Indiana Gov. Eric J. Holcomb and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett joined executives from Palmer Trucks, a third generation, family-owned truck sales, parts and service provider, as the company announced plans to expand its operations in central Indiana. To support its growth, the company plans to create up to 220 new jobs by the end of 2022.
"With homegrown Hoosier companies like Palmer Trucks at the wheel, Indiana will continue to position our state for long-term economic stabilization and growth," Gov. Holcomb said. "For 55 years, Palmer Trucks has provided quality products and services to customers across the country. Now, the company is growing again in Indiana, expanding its Indianapolis footprint and creating even more career opportunities for Hoosiers."
The company, which is one of the largest privately held businesses in Indiana, will invest more than $17 million to expand and enhance its operations in Indianapolis, establishing a new facility, Kenworth of Indianapolis – East, and upgrading its long-standing dealership Kenworth of Indianapolis – West. On the East side, Palmer Trucks will purchase and equip the 140,000-square-foot former Celadon Group facility at 9704 E. 30th St., transforming the facility to house a diesel technician training center, parts warehouse, body shop, corporate offices and full-service Kenworth dealership. The company expects the building to be fully operational this fall.
Across the city, Palmer Trucks will make significant investments in its West side dealership at 2929 Holt Road, allowing the company to co-locate its Palmer Power & Truck Equipment operations at the facility. Together, these investments will expand the company’s services to the trucking industry while increasing long-term efficiencies and output within its fabrication, hydraulic power and truck equipment division.
“Despite the pandemic, we have remained safe and operational to serve our customers,” said John Nichols, CEO of Palmer Trucks. “Our economy depends upon trucks to keep moving forward, and this expansion project will enable us to keep more trucks on the road, ultimately increasing customers’ truck uptime. We’re here for our customers and community. This investment will allow us to better serve the trucking industry for not only the Indianapolis market, but all trucking customers across the region. We’re excited for this opportunity and the positive impact to the Indianapolis community through job creation and skills training.”
Palmer Trucks employs more than 650 associates, including 350 in Indiana, across its 18 locations. The company is hiring immediately for diesel technicians, parts logistics, sales and support roles. Interested applicants may apply online.
At today’s announcement, Gov. Holcomb also presented the company with the 2020 Half Century Business Award, which honors Hoosier businesses that have remained in operation for a minimum of 50 consecutive years and have demonstrated a commitment to community service.
Founded by Eldon Palmer in 1965, Palmer Trucks has a network of full-service dealers in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois, offering medium and heavy-duty Kenworth® trucks and other commercial truck products and services to customers across the U.S. The company also launched a separate division, Palmer Power and Truck Equipment, in 2001 to provide services and installations for vocational dump trucks and other specialty markets.
“Marion County remains open for business,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Even during a period of historic public health challenges, Indianapolis continues to be one of the best locations in the country to grow companies, engage talent, and connect with a national and even global market. We’re proud to work with Palmer Trucks, the state, and other partners to bring more good-paying jobs to the eastside of Indianapolis.”
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) offered Palmer Trucks up to $2.9 million in conditional tax credits based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired. The city of Indianapolis supports the project at the request of Develop Indy.