Kenworth Truck Co. is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, marking a century of innovation and growth. Starting as a logging truck company that made diesel engines standard, the Paccar Inc. brand has produced over 1.3 million trucks in the US and Canada with the KW badge on the grill. Harry W. Kent and Edgar K. Worthington incorporated the Gersix Motor Co. as Kenworth in 1923, producing 78 six-cylinder gasoline-powered trucks in their first year. Since then, Kenworth has produced a wide range of models, including Class 5 to Class 8 models and super heavy-duty trucks such as the C500 6×6 with a gross combination weight rating of over 500 tonnes.
Among truck manufacturers, Kenworth stands alongside a handful of other companies that have reached the century mark, such as Mack Trucks, Navistar, and Volvo Trucks (which will reach the milestone in 2028). Kenworth was also the first among truck OEMs to offer a diesel engine as standard equipment in 1933, with diesel engines growing in commercial popularity after World War II when the government sought to procure them for the war effort.
Looking ahead to the next century, Kenworth is exploring new technologies, including battery-powered electric trucks and hydrogen-powered fuel cells. As the company continues to innovate and adapt to changing market demands, its legacy of excellence in truck manufacturing is sure to continue.