Working Show Truck Of The Month – Ken Cruz
By Robert Conrad
As 2013 comes to an end, we have one more hill to climb as December brings with it another winter season. Shifting gears from the beauty of fall to the cold, wintry blanket that will soon cover most of the country is something that seems to get a little harder each year. Our final Working Show Truck for 2013 is a classy 2003 Peterbilt 379 that looks good no matter what season it may be, thanks to its owner Ken Cruz.
When Ken bought the truck in 2007 it was a bone stock rig but he's made a variety of changes thru the years that have transformed it into the head-turner it is today! The first thing that catches your eye is the paint. The base color is white diamond pearl by Cadillac Motors that's complimented with rescue green stripes and fenders courtesy of Jeep. Ken has added a Talladega Fiberglass bowtie visor and front fenders as well as a set of Cool Concepts full rear fenders. The truck also features a Valley Chrome boltless, tapered bumper, single round headlights, and a painted grille shell. The custom headache rack, air tanks, fuel tanks, and side boxes have all been wrapped in stainless by RoadSkinz. Ken's Pete also has a set of 8" straight pipes cut to NYC height specs and trimmed with 90-degree elbows.
Ken hauls all types of flatbed freight for Mercer Transportation, based in Louisville, KY, with his 2013 50' MAC stepdeck that he purchased new. He spec'd the trailer with a lift axle, 17.5 wheels & tires, an air inflation system, and a 60k beam. He said he's been leased to Mercer for the past six years and that they are a great company to work for. He said with Mercer the owner-operators make their own beds and, for him, it's a good match.
Originally born in NJ, and now living in Thornhurst (Northern) PA, Ken said he tends to take loads that keep him in the East. He doesn't mind fighting traffic or running the bumpy roads that might take him to the 5 Burroughs of New York or Long Island. In fact, he said if he had a load going to Kansas at 6,000 lbs and no tarp required, or a load going to Brooklyn, NY at 48,000 lbs. with a tarp, he'll always take the local load for more money. In other words, a bit more work leads to more money in Ken's pocket once the load is delivered. Mr. Cruz said he's loud & proud to be from the East Coast and he likes keeping things local!
It's hard to believe but Ken's classy Pete has over 1,460,000 miles on it with the original 6NZ CAT engine never being overhauled. It's paired with a 13-speed transmission and a set of 3:55 rears. Ken calls the truck the "House That Peterbilt" but it's actually been built to perfection by Ken himself! Right down to the painted dash and matching door panels this is one cool ride! In his own words, and sounding more like a poet than a truck driver, Ken said he built the truck striving for a certain look that was soft but hard, blunt but sharp, old but new, classy but classless, fast-lookin' but always truckin' slow! The end results speak for themselves and this is one truck that draws attention no matter where he's delivering.
Ken classifies himself as a husband, son, brother, friend, and most importantly, a father of 2 great teenagers. All of his efforts are for his loving wife Paula and his children whom he wished to thank. Lastly, Ken gives a big shout out to Quality Collision in Luzerne, PA for giving his truck a full makeover from front bumper to the mudflaps!
Congratulations to Ken Cruz for helping Movin' Out round out 2013 in style with his "House That Peterbilt"!