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​Ron Francis, Jr.

By Robert Conrad

August, 2019

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There’s something about a black truck decked out in just the right amount of chrome & stainless that’s hard to beat! Ron Francis, Jr., is the proud owner of this handsome 2015 Peterbilt 389 that fits that description to a tee. Ron’s black beauty started life as a glider kit and Fitzgerald Gliders transformed it into the showpiece that it is today. The truck features a Detroit 12.7 Series 60 engine with “no electronic garbage” as Ron likes to put it! Pushing 550 HP, the Detroit is paired with an Eaton Fuller 18 speed and a set of 3:55 rears.

The 78” factory raised roof sleeper gives Ron plenty of room on his weekly LTL reefer runs from Omaha, NE to the East Coast. He has his own authority, operating R.G. Francis Transportation, LLC out of Omaha, NE, but he’s currently leased to Cannonball Express, LTL, which is also based in Omaha. Ron says that he used to run to California and back, but the LTL freight has been offering him a better payday, so that’s his dedicated run these days. 

His Peterbilt is always shining and the custom pin striping looks like the old school trucks. In fact, Ron is a 3rd generation trucker. He says his grandmother Bernice, on his dad’s side, actually owned many trucks in her day. She was the one that influenced Ron as a young boy and put trucking in his blood! He said Bernice was quite the businesswoman, and although she never wanted him to become an over-the-road trucker, he did so anyway. It got into his blood seeing her purchase KW VIT cabovers and then long nose Peterbilts for her company. Ron was the envy of his school friends since he got to go on many California runs with her longtime drivers, while he was on Summer break. The rest is history, but he credits those drivers for teaching him how to shift without a clutch, park, and hit docks on the blind side while making it look easy! He also said they showed him the best places to get a home cooked meal on the road, although most have vanished today as the big “chain” truck stops have changed the industry. 

Ron’s truck has 2 extra tool boxes and a polished Herd Super Road Train truck guard with extra led lights. He enjoys the Platinum gray interior with the wood grain trim package. While Ron heads East almost every week, he’s says his favorite drive will always be through the Rocky Mountains and across Donner’s Pass in California. Those trips are considered dangerous by many drivers, but Ron enjoys the challenge and getting to see nature’s breathtaking landscapes. He says he’d take a snowstorm in the Rockies over a sunny day in NY any time. To each his own, but one thing’s for certain, Ron Francis Jr. and his polished Peterbilt turn heads no matter where they go!