Up-and-coming in the show circuit, OOIDA member Kaleb Hammett works the trucks he wins with
Most days, third-generation trucker Kaleb Hammett can be found “playing in the dirt” with his beloved Peterbilt 389. Kaleb drives for Hammett Excavation out of Dodd City, Texas, a family business founded by his grandfather in 1963.
“All I ever wanted to do was drive a truck,” says 21 year-old Kaleb. “I grew up riding with my dad. We trucked to get our excavation equipment to the job sites.”
Kaleb’s first truck was a 1996 Kenworth W900, and he laughed about “upgrading to a truck with air conditioning” when he purchased a 2007 Peterbilt 389 two years ago.
In December of this past year, he bought a 2017 Peterbilt 389 and put the 18-speed, 315 Cat-powered iron to work hauling oversized excavating giants to job sites all over Texas.
He started hauling in trophies with it at the Mid-America Trucking Show this year, kicking off the season in March with third place in Limited Mileage Combo at the PKY Show in Louisville, Ky. The wins kept coming with a Best in Show at 75 Chrome Shop’s Wildwood, Fla., event, and a first-place Limited Mileage Working Bobtail title at SuperRigs in Raphine, Va. Let’s not forget the Best in Show that the gorgeous Pete snagged in Waupun, Wis., at Truck-n-Show 2018.
Always humble, Kaleb credits hard work and help from other people as his key to show truck success.
“I couldn’t win at any of these shows without help from people like Evan Stegar,” he said. “I drove this truck straight from the muddy work sites in Texas to Evan’s shop in Wisconsin right before Waupun. Evan and his crew worked hard to help me get it ready.”
Stegar, who owns Evans Polishing and Detail in Chilton, Wis., is well known to truck show enthusiasts. His detailing expertise and partnership with Renegade Products has been key to more than one winning truck.
“Kaleb is an outstanding young man who works hard and promotes a really positive image in the trucking industry. It’s a pleasure to see him succeed in his efforts,” Stegar said.
Evan estimates somewhere close to 50 hours of prep between Waupun and Dallas on Kaleb’s truck. Every inch of the working bobtail was cleaned and polished meticulously, right down to the custom lug nut covers.
Kaleb is especially proud of the covers, inscribed with his grandfather’s signature. Harry Hammett died before he could see his grandson fill the business office with truck show trophies. The covers, made for him by Brandon and Amy Wright of Roll-On Customs, Tulare, Calif., are a nod to the man who ignited Kaleb’s passion for trucking.
“It was really special to win in Dallas with my grandpa’s touch on the truck. It’s kind of like having him there, in a way,” he said.
Two days after the Dallas win, he was right back in the dirt. But he’s
not done showing for the year. Hammett planned on being at the Guilty By Association Truck Show in September and the Truckin’ for Kids Show in October. LL