“Chillicothe is a crown-jewel when it comes to truck manufacturing,” said Bill Burns, new truck sales manager for Kenworth of Pennsylvania. “Having trucks built in America resonates with my customers – it’s a big ticket item and they know they’re getting an extremely well-built product, and they’re helping to support jobs in the United States. It’s a win-win. As a dealer group, we never miss an opportunity to take new customers to Chillicothe to show them how their trucks are built; they walk away so impressed. They always comment about the quality and the passion they see in the people that are building their trucks. It’s inspiring.”
Kenworth Chillicothe Plant
For Dave Clark, fleet manager for Dutch Valley Food Distributors, the Kenworth Chillicothe plant tour was eye opening. “It’s good to see jobs in manufacturing stay in the U.S.,” he said. “That’s important to us – we could see that everyone in Chillicothe was committed to building a quality product. I had never toured a factory before and the precision was something else. The number of trucks going through, and how everyone worked together – the teamwork was very evident. We’ve felt the quality of the Kenworths we have in our fleet are much better than other brands and I could see why after visiting the plant.”
Running 70 trucks in an East Coast food delivery operation, Clark said his 16 Kenworth T680s are performing “beautifully” and lead the pack when it comes to fuel economy. “And by quite a margin. We have more than 300,000 miles on our initial trucks and they’ve only required regular maintenance. So combined with our fuel economy, we’re really driving operating costs down. Plus, our drivers love the trucks. They’ve been a great choice for our operation.”
A new Kenworth T680 nears the end of the production line at the Kenworth Chillicothe plant in Ohio.
Kenworth’s Chillicothe, Ohio, plant was opened in 1974, employs more than 1,750 people, and has built more than 530,000 Kenworths during its history. Over the past five years, Kenworth has invested $67 million in the plant to further enhance its efficiency and productivity. “There is an incredible work ethic here in Chillicothe, and our entire city is proud to watch Kenworth trucks roll off the line,” said Judy McTigue, who has served as plant manager since January 2014. “Our employees are dedicated to building The World’s Best trucks, and ensuring that our customers receive premium quality on every vehicle built at Chillicothe, here in Ross County and the state of Ohio.”
For Mike Brooks, whenever he’s driving locally, or on vacation, he’s on the lookout for Kenworth’s flagship T680 over-the-road model, and its brother, the T880 for vocational users. “And, I’m not the only one, doing that. We may go up to a Kenworth driver and ask how they like their truck. We want to make sure they’re happy with the build -- we always look forward to interacting with our customers to see how they’re doing and how they like the truck,” said Brooks, who has worked at Kenworth’s Chillicothe, Ohio, plant for 30 years.
Mike Brooks, long-time Kenworth Chillicothe plant employee, with a new Kenworth T880 fresh off the assembly line.
“With 100 percent of Kenworth’s T680 and T880 built in Chillicothe, there is a lot of pride in ‘built in Ohio,’ said Brooks. “Our turnover is very low at the plant – there is a lot of energy and enthusiasm in producing what we feel are The World’s Best trucks. And that excitement grows each week when we have customers come in to see how their new Kenworth is built. We love seeing and talking with our customers, and the plant tour just solidifies their decision to buy a Kenworth. They see the quality and attention to detail that we put into building their trucks. We continually learn from the trucks we build, and we continually strive to improve to ensure we are building The World’s Best truck.”
Kenworth T680 Advantage Family
Kenworth T880 Family
Kenworth is The Driver’s Truck. See what drivers are saying at www.kenworth.com/drivers.
Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World’s Best® heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth’s Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth is a PACCAR company.