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Kenworth offers new options to customers at MATS

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- An extended daycab conversion kit for T600, T800 and W900 models was one of several new options...

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An extended daycab conversion kit for T600, T800 and W900 models was one of several new options announced by Kenworth at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

The conversion kit offers the opportunity to extend the interior of the cab by six inches while adding five inches of additional headroom. Another two cubic feet of storage space is also realized after the conversion.

Jim Bechtold, chief engineer with Kenworth, says the conversion kit consists of a one-piece backwall assembly that features one of the industry’s largest rear windows, measuring 17″ x 36″. The extra space and improved visibility doesn’t result in a significant weight increase, according to Bechtold. He says the conversion will only add about 175 pounds to the weight of the truck. A quiet cab option is also available.

“Based on customer feedback, the extended daycab will be a popular option,” says Bechtold.

The company also took the opportunity to introduce the AG400 lightweight air ride suspension, which is designed to offer a smoother ride while reducing drivetrain stresses. The AG460 is available for heavier on- and off-highway loads. Both suspensions will be available in May right across Kenworth’s entire product line. The company says the suspension has undergone more than 2.5 million miles of testing to ensure it will deliver improved performance.

“This gives Kenworth the industry’s broadest range of air ride suspensions,” says Bechtold.

New Kenworths will also come equipped with some new standard features such as keyless entry on the T2000 and a low voltage disconnect (LVD) available on all 72- and 86-inch aero cab sleepers. The LVD will help ensure operators don’t drain their battery while using in-cab equipment, while the keyless entry option will provide better convenience for T2000 operators. Bechtold says the keyless entry remote has been subjected to some abuse to ensure it will withstand the rigors of life on the road.

“We took our remote, froze it and put it through the washer and dryer to make sure it still worked,” says Bechtold.

Inside the cab, Kenworth customers can now spec’ their choice of three new Kenworth radios. Meanwhile, outside the cab, image-conscious O/Os have more options including Donaldson stainless steel air cleaners, which are said to have five per cent better dust capturing capabilities than other models.

O/Os can also spec’ Jost International’s fifth wheels, which have fewer moving parts and offer easier maintenance. And Bridgestone’s wide-base single tires are also now available on all new on-highway trucks. The company says it’s worked worked with Bridgestone and can confirm the tires deliver a two to five per cent fuel economy improvement while taking about 650 pounds of weight out of the truck.

“Any weight savings is welcome news in today’s operating environment,” says Bechtold. Of course, Canadian operators won’t be able to take advantage of this new option since wide-based singles aren’t yet free to roam the majority of Canadian highways.

Kenworth’s final announcement was that lightweight stylized wheels will now be standard on all new trucks featuring 22.5- or 24.5-inch wheel sizes.

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