Kenworth continues to deliver fuel economy enhancements with the introduction of the Paccar Powertrain Fuel Economy Package.  This package combines the fully integrated Paccar powertrain, including the Paccar MX-13 engine with a new 405-hp at 1650 lb-ft torque rating, Paccar 12 speed Automated Transmission, Paccar 40K tandem rear axle, and enhanced Kenworth predictive cruise control technology.  The Paccar Fuel Economy package will be available in the first quarter of 2019, according to an announcement.  The Paccar MX-13 engine features a new torques curve that further refines the engine’s fuel economy performance in line-haul and regional haul applications by lowering the engine’s horsepower rating while maintaining its torque.  “This combination maximizes fuel economy and offers excellent performance for our customers,” says Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director.  “One of the bigger contributors is the deeply integrated predictive cruise control function, which varies the vehicle’s speed over rolling hills without reducing the vehicle average speed.  The transmission software is also optimized for the Paccar MX-13, allowing for lower engine RPMs at cruising speeds.  At Kenworth we’re continually researching ways to enhance spec’ing to find the best fuel economy combination available.  The new 405-horsepower rating is just one example.”


Kenworth has announced new colors and interior styling on its flagship on-highway Kenworth T680 and vocational Kenworth T880 models.  The new choices will also be available on the newly introduced W990.  The new color options will be available with both Diamond VIT and Vantage interiors on trucks produced starting in the new year.  “Our design team created some new color schemes that give our cabs a nice new refresh,” says Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director.  “We’ve always built the World’s Best trucks, and that applies to our interior packages as well.  We’re excited about the new color combinations and expect they will further separate the Kenworth product from the competition in terms of quality, driver comfort and overall market appeal.”  The new colors include a black dash top and updated hydrographics accent trim panels.  The door trim panels are updated to match, providing a nice contrast.  Seats undertook the biggest visual change with new seat color and pattern options.  Seat covering choices – standard cloth, Durasupreme, Ultraleather, and leather – are now available in slate gray or tan.  Trim accent colors are offered in two trim levels, Diamond VIT and Vantage, both in slate gray or tan color options.


Posted: October 29, 2018 in Kenworth

Kenworth is adding a factory-installed twin steer configuration to its T880S vocational model.  The Kenworth T880S Twin Steer features a set-forward front axle with a 61-inch axle spread to maximize payload.  The Kenworth T880S offers a very short 114-inch BBC.  This allows larger bodies to be installed farther forward and closer to the cab, according to an announcement.  “Kenworth continues to expand the excellent diversity of the T880 platform.  The T880S Twin Steer is the next step in that evolution,” says Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director.  The 61-inch axle spread enable customers in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia to get a factory built T880S Twin Steer that meets Wester Canadian tandem axle requirements, specifically for ready-mix application.  It also means that the Kenworth T880S chassis can be upfitted much faster, saving between three and six weeks in delivery times to the body builder.  For customers in the United States, the T880S will address applications such as ready mix, block trucks, cranes, and concrete pumpers.  Depending on the detailed specs, as well as federal and state bridge laws, the T880S can handle 1,500 or more pounds of additional payload as compared to a non set-back twin steer.  The Kenworth T880S Twin Steer’s front axles are rated at 40,000lb.  The front end components, including axles, springs, and steering gears are shared with non-twin steer T880S.  The front suspension is “equalized” between the front and rear steer axles for greater driver comfort and payload distribution between the two.  The T880S offers the Paccar MX-11 and Paccar MX-13 engines up to 510-hp with torque up to 1,850 lb-ft.  An Allison automatic transmission is available when ordered with Paccar wide or standard track front axles.


An independent, third-party study on the Cummins Westport ISX12N 400hp natural gas engine recently demonstrated that the engine meets and excides California Air Resources Board’s optional low NOx standard of 0.02 g/bhp-hr.  The study was carried out by the University of California, Riverside College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology, with funding provided by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the California Energy Commission, and Southern California Gas Co.  It confirms that natural gas engine technology provides one of the cleanest available options for on-highway transportation, according to Cummins.  Engine testing was preformed on a chassis dynamometer, with test cycles representative of operation on California’s South Coast Air Basin.  Results showed that the ISX12N 400hp met and exceeded the target NOx emissions throughout a range of duty cycles.  In production since February 2018, the ISX12N was the first class 8 truck engine for larger heavy-duty vehicles to certify to CARB’s optional Low NOx standard.  Currently, more than 1,000 ISX12N engines have been produced for North American customers.

Paccar broke ground on a 400 acre site in Columbus, Miss. in July 2007 – a site that would become home to the company’s engine assembly plant, pushing out its first units a year-and-a-half later.  In the nearly eight years since Paccar opened its Columbus Engine Plant, employees have cranked out more than 175,000 engines.  The 450,00 square-foot facility produces about 150 MX engines per day at a split of about 10% MX 11 and 90% MX 13.  Penetration rates of the MX in Peterbilt and Kenworth tractors hover just over 50 percent.  “The MX 11 has only been out since 2016, so I think customers are still trying to realize the benefit of the MX 11” says plant Manager Lance Walters.  The structure of the plant itself occupies barely 12% of the campus where it sits and Walters says production numbers could potentially double through expansion.  “As our engine gets into the market more, we’re going to naturally grow our marketshare ,” he says.  “Our engine will cover 80% to 90% of our customers specs so that’s the production capacity we need to be capable of.”  Production of a pre-ordered engine begins approximately I week before truck assembly starts.  The Columbus plant ships MX engines to Peterbilt’s Denton, Texas truck plant and Kenworth facilities in Chillicothe, Ohio, Renton, Wash, and Mexicali, Mexico.  Dedicated carriers handle 11 outbound shipments per day with 14 engines per load.


Posted: October 10, 2018 in Kenworth

Monitoring your engine’s cooling system is part of year-round maintenance, but the onset of winter is a particularly good time for a close look.  That includes going over your truck’s belts, hoses and hose clamps.  Hose inspection doesn’t change between winter and summer months, but with more idle time likely during winter, inspection intervals may need to increase.  When you open the cooling system for repair, remember to look inside the hoses for any deterioration.  Cooling contamination is harmful to engine cooling systems, so consider flushing the system regularly.  Checking coolant level varies depending on the age of your truck.  For newer trucks with an coolant reservoir, fill only to the cold-level line.   For older trucks, when looking in the radiator, fill to about 1 inch below the filler neck.  Overfilling can cause coolant to run out on the ground when the engine warms and coolant expands.  Fall is a good time to consider replacing your thermostats.  Any time after they have been in the truck for 200,000 miles they may cause problems. Winter fronts are also helpful in cold weather.  If your truck idles for very long , the coolant temperature may drop causing the aftertreatment system to not work properly.

Kenworth has launched the Body Builder Academy Training video series for the company’s T880 vocational truck.  The six Body Builder Academy videos focus on connectivity with Kenworth chassis systems, PTO functions, integration of electronics between body and truck, and optimization of the driver interface for body functions through switches and dash messaging.  Each video focuses on specific topics such as basic switch configuration, switch learn process, PTO mode and interlock functions, and programming in Paccar Vehicle Pro.  The video also goes over Kenworth’s new electronic system architecture.  “This video series is an excellent resource for body builders.  The videos are short and easy to understand, and are designed to help body builders integrate their equipment with Kenworth electronic and chassis systems, as well as PTO functions,” said Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director.  The video series is currently available on the Kenworth YouTube channel ( and will soon be available on the Kenworth Essentials App, which can be downloaded to smartphones and tablets from the Apple Store or Google Play Store by searching Kenworth.