When Kenworth unveiled its new long-hood, the Kenworth W990 in 2018, it didn’t take long for John Pocock to schedule a meeting with Sam Moss, Kenworth Sales Company – Idaho Falls new truck salesman to place an order.
“Kenworth trucks, primarily Kenworth long-hood tractors, have been a part of our operation for years,” said Pocock, who owns Pocock Trucking. “The traditional look of the long-hood has played a role in establishing our company brand and how we’re perceived by our customers. Plus, our drivers enjoy operating them. Kenworth produces high quality trucks. When Kenworth announced that they were coming out with the Kenworth W990, I knew it could only be an improved version of its predecessor. Kenworth’s reputation solidified my decision in transitioning to the new truck.”
For Pocock, his experience with Kenworth began when he drove a Kenworth for his father, John S. Pocock, who previously owned the company. The behind the wheel experience played a role in Pocock Trucking’s continued relationship with Kenworth.
“My dad started Pocock Trucking in 1979 and, in 1985, I started driving for him,” Pocock recalled. “I drove a Kenworth cabover, making deliveries throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho pulling hopper bottom doubles to deliver fertilizer, potatoes and coal. That’s when my appreciation for the quality of trucks that Kenworth produces began to build, and as our company continued to grow, so did our fleet of Kenworths.”
Today, the Sugar City, Idaho-based bulk hauling company specializes in delivering fertilizer, grain, wheat, potatoes, road salt and other bulk commodities in the lower 48 states and in Canada. Pocock Trucking operates 32 company-owned trucks and has contracts with 40 owner-operators. The fleet is primarily made up of Kenworth long hoods, including eight 76-inch mid-roof Kenworth W990s and one 52-inch mid-roof Kenworth W990 — all spec’d with PACCAR MX-13engines rated at 510 hp, 1,850 lb.-ft of torque and 18-speed transmissions. Pocock Trucking currently has two more 76-inch mid-roof Kenworth W990s on order.
“We’ve been placing Kenworth truck orders with Sam at Kenworth Sales Company for years now,” said Pocock. “He knows our operation well. When we need a truck, he knows exactly what we need and how to spec it out. He’s become a good friend and a great asset for our operation.”
According to Pocock, when PACCAR began offering the PACCAR MX-13 engine with a rating of 510 hp in 2016, the power was exactly what the company had been waiting for. It’s become the engine of choice for Pocock Trucking. “Since we haul up to 120,000 lb. GCW, we need that extra horsepower,” said Pocock. “It’s been a great engine for us, and it’s reliable.”
The company’s Kenworth trucks typically average 145,000 miles per year and are traded into Kenworth Sales Company – Idaho Falls around 600,000 miles to ensure drivers are always in new equipment, according to Pocock.
“Driver retention is big for us,” said Pocock. “We let some of our senior drivers choose which truck make and model they want us to purchase. We want our drivers to be comfortable and happy with what they’re driving. The way our fleet is made up, the majority of our drivers tend to go with Kenworth long hoods. I believe allowing drivers to choose what trucks they drive helps us reduce our driver turnover.”
According to Pocock, all of the fleet’s 76-inch mid-roof Kenworth W990s feature the W990 Limited Edition interior, which comes in midnight black with glossy Ravenwood door and dash trim accents. The special interior features rich black leather, embroidered W990 logo, Royal Blue double-stitched diamond door pads, black leather wrapped steering wheel with Royal Blue stitching, and driver and passenger seats with suede charcoal inserts and perforated leather with Royal Blue backing.
“Our drivers love the creature comforts and latest technology features in the cabs of Kenworth trucks,” said Pocock. “Our goal is to always provide our drivers with the highest quality equipment and driver comforts. It’s one of the main reasons our driver turnover is so low.”
Jed Bush, who has driven for Pocock Trucking for 18 years and has logged 4 million miles in the Kenworth W900L in his career, is one of Pocock Trucking’s latest drivers to transition to the Kenworth W990.
“I’ve driven quite a few truck makes in my career, and nothing in my opinion compared to the Kenworth W900L,” said Bush. “I thought it was the best truck out there, but the Kenworth W990 has changed that. It’s everything the W900L is and more. The improved visibility and lighting in the W990 is more driver friendly – it’s especially noticeable when driving at night. And the performance I get from the PACCAR MX-13 engine is solid – I get plenty of power. The technological upgrades in the cab, like Bluetooth capability, is also a plus. I’ve always thought that Kenworth produces the best trucks on the market, and the W990 is living up to that.”
With more than 90,000 miles under his belt in the Kenworth W990, Bush said that his truck gets a lot of attention when he’s out on the road. And the compliments from drivers and customers seem to be a daily occurrence.
“Everyone seems to take notice of the truck, it’s pretty cool,” said Bush. “The other day I had a customer come out to chat with me and he mentioned that it’s the best-looking truck he’s ever seen. It’s great to be running equipment that receives high praise.”
According to Pocock, operating high quality equipment helps the company achieve its marketing goals.
“Our trucks are what our customers see, and we want to deliver their products in clean, good-looking trucks,” said Pocock. “The Kenworth brand aligns well with how we want our customers to view our company.”