KIRKLAND, WA. Kenworth Truck Company employees and members of the press celebrated a milestone here yesterday –the 50,000th PACCAR MX series engine to be installed in a Kenworth truck. The special engine is under the hood of a new T680 Day Cab, heading to work in the UPS operation that serves the Seattle, WA area.
While the commemorative plaque Kenworth presented to UPS representative Robert Filosa, UPS West Region Automotive Coordinator, celebrated the occasion, there was something else deserving of celebration also—something perhaps even more significant over time: the amazing way that technology is helping, even requiring OEMs and their customers to move far beyond transactional relationships to true working partnerships.
Both UPS and Kenworth representatives remarked on the transformation in their formal and informal remarks. “Kenworth and UPS have an excellent relationship, and it’s great to recognize UPS with Kenworth’s 50,000th PACCAR MX series engine,” said Preston Feight, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president.
“We appreciate our productive collaboration with Kenworth and MHC Kenworth –Atlanta [the Kenworth dealership for UPS] and look forward to our continued mutual success,” noted Bill Brentar, UPS director of maintenance and engineering for transportation equipment at the company’s Atlanta, GA headquarters. “Our Kenworth T680s with the PACCAR MX engine are performing well in UPS operations throughout the United States.”
UPS currently operates some 1,000 other Kenworth trucks also equipped with the PACCAR MX engine and collaboration is the order of the day. Technologies such as the new TruckTech+, (developed in yet another collaboration between Kenworth and PeopleNet) enhance vehicle diagnostics by providing information on PACCAR MX engine “health” to fleet managers and dealers to help optimize truck uptime and productivity. The system even diagnoses problems and provides recommended solutions.
This process of looking at problems and solutions together day in and day out creates cooperative teams, or as Filosa remarked during a press briefing, “it forces a partnership.” And those partnerships can be truly remarkable not only in their ability to get work done but to innovate and create even better futures.
Looking ahead for example, Kenworth chief engineer, Kevin Baney, noted that the next step will be predictive maintenance. “Over time, we will create a ‘reasoning engine,’” he said, “[an engine that learns].” Using data fleets share with us will allow us to create regional specs, for instance, he added. We will also be able to use shared data here on the engineering side to make even better products and better recommendations for our customers. It will be beautiful.
The way that technology is enabling trucking to create such productive partnerships is something the whole industry can celebrate.