Owner-operator Tony Gonzalez bought the 2015 Peterbilt 389 showcased in the video up top a couple of years ago, marking what was his maiden trucking voyage behind the wheel as an owner-operator. It was far from his first time in a truck, though.
He grew up around the business of his longtime owner-operator father, after whom he's named and from whom he purchased the rig. The elder Gonzalez had run the 389 from new for its first four years, bone stock in his San Miguel Transportation small fleet, headquartered out of Phoenix. His son leased there after a long foray in the suits and ties and high-rise office of Phoenix finance.
Gonzalez leased the 389 to San Miguel and expressly asked his father to treat him just as he would any other owner-operator at the company. Talk to Gonzalez now and you'll feel a clear sense that he's loving his time over-the-road. He comes at his story with exuberance born out of a career decision well-made, no doubt, and, little by little, has extended that to the truck with plenty of custom touches, from United Pacific black-out-style headlights and painted tanks to custom air-dump-capable suspension all the way around and plenty of bright upgrades and running lights.
I caught up with the owner-operator on the second day of the A.J. Soza Memorial Truck Show a couple weeks ago in Merced, California. Gonzalez hauls a variety of freight in reefer trailers, with dedicated lanes in some cases, for San Miguel's customers. The business extends back to his father's produce-hauling days from a prior home base of Salinas, California.