Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Fletcher Announces Hendrickson USA to Locate New Facility in Somerset

Press Release Date:  Monday, January 22, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher and Cabinet for Economic Development Commissioner J.R. Wilhite were in Pulaski County today to participate in the announcement and groundbreaking ceremony for Somerset’s newest corporate citizen. Hendrickson USA, LLC, a supplier of heavy-duty transportation equipment, will open its newest operation in summer 2007, bringing 120 new jobs and more than $24.3 million in investment to the commonwealth.

“I congratulate the Somerset community on its attraction of Hendrickson,” said Governor Fletcher. “There is no doubt that Hendrickson will be able to attract talented and highly skilled workers from the entire region, enabling them to surpass its already high expectations for this new facility.”

Hendrickson will occupy a 160,000 square-foot facility, located on 19 acres in Somerset’s Valley Oak Industrial Park, where it will produce trailer axles and trailer air suspensions for the heavy-duty transportation industry.

“Hendrickson is excited about coming to the Somerset community,” said Gary Gerstenslager, Hendrickson president and chief operating officer. “We would like to thank the state of Kentucky and the Somerset-Pulaski County Development Foundation for all of their support. We look forward to working with this community.”

Somerset will be Hendrickson’s second facility in Kentucky. In 1998, the Truck Suspension Systems division opened a plant in Lebanon, Kentucky.

The Somerset plant becomes the sixth manufacturing plant for Hendrickson Trailer Suspension Systems headquartered in Canton, Ohio, a business unit of Hendrickson based in Itasca, IL. Other trailer suspension facilities include a plant and research and development center at Canton; plants in Mitchell, SD, Lebanon, IN, Clarksville, TN, and Lugoff, SC; and distribution centers in Canada and Mexico.

Hendrickson maintains a reputation in the industry for producing dependable, high quality products, which is a reflection of our employees,” Gerstenslager added. “The people in this area exhibit these same values, which is why we are excited about coming to the Somerset community.”

Hendrickson began in 1913 with the founding of The Hendrickson Motor Truck Company and today is a major supplier to every North American heavy-duty truck and trailer OEM, as well as many manufacturers in Europe, Austria, Mexico, Japan, and Latin America. The Hendrickson operation comprises more than 3,000 people, with 21 facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia and the Pacific Rim.

 “I would like to welcome Hendrickson to Pulaski County,” said Pulaski County Judge Executive Barty Bullock. “This will have a favorable economic boost to Somerset and Pulaski County. I visited their facility in Clarksville, TN back in December and was very impressed with the operation.  This is the type of industry we are looking for in Pulaski County.”

“I would like to thank Hendrickson for this new investment and all those that worked so hard to bring it to reality,” said Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler. “This project will provide terrific employment opportunities for dozens of families in the region and inject a significant investment into our community.”

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Hendrickson USA, LLC for tax benefits up to $2.4 million under the Kentucky Industrial Development Act (KIDA), an incentive program designed to attract and expand manufacturing operations in the state.

A community profile for Pulaski County can be viewed at the following link:

About Hendrickson USA

Hendrickson, a Boler company, is one of the largest global suppliers of truck and tractor suspensions, trailer suspensions, truck and trailer lift axles, bumpers and trim components and springs to the commercial transportation industry. Hendrickson, based in Itasca, IL, continues to meet the needs of the transportation industry after more than 90 years. Visit the Hendrickson Web site at