Front from left Don Williams husband of Wendy Williams Rick Riel director of Saskatchewan operations Josh Leach assistant director of Manitoba operations and son of Brent Leach Sharon Riel wife of Rick Riel Sheri Leach and her husband Don Leach cofounder and Brenda Leach and her husband Ken Leach vice president and son of Don Leach Back from left Brent Leach president and son of Don Leach and his sister Wendy Williams operating director and daughter of Don Leach

Front, from left, Don Williams (husband of Wendy Williams); Rick Riel (director of Saskatchewan operations); Josh Leach (assistant director of Manitoba operations and son of Brent Leach); Sharon Riel (wife of Rick Riel); Sheri Leach and her husband, Don Leach (co-founder); and Brenda Leach and her husband, Ken Leach (vice president and son of Don Leach). Back, from left, Brent Leach (president and son of Don Leach) and his sister, Wendy Williams (operating director and daughter of Don Leach).

CTS celebrates 50 years as Kenworth in Canada

Custom Truck Sales (CTS) recently celebrated its 50th anniversary as a Kenworth dealership with five customer events that attracted nearly 1,000 customers at its dealerships in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the company said.

“A tour of Kenworth T680 and T880 trucks, specially painted in the dealer’s colors and decaled with its 50th anniversary logo, tied the five events together by offering customers a closer look at Kenworth’s latest on-highway and vocational truck offerings. Events were hosted by Custom Truck Sales locations in Regina, Saskatoon and Estevan, Saskatchewan; and Brandon and Winnipeg, Manitoba,” the company said.

“It’s appropriate that we chose to honor my grandfather and father’s decision 50 years ago to become a Kenworth dealer with a tour that featured four of Kenworth’s newest and most innovative Class 8 trucks,” said Custom Truck Sales president Brent Leach, who’s been with the company for 30 years.

Brent’s grandfather, Arnold Leach, organized a group and approached Kenworth to obtain the franchise in 1965. Brent’s father, Don, left his job at the provincial gas company and joined his father to start the dealership, the company said. Today, Brent’s brother, Ken, is vice president; his sister, Wendy Williams, is one of the company’s operating directors; and another brother, Rob, is a non-operating partner.

“Grandpa Leach was selling trucks for another OEM, but became a Kenworth dealer because his experience showed him that Kenworth made the industry’s best trucks,” Brent said. “Back then, the Kenworth LW924 and the Kenworth W923 had a strong reputation among oilfield explorers and vocational customers for handling the 40-below temperatures and the area’s diverse environment. The W900 and K100 cabover also were the truck of choice for Canadian long-haul truckers. Grandpa Leach just knew Kenworth represented our family’s future.”

Flash forward 50 years and the Kenworth T680 and the Kenworth T880 are now drawing attention from CTS customers with aerodynamic engineering and design and with driver comfort and productivity enhancing details, Brent added.

“The Kenworth T680, with its industry-leading aerodynamic design coupled with the PACCAR MX-13 engine and driven through the Eaton Fuller Advantage 13- or 18-speed automated transmissions, provides our customers potential fuel economy savings they find very compelling,” he said. “Plus, the T680’s roomy cab, comfortable sleeper and other driver-focused features helps fleets to retain and recruit drivers.”

Brent said the Kenworth T880 is also a big hit with Custom Truck Sales customers. “The amount of personal and storage space the T880 offers drivers, the quieter cab with triple-sealed doors, plus the greater visibility from the panoramic windshield are big selling points,” he said. “So is the PACCAR MX-13 engine, which when coupled with an automated transmission, provides drivers a less stressful work environment.”

“If my grandfather were alive today and looking for a sign that he and my father had made the right choice to join Kenworth, the positive customer reaction to those four commemorative Kenworth trucks at our anniversary celebrations certainly would have said it all,” Brent added. “We certainly appreciated having nearly 1,000 of our customers join us in celebrating our 50th anniversary.

“Over the years, the trucking market in Saskatchewan and Manitoba has always remained diversified,” Brent said. “We’ve been able to keep pace because Kenworth engineers not only design and build trucks that meet a wide variety of needs, but also feature those important details that make a huge difference for our customers.”

The company’s success also comes from the hard work of its dedicated employees, a number of whom have been with CTS for 30 years or more, he added.

Each dealership celebration featured formal hosted venues or barbecues with truck displays, according to the company. In addition, the dealer also featured STARS Air Ambulance at all five anniversary celebrations. The emergency medical organization provides life-saving transport via helicopter and plane to critically ill and injured patients in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan from rural areas to area hospitals and trauma centers.

“My father is proud – as would be my grandfather – that we chose to make a major donation and provide awareness for an organization that’s helped save thousands of lives in our communities,” Brent added.

“It’s gratifying for Custom Truck Sales to celebrate its 50th anniversary and feature Kenworth’s most innovative trucks in that special celebration,” said Preston Feight, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president. “Kenworth engineers develop the industry’s best trucks and our employees build them to handle some of the harshest operating conditions in North America. But ultimately, we know a great deal of our success lies in the dedication and service that dealers such as Custom Truck Sales provide to Kenworth customers. Kenworth congratulates Custom Truck Sales on its 50th anniversary.”

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