Jenkins Farm – A Family Business

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Jenkins Farm – A Family Business

Family Business

Story and photos by: Stephanie Haas

Jenkins Farms South located in Leesburg, FL is comprised of a father and son duo, John (father) and Hunter Jenkins (son). John’s 2016 Peterbilt 389 Fitzgerald Glider and Hunter’s 1984 Peterbilt 359. What makes these trucks so special? The almost identical paint scheme to have them match but their age difference is what sets them apart. The iconic Peterbilt 359,379,389 have not changed much over the years, there style holds true to the roots of the trucking industry and this beautiful pair is a testament to that.

John started driving in 1983 at the age of 18 and bought his first truck, a 1987 Kenworth T600 back in 1990. After 12 years, he got out of the truck and by then owned a small fleet of trucks. Having drivers in all of the trucks, allowed him to focus on the operations aspect of the business. In those years, after dealing with a number of new trucks with newer engines, he found himself dealing with a number of issues on a consistent basis; in 2012 he began looking into gliders. His thoughts were returning to engines that he knew were reliable. After he spent some time researching different options, he went to Fitzgerald Glider Kits in Tennessee and purchased his first glider, a 2012 Freightliner. Over time he would purchase more gliders for his fleet from Fitzgerald. About a year or so ago, John sold the trucking side of the business, but remains a dispatcher part time for the company that purchased his trucks.

Hunter purchased his 359 at the age of 17 in the fall of 2013 and obtained his CDL the following year the day he turned 18. The truck was working during 2015 and was parked in the fall of 2016 to begin the restoration process. Starting with a fresh paint job, He did not deviate from the original paint scheme and colors. The base color was repainted the same Dark Beachwood color that it was painted from the factory. Hunter’s goal was to keep the truck as original as possible only adding a few things like 6” Dynaflex stacks, an 18” Texas bumper, a nice set of half fenders and Legacy leather seats. The finished product was put back on the road in January of 2017 and unveiled at the 75 Chrome Shop Truck Show in Wildwood, FL.

When Hunter had planned to restore his 359, it was decided that John would order a new truck and have it painted almost identical to match Hunter’s truck. John went to Fitzgerald in Tennessee with a vision and Adam Fitzgerald helped to make the vision a reality.

Fitzgerald has built a lot of trucks. They do great quality work, up front about everything that will be done, give knowledgeable advice and offer competitive prices. Great to deal with.

John Jenkins, Leesburg, FL

When restoration began on the 359, they purchased an old truck to be used as a parts truck for the 359’s project. The parts truck had a working C-15 CAT engine so instead of purchasing a engine from Fitzgerald, the C-15 was removed and taken to Fitzgerald to be installed into the 389. John picked up his 389 in November of 2016. After some custom work the truck stands tall and pays homage to the good old days of trucking.

Currently, Hunter’s 359 operates intrastate only. John and Hunter rotate every other week operating the 389. Their main commodities are produce and dairy, usually running the lane from New York to Florida. On the weeks John is in the truck, Hunter pulls a 2008 Utility refrigerated trailer with the 359 locally. The 389 pulls a 2017 Vanguard refrigerated trailer. Under the hood of the 359 sits a factory original 400hp B Model CAT, while the 389 boasts 650hp with the previously mentioned C-15 CAT engine. The bug shields on these trucks represent sentiments of both the ages of the truck and songs that have meaning. The 359 has “Back In Time” because it is old, takes you back in time and is also a reference to the song by Huey Lewis and The News. The 389 has “Time Stand Still” which references one of John’s favorite songs by the band Rush and how John and Hunter would love for time to stand still in keeping trucks how they were, old-school.

Jenkins Farms South located in Leesburg, FL is comprised of a father and son duo, John (father) and Hunter Jenkins (son). John’s 2016 Peterbilt 389 Fitzgerald Glider and Hunter’s 1984 Peterbilt 359.