Kenworth places emphasis on fuel efficiency with new launch

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Kenworth is gearing up for 2007 with the launch of several new products and enhancements, chief among them the new fuel-efficient T660 highway tractor.

The first T660 chassis rolled off the assembly line at Kenworth’s Chillicothe, Ohio, plant on Aug. 16. The truck was paired with a 2007 Cat C15 powerplant. All Kenworth chassis equipped with 2007 engines will be 2008-model year trucks, the company announced at a recent plant tour.

The truck is available with Kenworth’s 86-inch AeroCab and 72-inch AeroCab Aerodyne sleepers. It includes a forward-lighting system with new halogen projector low beams and an optional high intensity discharge configuration which the company said deliver 40% and 70% more light down the road than sealed beam lamps.

An enhanced multiplexed electrical instrumentation system is standard and Kenworth’s GPS navigation system is an option (or standard with the Kenworth Diamond cab interior). The revamped driver’s display provides real-time fuel economy information, an ignition timer, on-board diagnostics and a gear display.

A T660 Pendleton Limited Edition is also available for 2007 delivery.

Ready for ’07

Kenworth officials said the company’s entire line of trucks are ready for the 2007 engines.

“Kenworth has prepared its product line during the past several years for the upcoming engine emissions requirements,” said chief engineer, Mike Dozier. “Kenworth’s field test program has consisted of numerous vehicles operating in customer applications and from the PACCAR, Cummins and Caterpillar Technical Centers… This program has provided millions of miles of performance data to help support the development of overall system reliability. All aspects of Kenworth’s 2007 engine emissions program have been very closely coordinated with our engine partners, Cummins and Caterpillar.”

Kenworth’s 2008 tractors have enhanced cooling systems to handle the extra heat generated by increased levels of exhaust gas recirculation.

Trucks with 2007 engines will come standard with silicone coolant hoses and extended life coolant. Engine options on Class 8 tractors will include the Cummins ISX, ISM and ISL as well as the Cat C15 and C13. Kenworth will also begin offering the Cat C9 for vocational applications, the company has announced.

PACCAR medium-duty power

On the medium-duty end of things, Kenworth is offering the new PACCAR PX-6 and PX-8 powerplants on Class 6 and 7 vehicles.

The PACCAR PX-6 is a 6.7-litre engine available in Class 6 and 7 configurations. It will be available in ratings from 200-325 hp and 520-750 lb.-ft. of torque.

“The PACCAR PX-6 is the ‘efficiency’ engine with its high power density and the highest power to weight ratio in the industry,” Dozier said.

Its bigger brother, the 8.3-litre PX-8 will have horsepower ratings ranging from 240-330 hp and torque offerings of 660-1,000 lb.-ft. A 360 hp PX-8 will be available for emergency vehicles. The PX-8 will be available in the Class 7 configuration and the tandem axle Kenworth T300, the company announced.

Clean Power

Also new for 2007 is Kenworth’s Clean Power System. An alternative to auxiliary power units, the system provides heating and cooling as well as 110-volt load power for up to 10 hours, eliminating the need to idle the engine.

“Customers with high idling time may receive as much as an 8% boost in fuel economy by not idling, thanks to the Kenworth Clean Power System,” insisted Dozier.

The system consists of a thermal storage cooler which sits underneath the bunk. As the truck is driven, the liquid contained within the cooler is frozen.

“Once the truck is shut off, the battery-powered cooling system, which turns on automatically at engine shutdown, takes over and keeps the sleeper at temperature,” explained Dozier. “A thermostat regulates the desired sleeper temperature, while a variable speed fan circulates chilled air through a duct located near the bunk. For dual bunk set-ups, a second duct keeps the upper bunk area cool.”

A small diesel-powered heating unit is used to heat the cab when it’s cold outside.

The system weighs about 550 lbs. – similar to an APU, Dozier said, adding it may be preferable to an APU because of its quiet and vibration-free operation. Although pricing hasn’t yet been finalized, Kenworth officials said it will cost roughly the same as an installed APU.

It will be available first on the T660, beginning in the second quarter of 2007.

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