Posted: October 19, 2017 in Kenworth

Kenworth continues to offer both conventional and cabover medium-duty choices for fleets, including its T270 and T370 Series models with sloped hood for improved forward visibility, single rear or tandem drive axle options and GVWR up to 66,000 lbs.  Fleets can also choose 4×4 and 6×6 drive options as well as manual, automated, or automatic transmissions.  Kenworth’s cabover options begin with the class 6 K270 in a 4×2 axle configuration.  The truck features 55-degree front-wheel cuts and a standard automatic transmission for city driving.  Front air disc brakes are optional, as is rear air suspension.  The truck is available with wheelbases in 12-inch increments ranging from 142 to 242 and can accommodate bodies from 16 to 28 feet.  A clear back of cab frame-exhaust aftertreatment package is also available as an option.  Moving up to Class 7, Kenworth offers the K370 cabover truck, which also features 55-inch front wheel cuts and a 4×2 axle configuration.  Standard amenities include an air-suspension driver’s seat and a two-person passenger bench seat.  Wheelbase options are available in 12-inch increments ranging from 142 to 242 inches, and the truck can accommodate body lengths from 16 to 28 feet.  All Kenworth medium-duty trucks are powered by Paccar PX-7 and PX-9 diesel engines, with horsepower options ranging from 200 to 350 hp and up to 1,150 lb-ft of torque.


LoadMaxx spring ride measures real-time, on-the-ground weights thru deflection sensor technology.  The leaf spring scale is currently designed for tandem axle trailers and is available for retrofit installation as well as on new trailers.  LoadMaxx for spring ride features an icon-based touch-screen display;  built-in LED alarm lights; dual-point calibration and high-precision pressure sensor; compensation for temperature and altitude change; PIN-protected calibration; and English, Spanish, and French language options.  Drivers can view steer, drive, trailer, GVW and net payload on any LoadMaxx-equipped tractor via an optional ComLink to the air ride or spring ride trailer scale.  Tractor and trailer weight information can also be sent to the fleet’s management software through the built-in data communication interface.  Weight data can also be viewed on smart devices with the LoadMaxx app.  Trailer scale kits can be purchased with ComLink included, or added as a plug-and-play option after installation.

Grote Industries has announced that it will introduce the Guardian Smart Trailer System, designed to monitor a trailer’s lighting system and alert an operator to any status changes through the telematics system at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta.  The Guardian Smart Trailer System attaches to any type of light, LED or incandescent, and gives drivers real-time alerts about their trailer lighting systems, communicating light outages and electrical shorts, logging information on status changes, and providing data analysis tools.  The system communicates in two ways:  It can be connected through the trailer’s telematics system, or via Bluetooth to the operator’s Apple or Android device through Grote’s Guardian Smart Trailer system app.

The quick-release mounting system allows drivers to remove the fairings in seconds without tools to accomplish tasks such as installing tire chains in quick order.  The new feature is designed for fleets that have been resistant to using drive wheel fairings on trucks for accessibility reasons.  The Tractor AeroKit maximizes the aerodynamic performance of the company’s wheel covers by also controlling the airflow between the wheels and behind the wheels.  Based on SAE fuel economy testing, the fairings have demonstrated a significant fuel savings of 2.23% in combination with wheel covers, which is over 3 times the fuel savings of wheel covers alone.  “With the exception of the Freightliner Cascadia with the Aero package, which comes standard with our wheel covers, over 80% of our customers utilize the complete AeroKit as opposed to wheel covers alone,” said Josh Butler, FlowBelow CEO.  “Most fleets cannot even measure the fuel savings of wheel covers by themselves.  By enhancing our AeroKit with quick-release fairings we are targeting customers that desperately want to achieve the maximum fuel savings possible without creating extra work for their mechanics and drivers.”

Thermo King is unveiling its new all-electric TriPac Envida auxiliary power unit, which it claims has the longest run time in the industry, at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta this week.  Thermo King says Envida is an environmentally clean, reliable APU that delivers the longest run-time in the industry, without tractor startup.  Historically, battery-powered APUs provided insufficient run-time and limited power, with fleets and drivers complaining they do not provide enough cooling for drivers full rest periods, especially in hot climates.  Because there is no diesel engine, the TriPac Envida not only runs clean, but it is significantly quitter and requires minimal maintenance.  “The introduction of this emission-free technology is a significant milestone for Thermo King and it reaffirms our commitment to sustainability through innovation,” said Dane Taival, vice president and general manager, Thermo King North America.  The unit’s simple in-cab controller allows drivers to select the desired function of the system-cool, fan or heat modes.  The controller also indicates the battery charge level, and allows drivers to adjust the fan speed and cab temperature.  Whether supplementing with solar, or using power options like battery or shore power, the TriPac Envida offers choices for drivers to tap into the power they need to stay charged.








The American Transport Research Institute is working to develop a tool that would help the trucking industry identify safe young drivers by comparing them to older safe truck drivers.  According to 2016 ATRI research, fleet executives ranked the driver shortage as the top issue in the industry.  The new study aims to provide a tool to help alleviate that problem by identifying more young, safe drivers.  The group has released the phase one findings of its research into a potential Young Driver Assessment Tool.  ATRI says it reviewed existing research on driver characteristics and the associated safety outcomes to learn what factors are found in safe drivers.  As the group continues its research into a potential assessment tool for young truckers, it says it will work to figure out if a tool measuring individual difference factors in personality, health, and cognition can reliably predict safe driving outcomes.  Generally, the 18- to 25-year-old age group is at a higher risk of unsafe driving behaviors than older age groups due to immature cognitive function, high risk-taking behavior and other factors, but ATRI says there are likely to be individuals in the age group “that are more similar to safe, experienced drivers.”  To that end, ATRI will put together relevant measures of personality traits, health, cognition and safety attitudes, along with a measure of driving safety such as crash metrics, adherence to rules and regulations or other factors, and conduct a beta test of the assessment tool.  The outcome of this test will determine if a larger study is warranted.  During the beta test period, ATRI will assess approximately 50 truck drivers of varying ages and experience levels-namely safe, veteran drivers and young, entry-level applicants.  Based on their safety records, the veteran drivers’ test scores will be the target for the younger driver test scores to see if there is a correlation between individual difference measures and safe driving outcomes.  If the test provides strong correlations between measures and test scores among the safe, veteran drivers , and can identify similar scores among young drivers, the group will conduct a larger study with an expanded driver sample.


Aftermarket supplier Minimizer introduced a mattress specifically designed for professional, over-the-road truck drivers.  Its Long Haul series mattress is made using 100% natural organic latex foam that offers breathability and buoyancy, regulating body temperature while sleeping and reacting instantly to sleeping position changes, according to the company.  It comes with a lifetime guarantee.  “My engineers researched mattresses for over a year and found a big gap with what’s available in a home mattress versus a truck mattress,” Minimizer CEO Craig Kruckeberg said in a statement.  “It shouldn’t be like that.  Why would truck drivers be expected to sleep on something inferior to what the rest of the world has available.?”  The Minimizer mattress also offers dual comfort, with a soft side for side sleepers and a firm side for back and stomach sleepers, according to the company.  The Minimizer mattress also in antibacterial and hypoallergenic, meaning drivers will not find mold, bacteria, or dust mites living in their mattress.  That can improve the quality of sleep, according to the company, which said quotes are available on their website.