Kenworth Delivers 50,000th Aussie Truck

Mike Dozier handing over the 50,000th Australiuan Kenworth Mike Dozier handing over the 50,000th Australiuan Kenworth

Keys to a landmark K200 handed over to one of Kenworth’s biggest customers.

Heavy-duty leader Kenworth has delivered its 50,000th Australian-designed and manufactured truck at its Bayswater plant in Melbourne.

Mike Dozier, Managing Director of Paccar Australia, handed the keys of a K200 prime mover to long-standing Kenworth customer Peter Rodney, from Wagga Wagga.

Kenworth says it has designed and manufactured uniquely Australian trucks since 1971, and that it has been the number one heavy-duty truck supplier since 2001.

"In an industry with no tariff protection, no government financial assistance and a high Australian dollar, Kenworth successfully maintains its status as the market leader against dozens of imported brands from the US, Europe and Asia," Dozier says.

"We continue to successfully deliver high value-added manufacturing."

Dozier says Australia’s diverse range of operating environments is unlike anywhere else in the world.

"Our trucks are designed to satisfy these unique needs," he says.

"They feature higher cooling capacities to handle heavier weights and hotter conditions, more robust construction to manage the roughest roads, and embody a design philosophy that ensures cost-effective maintenance and reliability.

"And before models are introduced, test vehicles undergo millions of kilometres of road testing in Australia's harshest conditions."

Kenworth employs more than 800 staff in Melbourne, and supports a variety of local suppliers who it says provide the majority of parts and materials.

The company says it is able to design and manufacture purpose-built trucks with extremely short lead times, something imported trucks cannot match.

It says it’s been recognised for its training efforts, being named Victorian Employer of the Year for 2012 and 2007, and winning the Federal Government's Industry Training Award for Manufacturing in 2007.

"Local manufacturing remains the driving force behind our business, and we're in it for the long haul," Dozier says.

"We are continually re-investing in expanding our operations, continually refining our techniques and introducing new technologies. Most importantly, we listen to our customers and we meet their needs."

Dozier says it is fitting that Kenworth's milestone truck was built for Rodney's Transport Service, the largest privately-owned trucking company in the Riverina.

"Rodney's Transport Service (RTS) is one of our long term customers and contributes valuable feedback based on extensive operational experience," he says. "It's been a win-win for both parties, and it's the epitome of how we conduct business with all of our customers."

Says Peter Rodney: "We have been working with Paccar for so many years, it's like being part of a family.

"They satisfy all of our trucking needs - not just sales, but also finance, servicing and parts," Rodney says.

Rodney’s operates a Kenworth fleet of more than 100 prime movers (including 27 K200s) configured with tanker, tautliner and tipper trailers.

Its combinations haul everything from general and container freight to industrial products, scrap metals and waste throughout the eastern states and South Australia.

The company also transports livestock and a variety of agricultural products including fertilizer, lime, gypsum and grain.

Its latest K200 is powered by a Cummins ISXe5 engine, producing 550hp (404kW) and 1850 lb/ft of torque, and using SCR exhaust after-treatment.

It has an 18-speed Eaton Roadranger manual transmission, Meritor front and rear axles, Kenworth Airglide 460 suspension, a 2.3-metre Aerodyne sleeper and 1,500 litres of fuel capacity.

"Kenworth builds trucks to our exact specifications and requirements," says Peter Rodney. "The trucks are tough but they're also safe and comfortable to operate, and they perform well under any conditions.

"Our trucks cover a lot of territory, so it's comforting to know that if they ever have a problem, there's a Kenworth dealer nearby," he adds.

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