is Rich’s second time being featured, as the first truck he ordered from me was highlighted in my February 2014 article. The driver (Ken) of that first truck did such a great job taking care of it, that after running 700,000 miles, it still had enough life left in it to be sold to the folks at Gravance Trucking, a hay-hauling outfit from Laton, CA that graced the June 2018 cover of 10-4 Magazine. Rich liked that truck so much, when it came time to order a new one, he called me again – but this time he wanted to go even bigger and badder!
To recap his story, Rich grew up in Chino, CA. Back then, this area was filled with dairy farms and trucking companies, but as the homes moved in and the dairies moved out, so did the Owens family, who went north to the Bakersfield area. His parents, Rick and Minda Owens, met while working at Troost Hay, which was based in Mira Loma, CA at the time. After working at the company for several years, Rick bought it from Phil Troost and just kept the name the same – it was already an established company, so there was no need to change the name and mess things up.
Married to his wife Briana for 13 years, she and Rich have three children – Caiden (12), Graham (9) and Reed (6). Rich knew Briana in high school, but the two didn’t start dating until later. Rich went on to get a degree in Ag Business from Fresno State, and then came home to start trucking. Today, Rich works in the family business, where they buy, sell, and deliver hay. Rich’s wife Briana runs the truck shop, and she is a walking encyclopedia of part numbers.
When Rich called last summer and told me he wanted to order another cool 2-axle, these are my favorite words to hear. “Cool” and “2-axles” just go perfectly together, and I love them! Rich wanted the same color yellow, which was a challenge the first time, and the second time didn’t get any easier. But I am happy to say, our friends at Peterbilt and Axalta did a great job making that happen.
The new truck is a late 2020 Peterbilt 389 (built in the middle of December 2019) that showed up the first week of 2020. It has a 44” flattop, a 565-hp X15 hooked to an 18-speed transmission, a car hauler front axle, and a “Platinum” interior with all the goodies. It also was ordered with large diameter fuel tanks, shoved forward, nice and tight, how we like them.
When the truck showed up it took a little bit to get started, but Tyler at our NRC shop did the body drop, hid all the air-ride on the back of the sleeper, and added a Mike Horse air-ride kit on the front. The 16” factory bumper felt very “uncomfortable” after we dropped the truck over 11” from its factory height. When it came back, Prayer hid the DEF tank in the step, and then it went into Leonard’s bay, where she got the rest of the treatment. Rich knew what he wanted the stripe to look like and sent me sketches. Pat the painter laid it out perfectly – it is exactly what Rich had imagined.
Due to the COVID-19 chaos, there were some delays, but Cathie did great at getting all the hard to find parts as fast as she possibly could. I can say, Rich never once got antsy. He said, “When you get it done, let me know, and I will come get it.” And when that day did finally come, it was cool. Spending time with his family and trucking are Rich’s favorite things, and with this “bigger and badder” new ride, you can bet he will try to get out of the office a little more often and into the seat of this truck!