Published September 20, 2011
Volume 19, Number 9

Early Hacienda Tenant Penske Keeps Rolling Along

(Left to right) Penske’s Peter L. Weeks, Marah Huddleston, and
Jim Zacanti.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

Roger Penske rose to fame for his success on the speedway more than four decades ago, but his name continues to be indelibly associated with all things automotive. One reason why has to be the bold Penske logo emblazoned on the thousands of bright yellow trucks that ply highways and byways around the globe.

The retired race car driver founded Penske Truck Leasing in 1969. Originally a three-location rental and lease business, it has grown into a multibillion-dollar transportation services company with more than 1,000 sites worldwide. The company’s product line includes full-service truck leasing, contract maintenance, commercial and consumer truck rentals, used truck sales, transportation and warehousing management, and supply chain management solutions.

Penske’s Western Region headquarters is responsible primarily for truck rental and leasing. It was one of Hacienda’s earliest tenants, occupying space on the ground floor of the first building erected in the park, recalls Senior Vice President Peter Weeks. The group has moved a few times but has been in its current location at 5994 West Las Positas Blvd. for the past 11 years.

The office is relatively small—just five employees—but it covers a lot of territory. The region encompasses nearly 150 locations and almost 1,850 employees spread throughout nine western states, the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, and Mexico.        

Weeks observes that while Penske is not the largest nationwide company in the consumer rental business, it has the newest and best maintained fleet, which at peak season numbers 15,000 trucks. “We are the only company with a network of 600 shops around the United States, so if the customer encounters anything from a broken windshield wiper to a larger problem, we can deliver a higher level of service,” he notes.

Not all its vehicles sport the Penske name. Manufacturers as diverse as McDonald’s, Whirlpool, and Ford turn to the company for truck leasing, putting their own logo on the vehicles. Contract services can range from selecting the right vehicle for the job to maintenance and repair to routing, dispatching, and providing drivers.

In the transportation business, sustainability is a top-of-mind issue, and Penske is proud of its initiatives in this area. As the company renovates its facilities, it is converting to low power products, for instance “retrofitting the lights in our shops at a rapid pace to reduce energy consumption,” Weeks says.

It is making an even bigger impact through its new vehicles. “When going down a congested highway like the Nimitz, a new tractor today with all the EPA-required pollution controls will emit exhaust that is cleaner than the intake, thanks to diesel particulate filters that take the soot out of the air. We are promoting that technology and making it very easy for customers to replace their older vehicles.”

Of course, the best way for a vehicle to contribute to cleaner air is to reduce its use, and Penske is also active on that front. “Our logistics side helps customers reduce the overall number of miles they run,” says Weeks. “It’s part of our role as a partner to help them achieve an efficient operation at the lowest possible cost.”

For more information, visit www.GoPenske.com.  


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