Q. When was the company founded, who founded it, and what was its original name?
A. Kenworth Alaska’s parent company is Kenworth Northwest, located in Seattle. John Clearwater was the original owner from 1967, opening the Anchorage location in 1974. Marshall Cymbaluk purchased the dealer group in 1998. In 33 years, we’ve traveled just about every road in the state, helping Alaska grow with our dependable top-notch equipment.
Q. Where is Kenworth Alaska located? More than one location?
A. We have two locations. Anchorage, located at 2838 Porcupine Drive, is undergoing an extensive expansion and remodel, doubling the size of our current facility. Completion date is June 2007. Our Fairbanks branch just moved into its new location, 2262 Van Horn Road, which brings a state-of-the-art, full-service facility to the Fairbanks area.
Q. Who heads up your company and who is on its senior management team?
A. Marshall Cymbaluk is the owner and CEO. Paul Henehan is CFO. Ken Mason is COO. They are all located in Washington. Jim Scherieble is Alaska’s general manager and is located in Anchorage.
Q.What is the company’s primary business sector and services?
A. Our business is selling and servicing medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks in the state of Alaska. Our two locations provide truck sales, parts and service for all types of trucking companies and private owners.
Our sales department can offer products to every truck application – from oil field support, highway transportation and intercity delivery, to construction. Our service departments are full service, from engine overhauls, drivetrain repair, brake and suspension maintenance, to general servicing. Our parts departments provide quality, name brand replacement parts at competitive prices.
Q. Who are the company’s main clients?
A. We enjoy a wide range of customers in Alaska. Our oilfield support customers include Veco Alaska, Peak Oilfield Services, ConocoPhillips, and Alyeska Pipeline Services. Our highway customers include Carlile Transportation, Weaver Bros./Doyle Fuel, Food Services, Spenard Builders Supply, Alaska Freight Transport and Sourdough Express, just to name a few.
Q. How many employees does Kenworth have? How many in each of its locations?
A. Our entire company has 275 employees. In Alaska we have 37 employees, 12 in Fairbanks, 25 in Anchorage. We’re proud to have the most experienced people in the industry on staff.
Q. Describe your inventory in general terms.
A. We try to have new stock truck inventory available for our customers, usually line haul trucks, dump trucks and intercity delivery trucks for immediate delivery. Special orders are 7-10 weeks out. Our parts inventory for Alaska averages over 1.1 million dollars.
Q. You’ve indicated the need to expand your operations in Anchorage and detailed your recent Fairbanks expansion. Describe the expansions and reasons for them.
A. Both our locations had outgrown our facilities and we’re now in a position to serve our customers with spacious and functional facilities. Not only are our service departments much larger, but our parts showrooms, lobbies and office spaces have also increased to meet our present and future needs. Customers will have a lounge area to wait in while their vehicles are being repaired. The Fairbanks location has higher visibility, better parking and greater access. The Anchorage facility will have more access gates and a paved and landscaped exterior.
Q. What is your company’s main strength, i.e., its edge over the competition?
A. Kenworth is known as “The World’s Best” in the trucking industry. We have a wide variety of highway and vocational trucks to fit the Alaska truck market. Kenworth builds luxury highway trucks, sturdy dump and log trucks and heavy-application off-road trucks for the oilfield and mining industries.
We’re known for providing our customers with the experience and integrity Alaskans expect, and we work hard to protect that reputation.
Q. Has the company invested in any new technology in the last two years?
A. The trucking industry is changing rapidly. We, as dealers, have to change with it to keep up with technology. Kenworth has implemented a state-of-the-art electronic dash console, and ABS brake systems for trucks and trailers. The new technology requires special training and understanding to repair and maintain this equipment. New diesel engine exhaust emission standards for 2007 also require training and tooling to troubleshoot and repair the new engines.
We’re excited about the new T660, Kenworth’s most highly evolved aerodynamic long haul conventional. Its unsurpassed aerodynamics makes it a perfect truck for line haul applications. With the superior maneuverability provided by its setback front axle, the T600 is the perfect truck for pick up and delivery and regional haul applications.
The T660 is designed and built for driver comfort. Whether you drive yourself or hire drivers, anyone would appreciate the quiet cab, controls where you need them and high quality interior appointments. The T660’s 64” front spring, proprietary eight-bag air suspension and cab/sleeper suspension combine to provide an exceptionally smooth ride. It’s also designed to be easy to maintain. This, coupled with its leading-edge aerodynamics, reliability and high resale value, make it an excellent investment.
Q. What do you see as your company’s biggest challenge in the next five years? Regulations? Government policy?
A. No question, it’s the new engine emission regulations for 2007. 2010 brings even tighter exhaust emission controls, meaning new technology and more particulate filters.
Q. What do you see as future trends or opportunities for your company from events such as long-term weather fluctuations, resource development, etc.?
A. Alaska’s continuing economic growth and the increased activity on the North Slope look to be our greatest opportunities for the future.
Q. Do you have an anniversary or other landmark event coming up?
A. We’re looking at having some sort of shindig this summer to celebrate the grand opening of our “new” Anchorage facility.
Q. What is the average length of time an employee works for the company? Are you hiring for any positions?
A. We have a group of core employees who have been with Kenworth Alaska for many years. Our repair shops historically have had the most turnover, and we are always looking for diesel technicians to add to our shops.
Q.What is your company’s safety record?
A. The Kenworth Alaska branches have a good safety record. Our industry has many moving and rolling parts and vehicles. We utilize safe work habits, have improved our working environment, and hire qualified people to ensure that our employees remain safe.
Q. Does Kenworth maintain websites?
A. We certainly do. We encourage people to visit us at www.kenworth.com or www.kenworthalaska.com. Then come in to either our Anchorage or Fairbanks locations. Our email address is: [email protected]