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Kenworth debuts 2006 models at MATS

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Kenworth introduced its 2006 truck lineup at the Mid-America Trucking Show, making many former o...

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kenworth introduced its 2006 truck lineup at the Mid-America Trucking Show, making many former options standard across the board.

The T600, T800, W900 and C500 Class 8s made their debut at the show with improvements to quality, appearance, styling, technology and ergonomics.

“Kenworth’s new 2006 Class 8 models make a quantum leap in quality among industry manufacturers and set new standards for comfort and productivity,” said Bob Christensen, Kenworth general manager and vice-president of PACCAR. “The multiplexed electronic instrumentation, world-class fit and finish and increased driver comfort offer a productive, new Kenworth experience for on- and off-highway customers. We also added 25 new standard features, over half of which were previously options.”

The improvements to the 2006 trucks were implemented to be enjoyed by both the driver and also the folks who turn the wrenches. A new instrumentation system features simplified wiring behind the dash with colour-coded and numbered wires for easier servicing, the company explained.

“The innovative instrumentation demonstrated significant reliability improvements during our exhaustive testing program,” said Mike Dozier, chief engineer.

The dash features a newly designed speedometer and tachometer and a host of large two-inch diameter gauges that now feature standard chrome bezels. Other new standard features include an outside temperature gauge, engine hour meter, odometer and trip odometer.

The gauges are easy to read especially at night thanks to LED back-lighting.

The dash rocker switches are now larger and they also feature LED indicator lights. Up to five pre-wired spare switches are now optional, providing more flexibility for customization.

“The result of these enhancements is a more modern, ergonomically correct and visually appealing instrumentation system with more value for customers,” Dozier announced.

The interior was loosely designed with the Lexus luxury passenger car in mind and now features a soft door pad and a dash top made of Recticel polyurethane materials commonly used in the luxury automobile industry. Formerly exposed fasteners are now hidden out of sight, however, Kenworth officials insist there’s been no compromise to the interior’s durability despite its luxury car appearance.

“For example, the door pad successfully completed a 150,000 cycle door slam test,” said Dozier. “And it’s map pocket supported over 400 lbs during loading tests. Both are easier to clean too.”

Other options that are now standard include DayLite doors, power door locks and electric window lifts (on the passenger side). Two versions of the interior are available: The Diamond (luxury) and Splendor (functional).

Kenworth also announced improvements to the interior lighting of its 2006 trucks.

“To enhance ergonomics, the standard lighting is now better than any prior combination of optional lighting,” Dozier insisted. “The world-class lighting provides more and brighter lights in key areas. The driver and passenger seats have both a dome light and task light mounted over their door; a dome lamp is positioned on the rear headliner; and under-dash red lens lighting reduces glare from the floor.”

The company says its 2006 models are also quieter than their predecessors. This was achieved by using scientific testing to pinpoint where noise was entering the cab on previous models. Kenworth then applied special materials in key areas to achieve a 1 decibel (20 per cent) reduction in noise.

Kenworth’s W900, T800 and C500 are now available with curved windshields (as well as the previous flat windshield). And day cab operators can spec’ a large 17×36-inch rear cab window.

Kenworth has also announced its T800 can now be spec’d with a front engine power take-off (FEPTO), making it ideal for snowplow, mixer and crane applications.

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