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Kenworth: Innovators Since the Beginning

The Kenworth Truck company, a subsidiary of PACCAR, is one of the top manufacturers of medium and heavy duty class 8 trucks. Of course, they were not always well known. As with any other company, they had to work hard to create a name for themselves, and work hard they did.

The Early Years

In 1912, two brothers in Portland, Oregon began with a dealership for cars and trucks. George and Louis Gerlinger, Jr. named this dealership Gerlinger Motor Car Works. Two years later, they decided that they would rather be in the manufacturing business, and produced trucks with an inline six-cylinder engine, which was an innovation at that time. In 1917, the brothers sold their business to Edgar Worthington and Captain Frederick Kent. The Captain retired two years later, leaving his son to partner with Worthington. In 1923, the company was incorporated under the name Kenworth, an amalgamation of their names. By 1926 they were producing truck parts and buses.

Moving Fast

The Pacific Car and Foundry Company purchased the Kenworth Company, and in 1960 became an international manufacturer of trucks. The Dynacraft division was founded in 1967 and began manufacturing adapters, hoses, belts, and other parts for use at Kenworth truck plants. By 1972, the shareholders decided that the old Pacific Car and Foundry Company was no longer working with their vision and products, so they changed the name to PACCAR Inc. and made The Pacific Car and Foundry company a division, located in its original facility in Renton. This move would make Kenworth the brand that is well known for its high quality, durable trucks.

The Secret to Success

Kenworth was able to become the most accredited producer of trucks in America just 92 years after its founding. This was a result of a several company values:


  • Performance- Kenworth does not compromise when it comes to the quality of their products.
  • Innovation- Kenworth was founded with the idea of innovation, ever since the Gerlinger brothers made the first truck to use a six cylinder inline engine.
  • Quality- When customers are happy, they create more business. Customers are happy when they receive high quality products. This rings true with Kenworth, which has never made anything less than the best.


J.R. Ruble and Sons offers Kenworth trucks alongside other brands of high-quality tractors, chassis, and other trucking necessities. Contact us to find out how we can meet all of your needs.