The company begins its life in 1923 and receives the name Ken - Worth, in honor of its founders Edgar Worthington and Harry Kent. A year later, several offices of Kenworth opened in Seattle. During 1924, Kenworth sells 80 trucks, and a year later it reaches a sales level of up to 2 units per week. In 1929, at a general meeting of shareholders, Harry Kent was elected president.
At the plant, 3 tractors per week are stably manufactured. Production growth requires the expansion of production facilities. A new plant is under construction in Seattle. In the early 1930s, the Great Depression had a negative impact on the entire transportation market. Truck production drops to almost zero, and the company is not able to pay interest on loans. Kenworth urgently seeks moves to maintain production and survive in difficult times.
In 1932, Kenworth received a state order for the production of fire engines. In 1933, Kenworth became the first American manufacturer to mass-market diesel engines. Kenworth trucks immediately became a bestseller, since diesel was much cheaper than gasoline. In the same year, in the 33rd year, the first-ever tractor unit with Slipper Box, the sleeping compartment for the driver, was produced and sold to Washington in a special order.
In 1935, a new law came into force in America, setting strict limits on the weight and size of trucks. Kenworth engineers develop and actively introduce new components and components to the design. A lightweight aluminum cab and hood are created.
This period was marked by the creation of hydraulic brakes, spring suspension and 6x6 wheel formula. Following the production trends of its competitors, Kenworth builds a bubble-nose model in 1936, a prototype of a modern version with a cabin above the engine. But this model did not become popular.
When the United States enters World War II, Kenworth rebuilds its lines to meet the needs of the army and produces 430 4-ton M-1 Wreckers trucks equipped with winches, cranes, and gas welding accessories. In 1944, Kenworth Motor Truck Company was bought by Paccar President Paul Pigott.
Currently, Kenworth's main products are heavy trucks and tractor units, renowned for their superior quality, high performance and legendary longevity. For the North American and European markets, these American trucks produce businesses in the United States and Mexico. In 2004, the company assembled 40.5 thousand heavy vehicles at all its plants. The Kenworth program consists of 6 bonnet families, which are the most prestigious and high-quality cars of class 8. Among them are the T600, T800 and T2000 series with modern aerodynamic shapes, spacious and comfortable living compartments, as well as the classic W900 range with traditional rectangular shapes, marking its 50 anniversary.
The most technically advanced machine is the American tractor of the T2000 series, which appeared in 1996. In the design, everything is subordinated to achieving the highest performance in fuel economy, reliability, durability, environmental safety, comfort, and ease of maintenance. The Kenworth T2000 series American truck tractors are only available on the 6x4 chassis in two versions with a distance from the bumper to the rear wall of the cab at 2845 and 3048 mm. Both can be equipped with a sleeping compartment 1524 mm long. and a 1905 mm long Aerodine living area. By 1966, Kenworth had 46 regional dealerships throughout the United States.
3900 cars were sold all over the world this year, which was another record. With a significant increase in sales, the company management has to develop a new accounting and control system to track the registration and sale of each tractor. In 1967, Kenworth developed for its own needs a kind of computer, which simplified the work of the central office with dealerships and service centers. The next increase in taxes and tariffs leads company managers to think about transferring part of their production to other continents.
In 1968, Kenworth builds a plant near Melbourne in Australia, where bonnet and cabless models of right-hand drive trucks have been manufactured for 2 years. By 1974, the company produced up to 16,000 units of equipment annually. In 1985, a model was produced, which for many years sets the fashion for the entire automotive industry. The famous Kenworth T600A, a tractor with a beveled aerodynamic hood with a rear axle shifted backward, came out of the assembly shop. The new model combines the comfort and style of the hood model with the maneuverability of the COE version with a cab above the engine. In order to conquer the American construction market, Kenworth is replenishing its range with the powerful C500B dump truck model. In the spring of 1988, the T400A model of the short-haul tractor was presented at the annual exhibition.
Kenworth's next innovation was the installation of small sleeping compartments on dump trucks. In 1989, the Kenworth T450 series was introduced, a variant of a powerful dump truck with a 112-inch cab from the bumper to the rear of the cab, and at the same time a new T600A modification was introduced.
The main feature of Kenworth tractors is the quality and durability that is inherent in American trucks.