Paving The Way

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For several years now, we here at 10-4 Magazine have been saying that aero trucks aren’t that bad.  In fact, if done right, they can be downright awesome!  But whether you like them or not, these trucks are here to stay, and they will only become more popular and accepted as the other options are slowly phased out.  It only makes sense for people to start trying to make them look as good as possible.  Such is the case for Joe Jones and his slammed and blacked-out Peterbilt 579 dump truck, featured here and on our cover and centerfold this month, which is a head-turner, for sure.  Trucks like this are paving the way to the future, and this one is “paving” even more along the way!

Coming from a traditional Romanian family, Joe Jones (36) was born and raised in the small town of Perris, CA (about 75 miles east of Los Angeles in Riverside County).  Joe’s grandfather John immigrated to the United States from Romania in 1958.  His original last name was Jovonavich, but he changed it to Jones when he got to America, figuring it would make his life a little easier.  First living in Walnut Creek, CA, John eventually bought a bunch of property way down in Perris, CA (there was nothing out there back then) and began building custom redwood furniture.  Joe’s dad Nick didn’t want to make furniture, so he got into the paving business and formed Jones & Sons Asphalt.

With family spread out across the United States, when Joe was 13 years old, his dad, wanting to be near one of his uncles, moved the family to Shakopee, Minnesota.  In Minnesota, Nick started another company called Purple Pride Paving, in honor of their favorite NFL team, the Minnesota Vikings.  By the time Joe was in 10th grade, he knew what he wanted to do, so he quit school and went to work in the family business – and never looked back.  In those days, they would do paving for about seven months of the year, then, when winter hit, do some plowing for a month or two, and then pack up and drive back to Perris, CA for the rest of the winter.

When I asked Joe, “When did you meet your wife?” he gave me a strange answer, saying, “I never met her, I always knew her!”  Joe’s parents were good friends with her parents, so the two basically grew up together.  Joe and Roxanne were married in 2010 and then she moved out to Minnesota.  After about a year, they both decided they were done with Minnesota winters and moved back to California, relocating this time to the Bay area, where Roxanne’s parents lived.  When they came to California, they had less than $2,000 in the bank and no place to live.  For a short time, the young couple slept on a pullout couch bed at Roxanne’s parents’ house.  But being a resourceful and hard-working young man, Joe got them settled in their own place in just a few short weeks.

Not long after that, Joe’s father-in-law, who had a contractor’s license, gave one to Joe.  Apparently, when you get a contractor’s license, you are allowed to give two away to other people, so he gave one to Joe’s brother-in-law and one to Joe.  In 2011, with just a Ford F250 pickup and a trailer with a tank, Joe formed California Asphalt Professionals and began sealcoating driveways.  Back then, he did whatever it took to get business, including literally knocking on doors to ask homeowners if they wanted their driveway resealed.  Joe worked hard and did whatever was necessary, and today his thriving construction and paving business bears the fruit of his labor – from now and back then.

Today, the business has ten employees and several pieces of equipment.  Joe is in charge of getting the work, and when the job is big, he runs the paving machine himself.  Some of the equipment he owns and operates includes a Gilcrest 813 paving machine, a Bomag 815 paving machine, a Bomag roller, and more.  He hauls most of this equipment on a dove-tailed Rampant trailer with a 29’ deck, and he pulls that trailer with the Peterbilt 579 dump truck featured here.  But this was not Joe’s first truck.

Not long after starting his business, Joe realized that he needed a big truck – preferably a dump truck – to haul the various aggregates he uses to pave and move out demo materials, along with hauling his equipment around.  His first truck was a 1985 Ford L9000 single axle with a small 225-hp CAT motor.  After purchasing the Ford dump truck, he spent some money getting it painted black, but after hooking it up to his trailer, loaded with his paving machine and other equipment, the truck would not move.  Joe put it in first gear, stepped on the throttle, and it just stayed put.  Apparently, that little CAT engine was way too small.

After selling the Ford, he replaced it with a much more capable 1990 Kenworth T600 tractor (not a dump truck) and used that rig for over two years to pull his trailer.  Painted red with polished wheels, this KW served its purpose well until CARB (California Air Resources Board) decided that Joe needed to replace it with a newer truck fitted with the California-mandated emission systems.  Searching for a Peterbilt 579 dump truck, he found a solid unit in Buckeye, Arizona.  Back then, the truck was white with dark gray fenders and box, had all aluminum wheels, and was equipped with oversized “floater” tires on the front.  It was in good shape and the air conditioning worked great, so Joe bought it and brought it home in 2016.

Running the Peterbilt as-is for several years, Joe eventually decided it was time to fix the truck up and give it some attitude in 2019.  At first, he just added a few chrome pieces to the interior and replaced the big “floater” wheels with lo-pro Toyo 24.5 steer tires all around (he likes the looks of the steer tires better and doesn’t run a lot of hard miles so he can get away with it).  He also ordered an 18” bumper from Valley Chrome, and then realized he wanted it to be taller, so he ordered a 20” bumper to replace it.  He also installed a large, polished visor and polished window chops, thinking they would look good, but they didn’t.  In the early stages of this build, Joe really didn’t know what he was doing and was just trying different things out – but he learned quickly.

Wanting to replace the visor with a better one, he began asking around, and it led him to Arroyo Custom Rigs in Merced, CA.  Known for their cool custom accessories and front air bag suspensions, brothers David and Rafael Arroyo, while talking to Joe, convinced him to bag the front end before “fixing” the visor and window chops.  So, in November of 2019, Joe took the Peterbilt dump truck to Arroyo where they installed their latest two-bag air-ride suspension system, complete with King shocks.  Joe loves the way his truck rides, and the slammed look is unmistakably California cool.

A few months later, Joe took the truck to Sal at Express Truck Painting in Fresno, CA to be painted all black.  Midway through the job, Joe picked the truck up and took it back to Arroyo, where they installed one of their custom visors built exclusively for aero-style trucks.  Then, the truck was taken back to Fresno where the paint and clearcoat was finished on not only the truck and box, but also the visor, window chops, fuel tanks and grille crown.  Sal put a few extra coats of clear on the truck to get that black paint to really pop, and he absolutely nailed it.

Once the paint was complete, Joe took the truck back home and finished most of the build himself, with some help from his 9-year-old son, Cash.  Some of the exterior embellishments included “Blackout” projection headlights from United Pacific, 8” stack tips (the driver’s side stack is just a dummy), five painted bullet-style cab lights, Hogebuilt stainless quarter fenders, custom black and white vinyl Peterbilt logos, and chrome vent covers on the sides of the hood.  The truck also has all clear lens LED lights, chrome rear light bars, and “Chrome Shop Mafia” flaps.  The license plate says “CASHDDY” for two reasons – Joe is a huge Johnny Cash fan, and his son is named Cash.  This is also the name of the truck (CASH DADDY’S 579).

Moving inside the cab, the truck has billet foot pedals from RWC, an Alpine stereo with an in-dash touch screen, and a Forever Sharp chrome and wood steering wheel.  For the shifter, Joe ordered a retro mic shift knob by Twisted Shifterz from Big Rig Chrome Shop in Oshkosh, WI to commemorate his love for Johnny Cash and singing karaoke.  Future plans for the interior include black leather seats, a hardwood floor, and a big subwoofer for the stereo.  The build was complete around July of 2020, and Joe has been working the truck hard every day ever since.

Married to his wife Roxanne since 2010, the couple has two boys – Cash (9) and Justin (2).  Building the truck together, Joe and Cash go cruising around the back roads near their home together, and Joe even lets Cash steer the truck and do some shifting sometimes.  Cash considers the truck to be his.  When not working, Joe enjoys spending as much time as possible with his boys, riding his Harley, and playing with fast cars (he hopes to build a drag car in the near future).

Setting up the photo shoot, before leaving for the weekend, I had Anthony of Mungy’s Mobile Washes come to my house to detail my car for the trip.  While here, Anthony asked me a weird question: “Are you going to the Bay Area this weekend for a photo shoot?”  As most of you probably know, we try to keep our future features and covers a secret until they hit the magazine, so his question kind of caught me off guard.  But I answered, “Yes, I am.  Why do you ask?”  And he was like, “I’m heading to San Martin tomorrow to detail a black dump truck for Joe Jones, and he said it was for a photo shoot!”  I was pretty surprised to hear that, but glad to hear that Joe’s truck was in good hands!  So, he detailed my black car on Thursday and Joe’s black truck on Friday!!  Trucking really is a small world.  And, of course, he did a great job on both of them.

As much as he loves his 579 Peterbilt, Joe’s next truck will be an exact replica of this one but a Kenworth W900L.  This has always been his dream truck, so when it’s time to get another one, that is what it will be.  Joe wanted to thank Sal at Express Truck Painting, the Arroyo brothers at Arroyo Custom Rigs, his friend Joe at Joe’s Transport (for inspiring him to fix his 579 up), Jerry Duran at Jerry’s Polishing in Madera, CA, and Mungy’s Mobile Washes, for getting the truck dialed in for the photo shoot.  He also wanted to give a nod to Big Rig Chrome Shop in Oshkosh, WI and 4 State Trucks in Joplin, MO for providing many of the rig’s accessories.

But, most of all, Joe wanted to thank his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for everything he has been blessed with.  As a devout Born-Again Christian, Joe and his wife have gladly devoted their lives to serving Him in all they do.  In fact, when asked about the future, Joe said, “I will go wherever the Lord wants to take me.  If that means grow bigger, I will grow bigger.”  He, like most fathers, would like to build a lasting legacy for his boys, so they can one day take over the operation.  He also hopes to take the truck to a few shows, but for now, he is just too busy, and work (customers) always come first.

There are several different companies out there working really hard to make these newer aerodynamic trucks cool, and Arroyo Custom Rigs is one of them.  There are others, as well, building some truly fantastic aero trucks, and the time has come for all of us to begin embracing them.  They might not be a long hood 359, but that doesn’t mean they can’t look good and be something for the owner to keep clean and be proud of.  Kudos to Joe Jones and his slick Peterbilt 579 as they pave the way, figuratively and literally, into the future – and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

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