Kenworth Trucks Starts Hiring Again

by TJ on March 4, 2011

Used Semi Trailers is the Number One online platform for buying and selling used trucking equipment including all types of semi trailers from lo-boys to specialty trailers.

We put the spotlight on Kenworth Truck Company and after a three year hiring freeze, the truck manufacturer has started taking on workers again:

The economy has taken a massive hit in the last three years, and one of the hardest hit sectors is the trucking industry. But the trucking industry is much more than just the rigs and semi trailers you see on the highways. As the recession bit into retailers, so they ordered less meaning manufacturers made less and all round shipping needs started to dry up.

Over 300,000 truckers lost their jobs in the recession, but the victims included not only the carriers but the large number of companies which sell trucks and equipment to them. As the carriers stopped buying new trucks and trailers, so layoffs appeared across the board; from truck dealers, truck and trailer manufacturers and a whole host of support and maintenance providers.

The Kenworth Truck Company was no exception.

In 2006, Kenworth employed 1,800 people at its Chillicothe plant in Ross County, OH – the county’s biggest employer. Orders started to dry up in 2007 though the underlying economic situation was hidden by the introduction of new emissions legislation and standards, which caused carriers to accelerate truck purchases to acquire vehicles before the new rules took effect.

By 2008, the economic recession had started to make its presence felt and the layoffs started in earnest.

By the end of 2010, Kenworth’s earnings had tripled, but with a faltering recovery new hires simply did not happen. The impact on the local economy was devastating for Ross County, but there is now good news – Kenworth is hiring again.

Kenworth is cautious about the outlook for truck manufacturing. Global truck markets are improving and there is some welcome growth predicted in overseas markets, however there are concerns. The current unrest in the Middle East is creating concern, not least because of the impact on gas prices at home. Kenworth needs trucking companies to be profitable and to provide a lower cost of logistical service to their own customers if the economic recovery is not to be stalled. Fuel costs may not have a direct impact on Kenworth, but the impact of Middle East political issues is affecting every aspect of the US economy – never before has the US had to operate in such an environment where what happens on the far side of the world has an impact on what happens right here at home and in small town America.

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