Cokeville, Wyoming-based Cody Davis is no stranger to success at truck shows. In June, Davis and his 2022 Kenworth W900L, “Mojito,” won first place in the Tractor-Trailer Division and Best Lights at the Shell Rotella SuperRigs competition in Gillette, Wyoming.
In November, Davis picked up two more accolades for his impressive livestock-hauling rig, earning first-place awards in the 2023 Overdrive’s Pride & Polish competition for Interior and Working Combo, 2008 & Newer.
The truck is the first ground-up build Davis has done in his career as an owner-operator, which began even before he could legally drive. Davis’ father, Tim, started Davis Trucking in 1996, and Cody grew up riding with his dad during the summers and any time he was out of school. “I’ve been in it forever,” Cody said. “He taught me how to drive, and I ran with him until I was old enough to get my own license and go trucking from there.”
He got his CDL when he turned 18 and has “been driving ever since,” the 37-year-old independent owner-operator said. And apart from a short stint dabbling in flatbed work, his whole career has been spent hauling livestock.
Today, Davis Trucking consists of four trucks -- three owned by Cody and one that Tim still operates.
Cody’s “Mojito” was ordered “bare bones from the factory,” he said, with "no bumper, visor, lights, nothing." After picking it up in August 2021, he took it straight to Performance Diesel Inc. (PDI) in St. George, Utah, where it was built into the working showpiece it is today.
The first thing to grab anyone’s attention: the color. Cody said his son, who is color blind, picked it because green is one of the colors he can see. “That’s his favorite color, so he kind of chose the color and we went from there,” he said.
It's also where the rig’s nickname originates. Up until recent years, Jeep had a green color option called Mojito that was similar to Cody’s rig. He named the truck based on that.
The truck was also picked by Overdrive readers in this year’s Pride & Polish contest as the winner in Interior. Two Bee’s Upholstery, Spare Time Fab and Rockwood Products handled the interior build. Cody's direction for the inside theme was “just trying to make everything color-match and flow seamlessly” with the outside of the truck.
At the time Overdrive caught up with Davis at SuperRigs in June, the truck -- on the road for about a year and a half at that time -- already had 300,000 miles on the odometer. The last few months have not been kind to him when it comes to staying rolling.
The engine in the rig at the time, a 605-hp Cummins X15, blew with a cracked head and blown head gasket, which put the truck down for about four months. With the downtime this year, the rig is now sitting at around 400,000 miles, but Davis hopes the new engine keeps him rolling in 2024.
Business itself has been strong for Davis Trucking, though. “Everybody’s got to eat meat,” he said. With big engines and tall livestock trailers like the 2023 Merritt that helped him earn the win in Working Combo -- “parachutes,” Davis called the trailers -- his trucks average around 4 miles a gallon, but companies he hauls for are well aware of fuel costs and builds them into the rates.
“A lot of our rates are dependent on fuel,” Davis said. “When fuel goes up, our rates go up. It doesn’t really affect us that much. It still hurts to drop $1,000 to fill up, but in the end we get it back with the rate.”
Looking ahead into 2024 and beyond, Davis said his next goal is to be able to buy a truck outright rather than financing it. “Hopefully we can do that within the next year, but we’ll see how it goes,” he said. “I don’t want to grow too fast and get in trouble. We’re just trying to go with the flow.”
If you missed it, catch the final awards presentation in Overdrive's Pride & Polish competition for 2023 via this link, where the winners in six categories are also highlighted. Read all of the profiles of the winners in four other categories via this link.