Kenworth adds to heavy, medium lines

Kenworth Truck Co. is expanding both its heavy- and medium-duty product lines this year with the release of a variety of new models

LOUISVILLE, KY. Kenworth Truck Co. is expanding both its heavy- and medium-duty product lines this year with the release of a variety of new models. The OEM is also introducing an emissions-free no-idle system that will help OTR fleets meet stricter state clean-air regs.

The OEM announced the addition of an extended day cab option to its Class 8 T660 model here at the Mid-America Trucking Show. The extended version adds six inches. to the standard day cab’s 122-in. BBC length, five inches to its height and two more inches behind the wheel.

Kenworth gm Bob Christensen said that in June the company will start offering the “Clean Power” no-idle system as a factory-installed option on T660 72-in. AeroCabs. Clean Power incorporates a deep-cycle battery pack, thermal cooler, and diesel-fired heater so a driver can heat and cool this truck without running the engine. It generates 110 volts of “hotel load” power to operate items such as computers, TVs, and microwaves while the truck is shut down. The system can also recharge and operate simultaneously while connected to shore power, noted Mike Dozier, Kenworth’s chief engineer.

“The keys with Clean Power, however, are that it comes with a factory warranty and generates no emissions compared to diesel-powered auxiliary power units,” Dozier said. “That’s critical because California Air Resources Board is working on a diesel particulate filter rule for diesel-powered APUs for 2008 that could add $2,000 to $5,000 to their cost.”

The company also plans a series of additions to its medium-duty product line, noted Gary Moore, Kenworth’s assistant GM. In July, the Class 6 T270 and Class 7 T370 join the company’s long-standing T330 conventional line of medium-duty trucks, followed by the Class 6 K260 and Class 7 K360 cabover models in November. All will come standard with either the PX-6 or PX-8 engines built by Kenworth’s parent company, Paccar.

“We need a full array of truck models to make sure we meet all the vehicle needs of our customers,” Moore told FleetOwner. “We see the medium-duty market growing because increased congestion in urban areas drives demand for smaller, more maneuverable trucks. Medium-duty trucks also tend to stay closer to home, which translates into more parts and service business for our dealers.”

Finally, Kenworth plans to roll out a medium-duty hybrid truck package based on its T330 platform this April. The hybrid counterpart is designed to improve fuel economy by 30% in P&D, municipal fleet and utility service operations, said Dozier.

“Trucks have been for too long the villain in terms of their interaction with the environment,” Preston Feight, director of product development, told FleetOwner. “Having hybrid medium-duty trucks and an emission-free no-idle system for Class 8 tractors will really change that -- reducing emissions and saving fuel in each application, all at the same time.”

To comment on this article, write to Sean Kilcarr at [email protected]

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