This month’s creation was built for Kevin Hammond (48) of Hammond Trucking LLC of Shelbyville, MO. Kevin has always lived his life with respect… he respects his equipment, he respects his family, he respects his customers, and he respects his friends. He said, “If you treat the people and things in your life with respect, they will take care of you.” Also adding, “Do what you say, and stick to it!” This attitude and outlook on life has served him well.
Still living in the same town he grew up in, Kevin said Shelbyville is small town America. Kevin is one of four children (he is the only one that trucks). Unfortunately, his parents, John and Carol Hammond, are gone – his dad passed away five years ago, and he lost his mom three years ago to cancer. His dad started out farming but ended up working for the city water plant. His mom was a sales manager for Toastmaster, a worldwide company that makes heating elements, and the last ten years of her life she ran the trucking office. Married to his wife Rebecca for six years now, between she and Kevin, they have six children from previous relationships – Jake (22), Josie (19), Jena (17), Kendal (15), Raegan (12), and Holland (10).
Growing up on a farm, they didn’t have trucks, but they had equipment. But it wasn’t until later in life that Kevin caught the trucking bug. After graduating from high school, he took a factory job, but it wasn’t a good fit. Not long after that, he went to work at ADM, the local grain elevator, and become the assistant manager. During this time, he saw a lot of trucks coming in and out. He left ADM after six years and decided to try construction, which he did for two years, until he decided to try trucking.
Working for the local ethanol plant, hauling CO2 and ethanol, Kevin’s family was growing fast, so he decided to get his own truck and bought a 1995 Peterbilt 379 from one of the guys that hauled into ADM when he worked there. He said, “That guy did his darndest to talk me out of it, but I was determined to make it work.” And he did! The second truck Kevin bought was a 2006 Peterbilt 379 with a Seminole paint job, and then he bought a Kenworth W900. From 2009-2012, Kevin had eight owner operators leased to him. Hammond Trucking currently has four trucks.
When Kevin called me to discuss ordering his next truck, we got to talking about specs, and that got me thinking. I had a truck sitting on the lot that we had ordered for someone else, but that deal fell through. The truck was a 2020 Peterbilt 389 with a 72” flattop sleeper, 272” wheelbase, a 510-hp Paccar MX engine, an 18-speed, and a car-hauler front axle. This truck wasn’t like my custom trucks – it was pretty simple and built for work. I said, “Maybe we can make this one work for you.” And he agreed.
I told Kevin that I had an old brochure that featured a white truck with gray and red stripes, so I sent him a picture – and he liked it. Kevin likes that old school 359 look and believes that the nicest truck is the one you have to look at twice to catch all the cool stuff done to it. One of the biggest things we did to this basic truck was add the factory air-ride to the steer axle with dump valves. As some people might know, I have some hoarding tendencies, so I gathered up as many parts and pieces I could find to put this truck together on a shoestring budget.
Once the air-ride was installed, Pat laid out the old 359 paint scheme, and then swapped out the passenger-side fuel tank and painted it, swapped the 5th wheel, changed the air cleaners, and changed the stack guards to old school ones. We then added cab lights on the roof, cab and sleeper lights down the sides, breather lights, front and rear visors, and stainless Hogebuilt half fenders. We also replaced the factory boxes with small steps and removed all the grab handles from the back of the bunk. Inside, we painted the dash panels to match the exterior, and the stripes laid out real nice.
All of our crew at KC Pete stepped up to help move this truck, which we all knew needed to go. I want to thank them all for their help. Kevin Hammond is a great guy, and he now has a great new truck. And, based on his attitude in life, I know he will take great care of it and show it the utmost respect – even if it did start out as a pretty unrespectable ride!