New interiors, new brakes
Jul 1, 2006 12:00 PM
Continuing its tradition of aerodynamic styling to enhance fuel economy introduced with the T600A in 1985, Kenworth Truck Company has extended that legacy with the introduction of the new T660.
The new tractor, designed specifically for the new 2007 engines, uses enhanced aerodynamics to conserve some of the fuel economy that is expected to be lost to the new emission controls. For instance, the T660 grille is 5% larger than that of the previous T600 to allow increased airflow through the radiator to accommodate the increased heat rejection from the 2007 engines. Although the grille frontal area is larger, KW has been able to achieve improved aerodynamic performance around the grille, with a resulting impact on fuel economy. “We used computation fluid dynamics analysis extensively to fine tune the aerodynamic performance of the whole vehicle,” says Mike Dozier, Kenworth's chief engineer.
In addition to the new grille and enhanced side fairings, the new T660 has an all-new headlamp assembly faired into the streamlined fenders. The standard halogen bulbs in the new forward lighting system provide 40% more light and last three times longer than conventional sealed beam headlamps. For more light and longer bulb life, KW offers high intensity lamps as an option. The high intensity system provides 75% more light and lasts up to 11 times longer than sealed beam lamps, Dozier says.
Optional GPS navigation
Drivers get more than just bright headlamps from the T660. The new tractor has an enhanced multiplexed electrical system. A global positioning system navigation package is standard with the Diamond cab interior and is available as an option with the Splendor interior package. A new driver's display provides a real-time picture of fuel economy as well as an ignition timer, on-board diagnostics, a display of the transmission gear status, an electronic alarm clock, and vehicle system configuration reporting.
In addition to the T660, KW is making the global positioning system available for T600, T800, and W900 tractors. It provides the vehicle location as well as displaying points of interest along the route. Within easy reach of the driver, the system uses touch screen technology for menu control. For easy operation at night, control buttons are backlit. The system offers routing with turn-by-turn voice commands and multiple route selection. Voice commands are played through the vehicle sound system. When a command is given, the radio or CD player stops until the command is finished and then continues on its preset program. In addition to navigation, the GPS contains an integrated MP3 player with 10 gigabytes of memory. The MP3 player can be loaded through a USB located in the glove box.
Onboard navigation can pay off quickly, Dozier says. For vehicles operating an average of 100,000 miles annually, an out-of-route mileage rate as low as 6% can result in up to $15,000 in unnecessary fuel expenses, he says. That estimate is based on the rather low assumption that diesel fuel will continue to cost $2.50 a gallon.
A change to the driver and passenger seats provides increased comfort as well as enhanced mobility inside the cab. The new proprietary seats have armrests that fold away behind the seats, providing an additional four inches of room between the seats for easier movement between the cab and sleeper berth. Seats use a new material with enhanced stain resistance to replace the combination of vinyl and velour that has been standard on Kenworth seats. The new material will be used in all KW heavy and medium duty trucks. In addition, it will be used for sofa beds in the 86-in Aerocab and 72-in Aerodyne sleepers.
To help reduce the amount of fuel consumed with the engine idling for cab climate control, Kenworth now offers a new Clean Power System for heating or cooling in addition to supplying 110 volts of power for appliances. The system is battery powered and has a patent pending. Dozier estimates that the new power system can improve fleet fuel economy by as much as 8%.
Cooling and electrical capacity is produced as the truck is driven or when connected to an external power source such a shore power. When the main engine is shut down, a batter-powered cooling system takes over to cool the sleeper berth. Temperature is maintained with a thermostat controlled by the driver. A fan circulates chilled air through a duct located near the sleeper bunk. For dual bunk sleepers, a second duct cools the upper bunk. The system is designed to keep the sleeping area cool for 10 hours with an outside ambient temperature of 95°F.
For its medium duty vehicles, KW has a new T300 conventional truck rated at 25,000 lb for Class 6 applications. The new T300 has air brakes for pickup and delivery operations. The truck is equipped with an 8,000 lb front axle and a 17,000 lb capacity single drive axle. For power, T300 operators can specify Cummins 5.9-liter ISB engine or the 8.3-liter ISC series. Caterpillar's C7 medium duty diesel is available as well. Operators have a choice of 22.5 in wheels and tires or 19.5 in wheels and tires for low profile applications.
The T300 now has power door locks, air-conditioning, and passenger-side electric windows as standard equipment. Electric windows remain an option for the driver's door. Fleets can choose remote keyless entry and a low voltage disconnect system that monitors battery voltage as options.
Hydraulic brakes remain available for T300 trucks for Class 6 and Class 7 applications.
In addition to air brakes for medium trucks, Kenworth has announced the availability of air disc brakes for some Class 8 vehicles. Bendix ADB22X disc brakes for both front and rear axles can be ordered. With a pad life exceeding that of conventional brake shoes, many truckload carriers may be able to reduce brake maintenance by one reline service on the front axle over the life of the vehicle. Kenworth says drivers report that front axle disc brakes improve control and steering feel during braking.
The Bendix brakes use a sealed mono-block caliper design that is more compact than disc brakes with two-piece calipers. The design uses a large rotor for better ventilation and to absorb more stopping energy. Bendix say the design eliminates brake fade with no degradation in stopping power. The ADB22X design uses Knorr-Bremse air disc brake technology in use on commercial vehicles in Europe since the early 1990s.
The Bendix ESP stability system previously introduced as an option for T600, T800, and W900 tractors can now be ordered as an option for T2000 tractors. The system helps stabilize the vehicle in over-steer or under-steer situations and may assist in preventing a tractor-trailer rollover. The stability system is designed to detect an impending loss of stability and to intervene by selectively applying tractor and trailer brakes as well as slowing engine speed to help control the vehicle and prevent jackknife conditions.
New high level interior
Operators of W900 tractors have a new option for cab and sleeper interiors in a limited edition of the trucks. With styling from Pendleton Woolen Mills, the new Pendleton Limited Edition is available for 72- and 86-in sleepers. It offers high-back heated leather seats for driver and passenger and a leather sofa bed in the sleeper berth. Pendleton has been making wool clothing and blankets in the Pacific Northwest for 140 years. The interior package also includes a two-color leather-wrapped steering wheel. In addition to the interior package, purchasers of the Pendleton edition receive a Pendleton travel bag and a wool jacquard blanket designed to match the sleeper.
Keeping a fleet running at minimum cost is just as important as selecting the right tractors, Kenworth says. To help maintain fleets, KW offers two PremierCare services. The PremierCare customer center is a 24-hour, seven days a week call center offering emergency roadside service. The service is available for any truck nameplate to handle roadside calls and schedule regular preventive maintenance. The customer center can be reached anytime at 1-800-KW-ASSIST. The second part of PremierCare is a preventive maintenance program that schedules regular service through the Kenworth dealer network in the US and Canada. The service ranges from intermittent inspections to comprehensive preventive maintenance programs. It has a fixed cost guarantee for the life of the contract with fixed monthly billing and vehicle maintenance history available in the Internet.
PremierCare users can help manage maintenance with PremierCare Connect, a software system that links fleets to their preferred KW dealers for paperless parts inventory replenishment. The system also provides preventive maintenance tracking and maintenance history reporting. At the present time, more than 13,000 trucks are enrolled in the PremierCare Connect system.
The system is built for three tiers of fleet size. PremierCare WebConnect is designed for fleet of 20 or so vehicles. PremierCare Connect Professional provides all the functions of WebConnect plus additional features for fleets of 100 or more vehicles. PremierCare Connect Enterprise is designed for large fleets and offers all the functionality of the other two systems plus the ability to support multiple business units and to integrate with other business systems.
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