FlashBackFriday: Kenworth

Happy Friday Trucking Nation! Hope y’all had a good week and a moment to check out TruckLogics. If you were in the south the sky might not have been so clear, but the temperature has been perfect. I haven’t had to turn the air on all week. Excuse my mini detour off the topic; let’s get back to what you want to read.

FlashBackFriday is not only the end of a workweek, it is also a time when the wonderful world of social media comes together for a moment in time to pay tribute to hilarious photos of bad 80’s hair, images of a time when men’s shorts were just too short, that candid moment when a bride’s face is smashed with cake, and…..we’re going to do something different. 
I’ve been brushing up on my trucking history and remember a story a kind trucker was telling me at a stop in Tennessee a few years back. I was riding along with my grandfather for one of his hauls out to Arizona. We stopped at this one truck stop right before we crossed the state line and this real nice trucker recognized my grandfather and they started chit-chatting away like to ol’bitties will do. Long story short they got on the topic of their first trucks and they were Kenworths. It always kind of stuck with me how excited they were talking about all the gizmos and gadgets that the trucks had so I let my curiosity wander and found out Kenworth did an amazing amount of innovation for the trucking industry. And guess what? I’m going to share some Kenworth History with you on this week’s edition of TruckLogics FlashBackFriday. 
In The Beginning…
Harry Kent and Edgar Worthington purchased a truck manufacturing company named Gersix in 1923. The name of the truck manufacturer was changed to Kenworth; the legend was born. 
Flash forward a few years…
During the late 20’s and into the 30’s (the Depression years), Kenworth changed their manufacturing strategy to meet new markets. They designed and built buses and fire trucks. They revolutionized truck design by being the first to install diesel engines and the first to manufacture a truck with a sleeper cab. 

A few more years ahead…
Kenworth was bought by PACCAR in 1945. In the first years under PACCAR’s leadership, Kenworth introduced 27 new truck models. They pioneered the use of lightweight chassis. They started to change their focus to customer needs and what type of truck is needed for rugged jobs like logging, Alaskan road trucking, hauling huge loads of sugarcane, trucks that needed to drive through the desert, list goes on forever. Kenworth created the most rugged trucks that could make it through anything that was put in front of them. 
To the 70’s…
Kenworth had expanded internationally to Australia, Canada and Mexico. Their sales were dominated by the W900 and K100 series. My grandfather had a Red W900. It was his first truck and he named it Sadie May after my grandmother – true story. Kenworth took some time through the 70’s to develop something completely different that had never been seen before by the trucking industry.
One of the best things to come out of the 80’s…
Kenworth upped their game and introduced the vehicle that rocked the world of truck design with the T600. It was developed in a wind tunnel and set new standards for fuel efficiency and driver comfort. This truck was designed specifically for the long haul trucker. It was just amazing.
And Today…
Kenworth consistently raises the bar with truck innovation and design. They take great pride in their legacy of creating the most rugged and tough trucks that have ever been on the road. The trucks manufactured today may look very different from the trucks first produced in 1923, but they all have the same heart and soul poured into every detail. I can’t wait to see what they come up with in the future.
I hope you enjoyed this little flashback into Kenworth history. Their trucks will always have a special place in my memories. Have a great weekend Trucking Nation, and keep the shiny side up.
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