Owner-Operator Enjoys Kenworth W900’s Classic Styling, Driver Comfort and Low Maintenance Cost
POCATELLO, Idaho,– Growing up, Richard Walter had a single-minded fascination with trucks. He described himself as a “truck fanatic” who read everything there was to know about each make and model.
“I wanted a Kenworth W900 since the first time I saw a picture of one in a magazine in 1984, when I was 16 years old,” says Walter.
When he finally got to drive his first Kenworth, he says, “Everything that I had ever read or heard about Kenworth was true. Quality built, comfort, everything.”
Walter purchased his first Kenworth, a 1984 K100 cabover with 700,000 miles, in 1991. “I wanted a W900, but couldn’t afford one,” says Walter. “At that time, I had $250 in the bank. But I got into a Kenworth and it was fantastic.”
Walter drove his K100 cabover for about one year while he saved money to buy his dream truck. “I still didn’t think I could afford a new truck, but Kenworth salesman Jeff McQuillan in Kansas City put some numbers together and said, ‘For $300 more a month, you could have a brand new truck.’ So I ordered my first new Kenworth W900 in 1992 and never looked back.”
“I’ll never forget that day,” says Walter with satisfaction. “There’s nothing like the classic styling of a Kenworth W900. For me, style is everything. The W900 is good looking and quality built. You can’t find a more comfortable, smoother riding truck. It’s just the best truck on the road.”
Walter quite literally lived in his truck from 1992 until 2001. “I wasn’t married, I loved driving Kenworth W900s and I saw no reason to own a home when I could live in my truck.” Every few years, he would trade his Kenworth W900 for a new one and experience the joy of new ownership all over again. During that 10-year period, so great was his love affair with his W900s that he had the Kenworth logo tattooed on his forearm.
Married now, Walter and his wife, Diny, have settled into a house in Pocatello, Idaho. He is leased to Iron Eagle Express, in nearby Nampa, which specializes in refrigerated cargo. Hauling temperature sensitive foods across 48 states in a special, custom-painted reefer, Walter sometimes stays out on the road for two or three weeks at a time.
“With Kenworth, my maintenance costs are very low because the truck never breaks down. It’s so reliable. And come trade-in time, it holds its value very well. Kenworths have fantastic resale value,” Walter said.
Walter has owned five new Kenworth W900s since 1992, and he’s just as excited today driving Kenworth trucks as he was back then. He still trades his W900 every three years, or 450,000 miles, for a new one with all the latest updates. His 2006 Kenworth W900, spec’d with a 475 hp engine, 13-speed transmission and 265-inch wheelbase, has the 72-inch AeroCab® and new interior with Kenworth DayLite® doors, electric window, power locks, chrome on the gauges, backlit gauges and air ride suspension.
“Kenworth did a really nice job on the latest redesign,” Walter says. “The W900 just keeps getting better and I’m already looking forward to my next one.”
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