Keith Redden's retirement dream was to start a trucking firm. "I said if I owned six trucks, I could make a living. Now we have 24 trucks, and I enjoy it more every day."
In 2003, Redden retired from his day job and started K Redden Trucking with three used Kenworths. Two years later, he began purchasing new trucks. "I buy only top-of-the-line Kenworth T800s," said Redden. "We're known for having the best fleet of dump trucks in the area, and the best drivers."
Headquartered in Floyds Knob, Ind. - just across the river from Louisville, Ky. - K Redden grew to $2.5 million last year, a 10 percent increase over the year before. Redden credits his drivers, and Kenworth trucks.
"My older T800 dumps are running about 6.4 mpg," said the aggregate hauler. "But the new T800s with the PACCAR MX engines are getting between 7.0 to 7.4 mpg, quite a jump. Some of our MX engines have 40,000 miles on them now and we've had no problems at all. We're switching to PACCAR MX engines."
While his drivers haul asphalt and aggregate for highway construction, and road salt in winter, Redden anchors the office and maintenance shop. "I have no office help but me," he said "I do most of the preventative maintenance myself and the Kenworth quality difference is like night and day. For one thing, there are fewer maintenance issues overall. Our trucks don't break down, and our customers like having good-looking, reliable trucks on their jobsites."
Redden's newest T800s - purchased from Peterson Kenworth in Louisville - are spec'd with the 455hp PACCAR MX engine, Eaton® UltraShift® Plus transmission, Dana 46,000 lb. rear axles, ALCOA aluminum wheels, Bendix® front air disc brakes, and Kenworth's Extended Day Cab with premium interiors.
"The more comfortable I can make our drivers, the longer they'll want to work here," said Redden. "We have drivers who have been with us from day one. When our drivers are happy, they tell their buddies and that makes it easy to attract more quality drivers."
For Redden, driver pride and Kenworth quality go hand-in-hand with the company's success. "My drivers are marketing the company every day," he said. "Without them, we can't run this business. While Kenworth trucks project a quality image out there, the T800 provides the best overall comfort for my drivers. Our guys take a lot of pride in their Kenworth T800s and I put the same driver in the same truck everyday. He takes good care his truck and I have less maintenance issues. At last trade-in, we got twice for our Kenworth T800s what other trucks are getting."
Asked how the company's doing in the current economy, Redden said, "The recession hasn't hurt us at all and we've continued to grow. I attribute that to the quality image of our Kenworth T800s. People like the looks of our trucks. They know Kenworth trucks aren't going to break down on the job." That translates into more contracts, he said, because customers know they can depend on K Redden Trucking.
Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World's Best® heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth is an industry leader in providing fuel-saving technology solutions that help increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. The company's dedication to the green fleet includes aerodynamic trucks, compressed and liquefied natural gas trucks, and medium duty diesel-electric hybrids. Kenworth is the only truck manufacturer to receive the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Excellence award in recognition of its environmentally friendly products. In addition, the fuel-efficient Kenworth T700 equipped with the low-emission PACCAR MX engine was named the 2011 Heavy Duty Commercial Truck of the Year by the American Truck Dealers. Kenworth is also the recipient of the 2011 J.D. Power and Associates award for Highest in Customer Satisfaction for Heavy Duty Truck Dealer Service. Kenworth's Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth. A PACCAR Company.