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Kenworth debuts new offerings

DALLAS, Texas - Kenworth Truck Company had on display, for the first time, a PACCAR heavy-duty engine in a Kenworth Class 8 model, during the Great American Trucking Show (GATS).

IN TESTING: This PACCAR 12.9L engine is currently being tested in Class 8 Kenworth tractors.

IN TESTING: This PACCAR 12.9L engine is currently being tested in Class 8 Kenworth tractors.

DALLAS, Texas – Kenworth Truck Company had on display, for the first time, a PACCAR heavy-duty engine in a Kenworth Class 8 model, during the Great American Trucking Show (GATS).

A Kenworth T800 test truck with a 12.9-litre PACCAR engine produced for the North American market, was on display at the truck show in Dallas. The Kenworth test truck is part of a fleet of vehicles with PACCAR engines undergoing extensive testing in North America.

“Kenworth is testing PACCAR heavy-duty engines in a wide variety of applications, terrains and climate conditions. The engine test program includes test cell work, testing on the PACCAR Technical Center track in Mount Vernon, Wash., and road tests,” said Mike Dozier, Kenworth chief engineer. “These tests are serving to validate designs and manufacturing processes and will ensure that these heavy-duty engines will be ready for eventual introduction into Kenworth Class 8 trucks.”

PACCAR’s DAF division in Europe has 50 years of experience in heavy-duty diesel engine design and manufacturing. PACCAR is leveraging this experience and quality as it works toward supplying engines for Class 8 Kenworth trucks in North America. PACCAR broke ground at its new engine plant in Columbus, Miss., in July. The $400 million facility will include a 420,000 sq.-ft. engine plant and technology centre on a 400-acre site. Construction is due to be completed in 2009.

Some of the new engines will be installed at the Kenworth plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, which recently completed a 105,000 sq.-ft. expansion.

Also on display at GATS were the PACCAR PX-6 and PX-8 medium-duty engines. The engines are available for Kenworth’s medium-duty conventional products and will also be featured in two new models getting set for production. The new Kenworth medium-duty conventional models will enter production in the fourth quarter of this year.

“The Kenworth T270 Class 6 and T370 Class 7 models will provide outstanding quality, performance and durability and are great additions to Kenworth’s medium-duty product line,” said Gary Moore, Kenworth assistant general manager for marketing and sales. “Customers will appreciate the world-class lighting system, stylish hood and grille, and excellent value for a wide range of medium duty applications.”

Kenworth T270 and T370 applications include food and beverage distributors, propane and fuel fleets, towing and recovery operators, general construction and landscape firms, and dry, refrigerated and side-curtain van operations.

Both models are available with the PACCAR PX-6 engine rated to 325 hp and 750 ft.-lb. of torque; and with the PACCAR PX-8 engine rated to 330 hp and 1,000 ft.-lb. of torque. Customers can choose manual or automatic transmissions, as well as air or hydraulic brakes. Both models offer many exhaust options for the various wheelbases, especially important to body builders that work with medium-duty customers.

The Kenworth T270 and T370 feature a hood made of sheet molded composite (SMC) for enhanced fit and finish, while a new hood assist device and 90-degree hood tilt opening offer increased access to the engine compartment for ease of service. A one-piece chrome or painted bumper and new Metton quarter fenders provide additional durability and impact resistance.

Inside is an ergonomically-friendly, wrap-around instrument panel with large, easy-to-read, glare-free gauges. Standard features will include power door locks, passenger-side electric windows (optional on the driver’s side), and Kenworth DayLite doors with peeper window. Drivers will also experience a 50-degree wheel cut for enhanced maneuverability.

Kenworth’s medium-duty product line will continue to include the K260 Class 6 and K360 Class 7 cabover models.

Going green

Through a number of different initiatives, Kenworth is making advancements in its environmental efforts in both the heavy- and medium-duty markets.

“There is a groundswell of customer interest from an economic and environmental standpoint,” said Bob Christensen, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice-president. “We expect that interest to multiply as federal and state agencies become more aggressive in protecting the environment and reducing dependence on foreign oil. Alternative fuels and hybrid technology are here to stay. Kenworth is committed to the design and build of fuel-efficient trucks that help reduce emissions and decrease customer operating costs.”

Kenworth’s dedication to fuel conservation dates back to 1985 when the company introduced its first truly aerodynamic truck, the T600A.

Today, Kenworth’s dedication to the “green fleet” extends to the EPA SmartWay program, Kenworth Clean Power no-idle system, Kenworth T800 liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks, medium-duty hybrid-electric vehicles and PACCAR medium-duty engines.

The US EPA recently recognized Kenworth’s aerodynamic T660 and T2000 models as SmartWay program eligible trucks. In addition, the Kenworth T660 with 72-inch AeroCab sleeper is now available with Kenworth Clean Power, which may enhance fuel economy by as much as 8% for customers with current high idling times.

In response to positive customer reaction to its US road show, which began last spring, the Kenworth Clean Power Technology Tour recently added 25 more stops to further promote fuel savings, productivity and environmental responsibility.

Kenworth also received the prestigious Alternative Fuel Vehicle Institute’s 2007 Industry Innovation Award for alternative fuel trucks for the Kenworth T800 LNG truck. The award involves Kenworth T800s being placed into the port markets of Los Angeles and Long Beach, two of the US’s busiest ports. The Kenworth T800s are equipped with the LNG fuel system – developed by Vancouver-based Westport Innovations – that runs primarily on liquefied natural gas and is installed on the Cummins 15-liter engine. The result is reduced emissions and less reliance on diesel fuel by running the cleaner LNG fuel.

Kenworth also recently began limited deliveries of its medium-duty hybrid-electric truck, which will go into full production next year, as Seattle-based Dunn Lumber became Kenworth’s first hybrid customer.

Above 30 mph, the Kenworth hybrid operates like a standard diesel vehicle with all power coming from the engine during steady driving conditions. Below 30 mph, it uses a combination of diesel and electricity, with the system automatically switching between the two modes of operation. Electricity generated through regenerative braking is stored and used for acceleration, assisting the diesel engine.

“The future of hybrid technology is very promising, as Dunn Lumber has illustrated,” said Christensen. “As part of our commitment, Kenworth plans to have medium-duty hybrids available for the ride and drive session at the national Hybrid Truck Users Forum in Seattle next month in which PACCAR will serve as the forum’s local host.”

Christensen noted that Kenworth Class 8 and medium-duty trucks began running the new emission-friendly engines early this year.

“We were one of the first truck manufacturers to fully complete the transition to the new engines in the first quarter,” said Christensen. “Kenworth’s commitment to provide clean and fuel-efficient engines includes the PACCAR PX-6 and PX-8 medium-duty engines, and the construction of a new $400 million, PACCAR engine plant, which recently held a groundbreaking ceremony in Columbus, Mississippi.”

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