Pride & Polish Winners: Bringing home the bacon

Zigs Pig visits Farmers Grill in the Farmers Market section of downtown Dallas, near the Great American Trucking Show.

“I was raised on a hog farm,” says Jeff Hamilton of St. Louis. “I wanted nothing to do with them.” Now he’s gotten quite pork-friendly, with a pig hood ornament and a sunglasses-wearing pig on the front tag of a truck he calls Zigs Pig.

The farm in Newton, Ill., was his grandfather’s. “If it hadn’t been for him, I wouldn’t be sitting here today,” Hamilton says of the late Leonard Mineo, who effectively raised him from the fourth grade.

Mineo would have a lot to be proud of. Hamilton’s 30-plus years of trucking, the last 20 in household moving, have seen him grow to a five-truck fleet he leases to Stevens Worldwide Van Lines.

He bought his 2001 Kenworth W900L in 2002. In 2005, he introduced its bold paint scheme and other touches, resulting in a First in Custom Paint at the Walcott show and Third, Conventional Bobtail 2001-2002, at Overdrive’s 2005 Pride & Polish in Dallas.

“It’s basically a dream come true all the way around,” he says.