Palmer Trucks plans $17M expansion, 220 new jobs in Indianapolis

Keywords Trucking

Palmer Trucks on Tuesday said it would spend more than $17 million to expand its operations in Indianapolis, adding up to 220 jobs by the end of 2022.

The 55-year-old locally based company said it would purchase and renovate the 140,000-square-foot former Celadon Group Inc. facility at 9704 E. 30th St., and use the facility to house a diesel technician training center, parts warehouse, body shop, corporate offices and full-service Kenworth truck dealership.

Palmer Trucks said the new dealership, called Kenworth of Indianapolis-East, should be operational this fall.

The company also plans to upgrade and expand its west-side Kenworth dealership at 2929 S. Holt Road, which it opened in 1970. Plans call for the company to move its Palmer Power & Truck Equipment operations, 2415 Thompson Road, to the Holt Road facility.

Palmer Power and Truck Equipment was founded in 2001 to provide services and installations for vocational dump trucks and other specialty markets.

Palmer Trucks ranks as the 27th largest private company in Indiana, according to IBJ research. It reported $474.1 million in revenue in 2019, up from $392.4 million the previous year.

The company has more than 650 employees in 18 locations in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois, including 350 in Indiana.

It said it would begin hiring immediately for diesel technicians and for parts logistics, sales and support employees.

“Despite the pandemic, we have remained safe and operational to serve our customers,” Palmer Trucks CEO John Nichols said in written remarks. “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. This investment will allow us to better serve the trucking industry for not only the Indianapolis market, but all trucking customers across the region.”

Indianapolis-based Celadon Group began winding down its business operations and selling assets after filing for in bankruptcy in December. The former trucking giant owned about 102 acres in Indianapolis alone—most of it on the east side.

Celadon subsidiary Quality Cos. had its headquarters on the 20-acre tract where Palmer Trucks plans its east-side facility.

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