Posted: July 7, 2016 in Kenworth
  1.  USE DATA TO IDENTIFY POSSIBLE PROBLEMS.  If you suspect a truck is having MPG problems, schedule a fuel economy check.  This includes valve and overhead adjustment, air filter check, alignment, and fuel flow.
  2. TAKE CARE OF YOUR TIRES.  Maintaining correct air pressure in tires equates to fuel savings.  For every 10psi of under-inflation, a 10% reduction in fuel economy can result.  Improper wheel alignment can rob fuel efficiency by creating rolling resistance and also cause premature tire wear.
  3. CHANGE YOUR OIL.  Too little or too much engine oil can create more friction and rob power.  Clean oil lubricates better than dirty oil, so pay attention to oil change intervals.  Explore the use of lower viscosity oils to improve fuel economy.
  4. LET THE ENGINE BREATHE.  A restricted air intake system or exhaust system will decrease engine power.  Check components at regular PMs and fix any leaks.  These leaks can be particularly hard to find, as leaking air is not as noticeable as fuel or oil, but their repair will improve engine operation and fuel efficiency.
  5. MAINTAIN ENGINE COOLING FAN.  The main engine cooling fan requires a lot of power to operate on today’s hotter-running, lower-emissions engines.  Ensure the fan clutch is operating correctly so the fan runs only when needed.
  6. CLEAN DPFs REGULARLY.  Clean diesel particulate filters improve fuel economy by about 2 to 3%.  Somewhere around 200,000 miles is a good time to clean these filters.
  7. MAINTAIN AERO DEVICES.  The money you spend on aerodynamic trucks and trailer aero devices can be wasted if they are not working right.   Always maintain the devices, whether they came with the tractor or are add-ons.  Replace or repair them as soon as possible.


Posted: June 20, 2016 in Kenworth

If you found Ford’s previous F650 useful, comfortable, and easy to drive, you’ll feel the same way about this new generation.  The new series of medium-duty trucks looks and drives a lot like the older ones, even if the 2016s sit on new frames and are assembled in the U. S. instead of Mexico.  The production change was the result of the expiration of the Blue Diamond deal with Navistar, which had assembled the midrange F-series using Ford cabs and many other components on Navistar-designed frames. I can make comparisons because 2 years ago, Ford sent me an F-650 dump with the Triton V-10 engine outfitted to burn compressed natural gas.  In the following week I found that, except for the large cabinet that housed the CNG cylinders, it ran like a gasoline-engine truck.  My only concern was where to refuel it.  Two months ago, from Ford headquarters came a bright-orange F-650 dump, also with the Triton V-10.  It burned gasoline and ran like the CNG-powered engine.  A gasoline-powered V-10 F-650 lists for about $15,000 less than one with Ford’s Power Stroke V-8 diesel.  The new series F650 features fresh styling with attractive creases in its hood and a sleeker look to its grille.  Headlamps are projector-beam halogens that light the way quite well.  The hood-and-fender assembly opens fairly easily, revealing the shrouded engine and all the plumbing and wiring associated with it.  Cabs and interiors are carried over from the previous midrange model, and from behind the wheel things look similar.  The gauges, controls, and overall dash design are very much like those from the previous series.  The F-650 can be had with three cab styles-2-door regular ,and  4-door Super and Crew.  The driving experience is much like the older series: an easy climb up, good visibility all around, and good ride.  From the drivers perspective, the new Ford is a familiar vehicle.  Production is at Avon Lake, Ohio.       This is a reprint from a test drive made by Tom Berg and can be found in Heavy Duty Trucking magazine.

In 2005 automatic and automated transmissions were sold in about 10% of class 8 trucks and tractors.  Current usage of these types of transmissions varies at different manufacturers and ranges from approximately 80% at Volvo down to 33% at Navistar.  Highway tractors rank highest in usage percentage, with vocational trucks and tractors slowly catching up as improved models are introduced that work well in these applications.  Mack, Volvo, Freightliner, and Western Star have proprietary transmissions and also offer Allison and Eaton models.  Kenworth, Peterbilt, and Navistar offer Allison and Eaton brands.

Kenworth’s plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, is undergoing a $17M construction project to enhance assembly efficiencies, the company has announced.  The 25,000 square-foot addition, which is being built on top of the current plant, will feature a  climate-controlled environment to provide quality improvements for painted parts and a new system will increase the plant’s efficiency by using technology to achieve rapid storage of painted parts, and faster delivery of those parts when needed on the assembly line.  The Chillicothe facility recently produced its 500,000th truck.


Posted: May 20, 2016 in Kenworth

To help address a shortage of truck parking in many areas of the country, the recently formed Truck Parking Leadership Initiative is developing a free app call PARK MY TRUCK to locate truck parking information and find available spaces. The app is expected to be available this summer.  The PARK MY TRUCK app will allow any public or private parking provider to report their parking availability for free.  Drivers can access the information on any mobile device with internet access.  ”  Through this technology, we will dramatically expand the scope of truck parking information available to drivers in an efficient, easily accessible format,” said Dan Murray ATRI vice president.  “It is gratifying to be part of a collaborative team that is generating real-world parking solutions for truck drivers and motor carriers alike.”

XL SPECIALIZED TRAILERS has launched the XL 90 Hydraulic Detachable Extendable loboy trailer designed with extendable technology to stretch the main deck.  The extendable main deck can increase in length from 28 feet 4 inches to 50 feet 3 inches with extension stops every 24 inches.  The Extend-A-Trac uses 6-inch greasable rollers with oil-impregnated bronze bushings for smoother extension and retraction.  The 53-foor 5-inch long trailer has a flip axle to help scale loads and a 44-inch flip neck with kingpin settings of 16 inches and 24 inches, which together makes the trailer 84 feet long when extended.  A detachable wheel area allows drivers to insert more decking.  The XL 90 HDE features an 18-inch loaded deck height on the main deck, while the rear deck transitions to just a 24-inch height.  The low rear deck height is achieved by cutting the axles through the web of the trailer.  The unit comes with a pin-on axle, yet is prepped for a single-axle booster as well.  The gooseneck features variable ride with five ride height positions, a 13-horsepower unit with cover, and 74-inch swing clearance.  Other features include a PSI system, a 20,000-pound brake rating, a second leveling valve, and a shut-off valve on all axles.

PACCAR PARTS  has opened its new $32 million distribution center in Renton, Washington.   The 160,000-square-foot facility is nearly three times the size of its predecessor, which was built in 1973.   With a 15,000-square-foot small-parts mezzanine and state-of-the-art equipment with built-in scales and a customer parcel conveyor, the facility has improved operational efficiency.   Energy-efficient systems, including LED lighting and daylight harvesting, help Paccar Parts meet its environmental goals of business sustainability.   The facility also includes a 50-person training room and the interactive Paccar Parts Experience, which demonstrates Paccar Parts distribution network, products, and services to visitors.   Featuring a 3-D model of the distribution center, the Paccar Parts Experience shows off the facility’s efficiencies and innovative technologies.