‘Just a Western Thing’

Billy Hopkins’ truck is featured in the Overdrive 2005 Calendar, sponsored by Mobil Delvac, which highlights 13 repeat Pride & Polish winners. Calendars are available for $9.95 (shipping included) by calling Jennifer Lancaster at (800) 633-5953.

The eight trucks in Billy Hopkins’ Kaufman, Texas-based fleet don’t look exactly alike, but they’re marked by one common design: barbed wire. It runs around the rub rail of the flatbed Hopkins shows with his 2000 Peterbilt 379. It continues around the tractor and is even etched faintly into his bumper. Climb into the cab, and you can spot it on the inside of the visor.

“It’s just a Western thing,” says Hopkins, who, with his distinctive ostrich boots, looks Western himself.

Hopkins’ Rockin’ H Express, an all-flatbed fleet, works 48 states. “We haul a lot of steel beams, a lot of metal buildings,” he says. The fleet also isn’t shy about visiting truck shows – three trucks from its fleet showed at the 2004 Pride & Polish in Dallas.

Hopkins has entered Pride & Polish several times on his own, and his awards include Second, Interior Excluding Sleeper, in the 2004 show. He’s also won Custom Paint Non-Mural, even though his truck’s design is more understated than some.

“We don’t do ghost flames,” Hopkins says. “We do barbed wire.”

Billy and Kathy Hopkins (with two of their four children) live in Kaufman, Texas, near Dallas.