As I sit here writing this poem, I have been reflecting on the last year and a half since I attempted to order my new Peterbilt. I had a vision in my mind of how I’d like to build a 389 into something that resembles a 359 from the early 80s. I drew inspiration heavily from some of the 359s that Consolidated Peterbilt used to put out there on the scene for their owner operator customer base. Little did I know just how arduous this process would be. Covid caused staff shortages, supply chain issues caused parts shortages, and product rationing caused dealerships to be required to cancel many orders. My order was canceled, initially, but I was able to find another dealership that still had some build slots available. So, I’m thankful for that. Build dates were shuffled around a handful of times, and the months kept slipping away. Finally, 15 months after my initial order date, my new day cab 389 was born. I ordered it with a 565 X15 Cummins, an 18-speed transmission, and a 310” wheelbase. Then, I sent the Legendary Green Peterbilt to Alliance Truck Group in La Grange, IN to have a custom 80” retro Double Eagle style sleeper installed. So, the project was taking shape. Then, my dear friends John and Kim Jaikes volunteered to help transport the truck out west. I ain’t sayin’ Mama Kim broke any laws, but she sure didn’t make much use of that new custom sleeper while she put the miles behind her to get it out here to me in no time! Thanks, Kim and John, for sacrificing your own time to help me out a bit. Anyway, Vancouver, WA is where it was left in the capable hands of Greg Larue and his crew of talented truck builders. That is when the problems that the truck had from the factory were beginning to get fixed. This particular truck had so many issues, large and small, that it left me feeling like the factory just gave up on building a superior product for individual owner operators. It never used to be that way, and I’m sure it is true for other manufacturers, as well. You just don’t seem to get the sense of pride in what they’re building anymore. I thought it was disappointing that they no longer offer multi-tone paint schemes, but that disappointment was overshadowed by the fact that they shipped my truck to me without building it to completion – or even building it the way I ordered it. I don’t fault the saleswoman for the mistakes or lack of quality, but I still feel disappointed in what some might consider the “best of the best” in truck manufacturers. Would I buy another Red Oval? Absolutely! Would I order another new one? Unfortunately, I’d have to say no, thanks. It’s just way too much real money to get something that’s not as outstanding as the price tag implies, and definitely not as elegant or classy as they were once upon a time. Now, I’m looking out at my driveway, and I see a gorgeous, classically styled 389, that I am proud to own. Thanks to the efforts of those who have helped me bring my vision into reality. Thank you Clint, Jona, Tommy, Mama Kim, John, Greg, and many others behind the scenes helping me with my big Pile of Style.
PILE OF STYLE
By Trevor Hardwick
Once upon a time,
A year and a half ago.
I set my mind to spec a truck,
And see how that would go.
I had a vision in my head,
Of what I’d like to buy.
Something new that looks just like,
A rig from days gone by.
I asked permission from my wife,
Her answer wasn’t no.
So right away, I called a dealer,
That I’ve come to know.
The first few weeks weren’t all that bad,
Discussing hopes and dreams.
But then the plan came to a stop,
When Covid changed some things.
The dealerships were short on trucks,
And build slots dropped by half.
My order then got canceled,
As the plant was cutting staff.
So, then I called another place,
With build-slots left to fill.
And so, my dream to build this truck,
Could maybe happen still.
Once again, we made our plans,
As build-dates jumped around.
It seemed like all my hopes and dreams,
Were crashing to the ground.
The saleswoman did her best,
To keep my dream alive.
Until the day my Peterbilt,
Would finally arrive.
I’d like to say I shed a tear,
From being overjoyed.
Instead, I felt a sense of grief,
And then I was annoyed.
I wouldn’t blame the dealership,
She did the best she could.
The factory sure dropped the ball,
On building something good.
I do appreciate the style,
And I’m proud of what I’ve got.
But pride in building all the best,
Is what the plant forgot.
I’ll spare you all the little things,
I had to frown and fix.
Let’s just say I paid too much,
To wait so long for this.
So, then I took what I had bought,
And sent it to Larue.
A truck repair and painting shop,
To see what they could do.
They took my disappointing ride,
And turned it all around.
In record time, they changed my mind,
And made my dreams rebound.
They took what I had called a pile,
And fixed the list of flaws.
So, now my pessimistic view,
Has turned to oooh’s and ahhh’s.
A brand-new Pete, with 80’s vibes,
And a custom, retro bunk.
Is something I am proud of, now,
And not some piece of junk.
My heavy heart and trodden frown,
Have now become a smile.
As I look down the classic hood,
Of my big ol’ Pile of Style!