Peterbilt’s Denton, Texas, factory, which has become the main manufacturing facility for the brand since it was built in 1980, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.
The plant, which began operation as a 435,000-square-foot facility with 81 employees on 80 acres of land, now sits on 238 acres and employs more than 2,500 people in a 700,000-square-foot multi-building facility. Susan Bishop and Ken Montgomery, two of the original 81 employees, still work at the plant today.
“During the past 40 years Peterbilt has built over 629,000 trucks in the Denton plant and we’re constantly investing and implementing new technologies and processes to improve our quality and efficiency for the future,” said Leon Handt, Peterbilt assistant general manager of operations. “The past five years alone have seen investments in automated overhead parts storage and retrieval, automated guided vehicle assembly lines, additional emissions reduction equipment, a brand-new test building as well as numerous enhancements throughout the plant.”
The Peterbilt Experience was also added to the Denton plant to give customers a look at the OEM’s past, present and future. It includes the very first truck to roll off the Denton assembly line, along with other classic trucks, the latest Peterbilt models, cab and sleeper cutaways, and a full lineup of PACCAR engines and powertrains, as well as multiple interactive displays.
"In a regular year we have thousands of people touring the Peterbilt Denton Plant. The ability to see our amazing employees utilizing the advanced tools and technology to build each Peterbilt truck to a customer’s exact specifications really shows off the quality of our product. It is one of the strongest selling tools we have," said Robert Woodall, Peterbilt’s assistant general manager of sales and marketing.