Heartland Express was one of the first companies to receive the T680 Signature Edition, and it not only paid tribute to Kenworth’s anniversary, but it also happened to be Kenworth’s 750,000th truck produced at the Chillicothe plant: two milestones in one.
A special ceremony took place in May at the plant, with Heartland Express’ CEO Mike Gerdin receiving the keys to the historic truck from Kevin Baney, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president.
“This is a special year for Kenworth. We’re celebrating our 100th anniversary, and our Chillicothe plant met yet another milestone with the production of its 750,000th truck,” reflected Baney. “It’s a tribute to all that have worked at this plant over the years since it opened nearly 50 years ago. We couldn’t be happier this historic truck is going to a long-time customer like Heartland Express. It’s a fleet that began operation just after the Chillicothe plant opened, and it’s in its second generation as a family-run business – growing to more than 6,000 trucks.”
Heartland Express, a public company based in North Liberty, Iowa, has four trucking companies under its umbrella: Heartland Express, CFI, Millis Transfer, and Smith Transport. The T680 Signature Edition is one of more than 500 T680s Heartland has on order with Kenworth in 2023, through its dealer MHC Kenworth – Cedar Rapids.
“We’re so excited to receive this Signature Edition Kenworth T680 anniversary truck. The Century Platinum paint job will really stand out from our traditional white Heartland fleet trucks,” said Gerdin at the ceremony. “We’re so very proud and honored to drive the 750,000th truck out of the Chillicothe plant. The employees here do a great job – they have pride in the quality of the trucks they’re building, and you can see their passion.”