Citrus Mistress makes a splash in Kentucky

July 2019

Bryan Martin


Check out this classy Kenworth W900L that is quite obviously set apart from the rest.

The truck is owned by Kyle “KC” Cousins and his wife, Sara, of Fleenor Bros. out of Carthage, Mo. They named this lil’ beauty “Citrus Mistress” for her true orange color representing KC’s love of the Tennessee Volunteers as he is a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee, and, of course, the running joke that wives dub their husbands’ trucks “the mistress.”

Fleenor Bros., was started in 1986 by KC’s parents, Darcy and Janice Cousins who still own the operation today, with KC owning a good portion of the trucks and equipment. Today, Fleenor runs about 50 working power units with a fleet comprised entirely of clean, well-kept and showy Kenworths.

As 2018 came to an end, KC wasn’t entirely sure he wanted to prep a truck for the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., but he and longtime employee, Sid Calangelo, sat down and decided to take on the project of getting this truck ready for MATS. The truck was entered in the limited mileage bobtail with working miles class, since it had been an extra truck, driven throughout the year by the crew in the event a load needed to be recovered.

What you see is a 2017 Kenworth W900L Icon No. 899. The truck boasts a 565 Cummins ISX under the hood with an 18-speed transmission and 3:36 rears. The paint scheme is classified as Kenworth’s Malibu scheme, which is an old stripe style from the Kenworth archives. KC has a book of retro Kenworth stripes and scheme patterns, which he resorts to each time he orders a new truck.

He likes to have something a little different that sets his trucks apart from the rest. KC made sure the stripes not only showed on the sides of the truck but also wrapped around the back of the sleeper to give it that highly finished look.

The truck was ordered in January 2017 and built at the Renton, Wash., plant. Before being shipped for delivery, the interior was stripped and upgraded by Two Bee’s Upholstery. Upon delivery in June 2017, the truck’s original 280-inch wheelbase was stretched to a 303-inch wheelbase.

This W900 was shut down at the beginning of 2019 to start prepping for the Kentucky show.

Details were done to make the truck unique, including painting the engine and transmission orange and painting the valve cover white. 4 State Trucks had a hand in what you see today with the sunburst inserts in the stainless steel deck plate, step covers, and T-bar rear bumper. Polishing was completed by High Shine out of Texas who is Fleenor Bros.’ go-to for all of their polishing needs. The Fleenor Bros. shop counter sunk all of the frame bolts to give it a smooth look from front to back. The truck sports a 12-gauge sun visor, Hogebuilt half fenders, 20-inch bumper from 4 State Trucks and classic 5-inch flat top stacks with smooth stack guards. The truck had originally been delivered with 7-inch stacks and standard muffler guards, but KC has an eye for the old-school cool look, so they were swapped out.

The truck was driven, not trailered to Louisville, as was their well-recognized 2008 Kenworth W900 Ace in the Hole.

Ace was featured inside one of the booths in the convention center. And Citrus Mistress took best of show in limited mileage bobtail with working miles and, upon returning from the Paul K. Young Truck Beauty Championship, has set its sights on the open road and working for a living.

Citrus Mistress is now based out of their Utah terminal, where it will mostly be seen pulling a tanker trailer or a step deck/flatbed when the tanker work is slow.

The entire Fleenor stable is made up of eye-appealing Kenworth workhorses, but the Citrus Mistress is the latest proud addition to the KC Cousins collection. Keep an eye peeled, and you may see it burst through a town near you. LL