Kenworth proves it has kept busy

by Truck West

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Kenworth Truck Company made a series of announcements Oct. 1 in Las Vegas, Nev., including the launch of the T680 Advantage with a 52 inch mid-roof sleeper, the FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit option for the T680, the TruckTech+ Service Management system, the expansion of the power management system’s autostart, stop features and bunk heater, the addition of the Cummins Westport ISL G near zero emissions natural gas engine and the addition of Bendix Wingman Advanced as an option for the medium-duty T270 and T370 vehicles.

T680 52-inch sleeper

The fuel efficient T680 Advantage package with the 52-inch mid-roof sleeper is designed for regional haul and less-than truckload operations, utilizing a powertrain with the 2016 Paccar MX-13 or MX-11 engine, Eaton Fuller Advantage series 10-speed automated transmission and Meritor MT40-14X drive axle.

The T680 offering is redesigned with new aerodynamics around the chassis and sleeper, including a front air dam, mini-kickout fairings and lower fairing extenders. The vehicle also includes Kenworth Predictive Cruise Control, Neutral Coast, Driver Performance Assistance and FlowBelow wheel coverings to increase fuel efficiency by what Kenworth says is up to 6% compared to a non-optimized T680 52-inch mid-roof sleeper with the same engine, axle and transmission.

“Our expanded Kenworth T680 Advantage lineup now provides three excellent Advantage choices – day cab, 52-inch mid-roof sleeper and 76-inch sleeper – to those regional haul, LTL fleets and truck operators in constant pursuit of achieving greater fuel economy and lower operating costs,” said Jason Skoog, Kenworth assistant general manager for sales and marketing.


The FlowBelow Tractor AeroKit will be offered as an option on the T680, which includes a AeroKit fairing fitted on each side of the truck between the tandem axles, fairings behind the rear drive axle.

“The tandem axle fairing and wheel cover combination enhance the T680’s superior aerodynamics by keeping airflow moving even more efficiently around the end of the tractor and onto the trailer, especially when the trailer is outfitted with its own side fairings, and reduces drag and turbulence around the tractor’s rear wheels,” said Kevin Baney, Kenworth chief engineer. “This option offers our T680 customers an additional option to help optimize fuel economy.”

Maximizing uptime

Kenworth’s expansion of the TruckTech+ Service Management system and Paccar Solutions portal in 2017 to include a system powered by Decisiv is aimed at helping uptime by speeding up service and repair at Kenworth dealerships.

“TruckTech+ Service Management takes the connected truck to the next level by giving our customers not only visibility to the health of their trucks, but also transparency and real-time information during service events,” said Skoog. “By partnering with Decisiv to develop our Service Management capability within the Kenworth TruckTech+ suite of connected vehicle solutions – and by providing our dealers’ technicians with these industry-leading tools – Kenworth is applying the latest new technologies to maximize customer uptime.”

TruckTech+ will provide detailed chassis information, parts catalogs, service bulletins, parts and service promotions and warranty and repair history. Trucks equipped with TruckTech+ will also provide information to dealer service departments and PacLease franchises at check-in to reduce some of the manual data entry required.

“Kenworth TruckTech+ represents the current and future collection of integrated technologies offered by Kenworth to better serve our customers and dealers,” said Skoog. “As our trucks become increasingly connected, we’re leveraging the data they generate in innovative ways to enhance the ownership experience through improved efficiency, increased uptime, and heightened transparency.”

Temperature monitoring

Kenworth’s power management system on its T680 and T880 model trucks will now provide cab temperature monitoring to its auto start and stop capability, and will also offer the Espar Airtronic D4 fuel-fired bunk heater.

“For operators who run in cold temperatures, or shut down for a 34-hour reset, our new offerings give a one-two punch in vehicle performance and driver comfort,” said Baney. “We’ve built our power management system into what we feel is the most comprehensive system in the market. And, for engine-off, constant heat in the sleeper, the new Espar Airtronic D4 heater has a BTU rating up to 13,650, and is available for the Kenworth T680 and T880 specified with either the 76-inch or 52-inch sleepers.”

Trucks not outfitted with the Kenworth Idle Management system or other APU will benefit from the power management system’s ability to start the main engine to support cab and sleeper air conditioning needs, or heat in cold climates with the Espar Airtronic D4.

“This is very useful when the engine comes on for recharging – the driver can monitor the progress of battery re-charging,” Baney said of the Driver Performance Center’s ability to provide real-time information on the vehicle battery’s state of charge. “If drivers need only an hour or two more power before leaving to deliver a load, they can shut down the system early and use the battery power – then recharge the battery banks while on the road.”

Westport ISL G engine

Kenworth said the addition of the Cummins Westport ISL G near-zero emissions natural gas engine offers 90% lower emissions compared to the current NOx limit of 0.2 grams per brake horsepower-hour, and meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2017 greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements.

The 8.9-liter engine comes with up to 320 hp and 1,000 lb/ft of torque, and can operate on 100% natural gas, as either compressed or liquefied natural gas, as well as being compatible with renewable natural gas for additional GHG emission reductions.

“The Kenworth T680 and T880 equipped with the ISL G Near Zero emissions engine is well suited for regional haul, vocational and refuse fleets focused the reduced environmental impact of natural gas use and reducing their operating costs,” said Skoog.

Everyone needs a wingman

Kenworth also announced that it would offer the Bendix Wingman Advanced as an option for medium-duty T270 and T370 vehicles.

“Bendix Wingman Advanced is a proven system that can deliver performance on the road, data for improved fleet management and a quick return on investment for the fleet,” said Skoog. “The system can help avoid collisions not only on the freeway, but also in urban driving conditions experienced by medium duty truck operators. This Bendix technology system is already popular with our Class 8 fleet customers, and we expect significant interest from Kenworth T270 and T370 operators.”

Wingman Advanced offers warning alerts to drivers, as well as active interventions when required, including following distance, impact and stationary object alerts, throttle reduction, engine retarder and the application of foundation brakes

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