Vocational truck operators recently tested the newest Kenworth trucks equipped with the latest options and features, including the extended day cab, at “Kenworth: The Right Choice,” a hands-on, educational program sponsored by Kenworth Truck Company.
This event, designed to show the features of the Kenworth lineup of working trucks, attracted more than 130 customers at two locations: Kenworth’s Chillicothe, OH, manufacturing plant and Caterpillar’s 6,000-acre Tinaja Hills proving grounds facility near Tucson, AZ.
The programs included supplier trade fairs with representatives from a dozen suppliers, ride and drive demonstrations of Kenworth trucks and a walk-around of a Kenworth T800. Vocational participants in Chillicothe also toured the Kenworth plant.
“Each year, we look forward to meeting with our vocational truck customers and prospects to discuss and show the durability, reliability and engineering features of our Kenworth trucks,” said Gary L. Moore, assistant general manager of sales and marketing.
“It’s a great setting for vocational users to kick the tires and try out our rugged truck models. We also welcome the opportunity to listen to vocational operators about the specs that help them do their jobs better.
“Truck operators also had the chance to see our new extended day cab and discover its extra head room and leg room and storage features,” Moore added.
Steve Delfino, transportation manager of Quikrete in Fremont, CA, said he attended the Arizona show to do a ride-and-drive of the Kenworth T800 and to compare it with a competitor’s truck. “The Kenworth was far superior,” he said. “The ride was more comfortable, and the truck maneuvered better and made sharper turns.”
Quikrete began buying Kenworth W900s two years ago for its Northern California fleet to haul manufactured concrete products.
The company is considering putting W900s in its Southern California fleet. “We began spec’ing W900s, not only for their engineering and performance, but also to help in driver recruiting and in driver retention,” Delfino said. “The cab offers the features drivers want and the truck is more work-friendly. Plus, our Kenworths are a smart investment and are less expensive to operate over the long haul.”
Hoosier Hauling of Indianapolis operates seven Kenworth T800 tri-axle dump trucks and it has purchase plans that could double that number in 2004 as it replaces older trucks in its fleet of 26 trucks, according to manager Brad Wicks. “They rate highly for their driver comfort features and their maneuverability in delivering materials to all kinds of construction sites,” he said.
Wicks said he was impressed with the tour of the Chillicothe manufacturing plant. “Even though it’s a production assembly line, each truck is custom made.”
Chillicothe visitor Norm Gerstenslager owns a Kenworth T800 and a Kenworth W900 and intends to buy another T800 in 2004 for his Norm’s Trucking fleet of six tractors in Uniontown, OH. “On the T800, I like the transmission, the suspension and the steer axles we need in complying with ’bridge laws’ regulating vehicle weights in Ohio,” Gerstenslager said. “We haul all types of construction materials and landscaping materials, so we need the versatility the T800 provides.”
Gerstenslager said he attended the show to gather more information from engine manufacturers about emissions levels and fuel mileage of the new engines.
Kenworth is already planning another event in 2004 and customers who are interested in attending should contact their local Kenworth dealer.
Kenworth Truck Company, a division of PACCAR Inc, is a leading manufacturer of heavy- and medium-duty trucks. Kenworth is the recipient of the 2003 J.D. Power and Associates award for Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Pickup and Delivery Segment Class 8 Trucks.
For more information, www.kenworth.com.