Kenworth opens up the option goodie bag

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KIRKLAND, Wash. – Kenworth was rolled out a list of options and extras for a number of its trucks.

For its T680 and T880 models, the company has released a driver performance assistant option and an optional anti-theft system. K270 Class 6 buyers can option up 19.5-inch tires and wheels.

Driver performance assistant

Available on models powered by PACCAR MX-13s with automated transmissions, the driver performance assistant is designed to act like a virtual driver’s coach, offering feedback on a driver’s performance, according to Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director.

“The system lets drivers know how smoothly they braked to a stop after exiting the freeway. It monitors whether they have a soft or hard foot on the brakes. It also ‘rewards’ them with visual acknowledgment when using the engine brake since that also brings benefits to longer brake life,” said Swihart.

“The system also provides feedback to how they handled the driving challenge,” said Swihart. “The ‘assistant’ may calculate if they performed at a very high level—80 percent or more—or it may give them a low score to help indicate where improvement may be made.”

Along with offering tips while on the road, including some about altering driving behaviour during inclement weather, the system also works while the truck is parked. During rest periods, for example, during rest periods, driver can use it to see how well they’ve been doing.

“It displays an overall performance chart—it might show the driver is coasting at a 90 percent efficiency rating, and gently braking 80 percent of the time,” said Swihart. “It then combines the scores to give an overall driver performance rating.”

Anti-theft system

The basis of Kenworth’s anti-theft system is driver-entered passcode. When the truck is first started, the driver must enter the correct passcode. If the code is not received within 6 minutes, a prompt appears asking for the code again. At that point, if it’s not entered, the truck’s engine is disabled, and will remain so until the computer receives the proper code.

Working through the Kenworth driver performance centre, the new anti-theft system uses a 5-inch LCD screen to provide what they company calls “data on vehicle and engine functions”

“Recently, there have been reports of thieves trying to use jamming devices to interrupt tracking units during attempte15365362280_381c0401f3_od thefts,” said Swihart. “The anti-theft system is an excellent way for truck fleets and operators to add an extra layer of security on top of their GPS tracking devices.”

19.5-inch wheels

For applications where curbside pickup and delivery is the main function, Kenworth is offering a wheel and tire package that lowers the height of its K270. Rather than taking the standard 22.5-inch offerings, buyers can now opt for a 19.5-inch Bridgestone front and rear tires mounted on Alcoa and Accuride wheels.

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