Penn Yan Express: Still better than ever

Formed in 1941, Penn Yan Express developed into a major carrier in the northeast United States.  Penn Yan, the county seat of Yates county New York, became the primary operating area during its early years, although the company quickly expanded in 1951 after being purchased by Bob Hinson.  The name Penn Yan, a small town of just over 5,000 people, is said, by some, to be the combination of “Pennsylvania” and “Yankee” as most of the original settles in 1799 came from either Pennsylvania or New England.

The next several decades Penn Yan expanded rapidly to cover most part of the northeast United States.  Penn Yan was an innovative fleet, reportedly becoming the first trucking company to use doubles on the New York State thruway in 1958, that same year being one of the first to equip all trucks with two-way radios.

After going public in 1972 the company continued to expand through a combination of good service and key acquisitions.  Sold in 1983 to Con-way Eastern Express, Penn Yan Express began to extensively use the shorter symbols PYX along with its well known tag line “Now better than ever…”

In the mid-1980s Jack Tonkin replicated PYX as a 1:87 HO scale model forming the early inspiration to Tonkin Replicas 1:87 scale TON line (www.tontrucks.com) which featured accurate replicas in a scale that was affordable to be used for mass use sales promotion.

Great sources for more information on Penn Yan Expess and the city of Penn Yan can be found at:

The Trucking Pioneers, Book V, by M.K. Terebecki, Pioneer Press, 4338 Dover Crossing Drive, Marietta, GA 30066, First Edition 1995, available from the American Truck Historical Society, P.O. Box 531168, Birmingham, AL 35259.

Penn Yan, New York

Good Photos of Penn Yan Express from the David Faust Collection