A PROUD HISTORY
PACCAR's evolution from a manufacturer of railcars and later trucks into a technology based capital goods and finance company is a fascinating journey that began in 1905 in a single wooden building in Seattle, Washington.
Edgar Worthington's first truck is built, called the Gersix, it was a six-cylinder built in a repair shop in Portland, Oregon.
Later, Gersix trucks began rolling out of the new factory in Seattle. These trucks had the toughness required for the heavy duty work in America's expanding logging and timber industry.
Now in partnership with Frederick Kent, Worthington decided to reincorporate, capitalizing on a $60,000 infusion of cash. In 1923, the transaction was completed, and it marked the beginning of a new era. The company became Ken-Worth, named after the two principal stockholders Harry Kent and Edgar Worthington. The Kenworth Motor Truck Company was born, and headquarters were established in Seattle.
DAF's founder, Hub van Doorne, started an engineering business, 'Hub van Doorne, Machinefabriek en Reparatie-inrichting'. Together with his brother Wim he laid the foundations of DAF as a leading truck manufacturer in Europe.
The Great Depression saw a shift towards trailer manufacturing and the change in name to 'Van Doornes Aahangwagen Fabriek' (Van Doornes Trailer Factory) which was abbreviated to 'DAF'.
Kenworth in support of the war, began producing components for the Boeing B-17 'Flying Fortress' bomber and the B-29 'Super Fortress' at its Seattle plant. Since Seattle was declared a 'critical labour area', the Government required Kenworth to move its M-1 Wrecker production inland, in order to retain its contracts. Kenworth obliged and set up an additional "factory" in Central Washington, at the Yakima fairgrounds.
DAF manufactured their first truck in Holland, which was one of three prototypes. The production of commercial vehicles followed with the introduction of three models; the 3 tonne (A30), 5 tonne (A50) and 6 tonne (A60). This growth resulted in the establishment of a larger production facility (9,000m2) on the current Eindhoven site.
In 1950, DAF incorporated a one tonne A10 van to their range and later the A107, a pick up truck developed for export purposes. With the evolution of production from trailers to commercial vehicles, DAF was renamed DAF Automobielfabriek N.V. (DAF Automobile Factory), employing 184 staff and producing two vehicles a day.
The Dutch Army went on to purchase 3,600 military vehicles, and in 1955 the 10,000th DAF truck came off the production line.
Kenworth Australia's 56,000 square foot Bayswater factory and office complex was completed to produce trucks initially on a CKD (Completely Knocked Down) basis.
Kenworth Australia has now become a major manufacturing force in the Australian market, also exporting to New Zealand and Papua New Guinea markets.
The 1000th Kenworth truck manufactured at the Bayswater plant and the people who made it happen. The cab-over was delivered to Switzer's Transport Services Pty. Ltd. in Eden, NSW. It was promptly put into service as a refrigerated transport truck, mainly carrying fish for the Eden fish co-operative and the local Heinz processing and canning factory.
There was only one choice to carry Australia’s most famous yacht and its near-mythical winged keel. Aussie pride swelled as a Kenworth prime mover carried Australia II through the streets of Melbourne following the yacht's historic victory in 1983 as the first successful challenger for the America's Cup.
Kenworth rolled out a truck which changed the industry forever. Called the T600A, the truck was a sloped-nose conventional with a set-back front axle, a combination which gave drivers the comfort of a conventional and the maneuverability of a cabover.
The T600A cut through the wind saving customers up to 22 percent on their fuel bills. Testing showed an aerodynamic improvement of 40 percent when compared to the company's W900 conventional.
20,000th Australian built Kenworth delivered.
Road safety was high on the agenda when Kenworth Australia gave its engineers free rein to come up with the ultimate safety package in one truck. The result was the T604 Technology Truck – a showcase vehicle fitted with every safety feature imaginable. Dubbed the 'truck of the future', the Technology Truck was far from being a 'pie-in-the-sky' dream machine. In fact, it incorporated many safety features that are now readily available.
PACCAR Australia win the Federal Government's Industry Training Award for Manufacturing. This national competition, run by the Australian Department of Education, Science and Training, involved a lengthy judging process at both state and national level.
PACCAR Australia named Employer of the Year at the Victorian Government's Training Awards. These annual awards are provided in recognition of outstanding achievements in the field of vocational education and training.
Woolworths takes delivery of 18 DAF CF85 prime movers as part of its commitment to operating environmentally-friendly and safe vehicles. These trucks are the first DAFs in Australia to feature PACCAR's new high-performance, Euro 5 series low-emission engine. The DAFs also incorporate a variety of safety features, including a driver-side airbag and front under-run protection system as well as a side under-run protection system and EBS for trailers.
PACCAR dominate the J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Awards over the decade. In 2009, Kenworth and Peterbilt win most of the J.D. Power customer satisfaction awards – and also in 2008. This brings PACCAR's total number of J.D. Power awards to 29, far outdistancing the nearest competitor with only 6 awards. In addition, PACCAR receives the J.D. Power Founder's Award for 25 years of corporate quality excellence.