Kenworth and Flowbelow have partnered to develop the Flowbelow Tractor Aerokit as a Kenworth T680 option. The kit consists of an air fairing fitted on each side of the truck between the axles along with a fairing directly behind the rear drive axle. The fairings are constructed of a durable thermoplastic polyolefin for long life. The system also uses stylish, quick-release aerodynamic wheel covers designed to reduce turbulence within the wheel itself. ” The tandem axle fairing and wheel cover combination enhances the T680s superior aerodynamics by keeping airflow moving even more efficiently around the end of the tractor and onto the trailer, especially when the trailer is outfitted with its own side fairings, and reduces drag and turbulence around the tractor’s rear wheels” said Kevin Baney, Kenworth chief engineer.
Kenworth introduced this week its new Certified Pre-Owned program, which offers truck buyers late model, low mileage trucks with engine and aftertreatment warranty coverage. To qualify for this program, a used truck must undergo a 150 point inspection, which includes engine, aftertreatment, interior, exterior, chassis, electronics, safety devices, and a road test. The trucks must also be certified by a Kenworth technician, carry DOT certification, and receive a full diesel particulate filter cleaning and an oil and filter change. “With the new program’s official launch on January 2017, truck buyers will receive a high level of confidence when buying pre-owned Kenworths that have undergone thorough inspections and are certified to Kenworth’s high standards” said Kurt Swihart. Kenworth marketing director.
A redesigned automatic lighting system for fifth wheels will soon be available from SAF-Holland, which says its ELI-te electronic lock indicator will help drivers ensure a proper coupling when they hook onto trailers. The ELI-te fifth wheel coupling indicator includes white LED lights for the jaws-king pin area of the fifth wheel, red LED warning lights, and a long-life, application-specific electronic control module, says Bryon Redecker, product manager. The system is self-contained except for a power cord that must be fitted to a tractor’s electrical system. It is replacing a version introduced about 15 years ago that links to an in-cab indicator system. For various reasons that product has not been popular, Redecker said. Miscouplings sometimes cause kingpins to slip loose from fifth-wheels and trailer noses to fall on the ground as a tractor pulls away. Drivers working with the ELI-te receive simple, immediate, and actionable feedback after each coupling. When a trailer kingpin is properly coupled to an ELI-te equipped fifth wheel, four high-intensity white LED lights mounted within the fifth wheel automatically illuminate the lock jaws. Drivers can verify that jaws have been coupled onto the kingpin. If the coupling is not successful, the white lights stay dark and outward-facing red lights begin flashing. A driver can then find out why the coupling is not complete.
XL Specialized Trailers has introduced a new trailer to its lineup with the XL 80 Power Tail trailer. Ideal for transporting medium-duty construction equipment, the trailer features a hydraulic fold-under flip tail ramp for quick loading and unloading of hard-to-load equipment. With a load angel of 10 degrees, the hydraulic tail is equipped to easily handle man lifts, rollers, forklifts and paving equipment. The XL Power Tail is rated at 80,000 pounds overall and 50,000 pounds concentrated in 10 feet. The tail has a lifting capacity of 25,000 pounds for loads centered on the main platform. The tail is comprised of two sections- an 8-foot 8-inch platform ramp and a 60-inch flip tail. Lug-style hinges prevent debris from accumulating, keeping both hinge points clean. This model offers standard features to make drivers’ jobs easier: a hydraulic pop-up ramp connecting the deck to the gooseneck, a foot hole and grab handle on each side of the gooseneck for climbing onto the deck, an 18,000-pound hydraulic winch with a two-function wireless remote and an air kick-out for hauling inoperable equipment or static loads, Raised apitong and quarter-inch self cleaning star traction decking, D-rings, stake pockets, chain slots, and a work light add convenience. The XL 80 Power Tail is available in two lengths: 48 feet or 53 feet. There are customized options to choose from such as an 8- or 10- function remote, workaround pulley for winch cable, steel tread plate on the flip tail and pop-up ramp, and various winches to customize the trailer for your specific needs.
If you are in Colorado Springs you might buy a beer that was delivered by a self-driving truck. Otto and Budweiser announced that they have reached a milestone on the road to autonomous trucking with the completion of the world’s first shipment using a self-driving truck. Otto, which is owned by Uber, teamed up with Anheuser-Busch to haul a load of beer from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs. By using cameras, radar, and lidar sensors mounted on the truck to “see” the road, Otto’s system controlled the acceleration, braking, and steering of the truck to carry the beer exit-to-exit without any human intervention. Walter Martin, a professional truck driver, monitored the journey down I-25 on October 20th from the sleeper berth. Otto says the project had the full support of the state of Colorado. “We are always looking for new innovations and technology” explained Anheuser Busch’s James Sembrot in a video posted by Otto. The driver is still involved in picking up the load, making sure the freight is secured in the trailer. Once the truck is on the Interstate, he flips a switch and the truck drives itself down the road. Hardware and software in the truck are tuned for the consistent patterns and easy-to-predict road conditions of highway driving. Sensors are installed atop the truck, which offers an unobstructed view of the road ahead. With highways making up only 5% of U.S. roads, Otto says this allows a tight testing focus on a specific set of trucking routes critical for the American economy.
Kenworth is adding cab temperature monitoring for the T680 and T880 models with its Auto Start and Stop Capability and an optional Espar Airtronic D4 fuel-fired bunk heater. The Espar bunk heater produces nearly double the BTUs of Espar’s previous generation heater. “For operators running in cold temperatures, or shut down for a 34-hour reset, our new offerings give a one-two punch in vehicle performance and driver comfort,” said Kevin Baney, Kenworth chief engineer. “We’ve built our power management system into what we feel is the most comprehensive system in the market. And, for engine-off, constant heat in the sleeper, the new Espar Airtronic D4 heater has a btu rating up to 13,650, and is available for the Kenworth T680 and T880 specified with either the 76″ or 52” sleeper. The engine Auto Start And Stop system monitors the starting batteries and the batteries used to power hotel loads. When the batteries need to be recharged, the system starts the engine to begin battery charging. The system also monitors oil temperature, starting the engine when the temperature falls below a pre-determined level.
Kenworth will offer the Bendix Wingman Advanced collision mitigation system as an option on its medium-duty Kenworth T270 and T370 trucks. Wingman Advanced is a radar-based system that delivers adaptive cruise control with braking, along with autonomous emergency braking technology to help drivers avoid rear-end collisions. Using a radar sensor mounted to the front of the vehicle, Bendix Wingman Advanced delivers warning alerts to drivers. The system provides following distance, impact and stationary object alerts, which are always available-whether or not cruise control is engaged. When drivers engage cruise control and set speed, the system will actively intervene to help them maintain a safe following distance behind a forward vehicle by reducing throttle; engaging the engine retarder; or, if necessary, applying the brakes. “Bendix Wingman Advanced is a proven system that can deliver performance on the road, data for improved fleet management and a quick return on investment for the fleet,” said Jason Skoog assistant general manager for sales and marketing. “The system can help avoid collisions on the freeway but also in urban driving conditions experienced by medium duty truck operators.”