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Medium-duty

Kenworth launches new medium-duty truck lineup

David Sickels is the Senior Editor of Fleet Equipment. He has a history of working in the media, marketing and automotive industries in both print and online.

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Kenworth has introduced a new medium-duty conventional truck lineup ranging from Class 5 to light Class 8.

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The new models are the Kenworth T180 (Class 5), Kenworth T280 (Class 6), Kenworth T380 (Class 7) and Kenworth T480 (light Class 8). In addition, for customers needing FEPTO, full parent rails and fixed grille, Kenworth added the Kenworth T380V and Kenworth T480V with a vocational hood.

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Kenworth T180
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Kenworth T280
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Kenworth T380
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Kenworth T480

Kenworth says its new medium-duty vehicles are designed to serve a variety of applications, including cargo and reefer van, beverage, tow and recovery, utility and government, fuel oil and propane, landscaping, fire and dump and mixer. The trucks may be specified with either a standard low roof or a raised roof option. The low roof is 63 in. tall, 4 in. shorter than the raised roof.

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The new trucks offer three hood types: short aero hood (107.5-in. BBC) that accommodates front axles from 8K to 20K lbs., medium aero hood (109.5-in. BBC) for higher horsepower and AWD applications, and Kenworth’s vocational ‘sloped’ hood for the T380V and T480V. The shorter wheelbases produce a tighter turning radius and enhanced maneuverability for urban or vocational operating environments.

Kenworth’s new medium-duty vehicles are available with the model year 2021 PACCAR PX-7 engine rated up to 325 HP and PACCAR PX-9 engine up to 380 HP, depending upon BBC. With the introduction of the new medium-duty vehicles, Kenworth offers, for the first time in its medium-duty trucks, the near-zero emission Cummins Westport L9N natural gas engine, that delivers up to 320 HP.

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Kenworth also launched the new PACCAR TX-8 automatic transmission as standard for the Kenworth T180, T280, T380 and T480. The 8-speed transmission provides smooth performance and enhances fuel economy, the company says. The PACCAR TX-8 serves a range of applications from pickup and delivery to utility service and a variety of vocational applications. When matched to the PACCAR PX-7 or PACCAR PX-9 engine, the company says the transmission has a maximum torque rating up 1,000 lb.-ft. of torque and a 57,000-lb. GCWR.

The new models feature a new 2.1-meter cab 8 in. wider than the previous version. Three-person seating with the bench seat is standard for the Kenworth T180, T280 and T380 and optional for the T480. Customers also can select various seating options featuring high- or medium-back seats.

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Kenworth says the larger front windshield enhances visibility by nearly 17% – also aided by the hood’s steep slope – compared to previous Kenworth medium-duty models. The new cab construction reduces interior noise by up to 50%. Kenworth also lowered the cab by up to 2 in., depending upon configuration.

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Kenworth developed a new instrumentation cluster with a 7-in. high-definition digital display centered between four standard analog gauges — speedometer, tachometer, oil pressure and coolant temperature. The integrated Kenworth Digital Display allows drivers to personalize information on the screen to match their preferences. The 20 physical tell-tales and variants support either standard or metric units. Additional ‘virtual tell-tales’ are available. Within the digital display, drivers can choose from a variety of screens that show specific vehicle information, trip information, gauges, and more, Kenworth says. The display also enables drivers to customize the digital gauge layout view from the many accessory gauges, and integrates advanced driver assistance (ADAS) features, when specified on the truck.

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Kenworth says additional features include:

  • Aero grille: The new aero grille is constructed with bright, annealed stainless steel for increased durability and protection from the elements. Crowns are available in chrome or in-mold dark gray. An external winter front or bug screen can be attached to the front of the grille.
  • Air intake system: The new engine-mounted system features an automotive-style flat panel filter design with a one-piece intake pipe and optional, remotely controlled inside/outside air control. The system is compatible with a pre-cleaner/ember separator. The new design reduces cab noise, offers ease of service and cuts the cost of replacement filter elements.
  • Air-assisted hydraulic clutch: This system for manual transmissions reduces driver fatigue through a pedal design that better matches a driver’s foot angle when engaging the clutch.
  • Bumper: Kenworth offers three bumper types – the standard one-piece or optional three-piece breakaway “aero” bumper; a rear-mounted one-piece channel bumper; and a vocational bumper with options for a tow hook, fog lights, headlights, daytime running lights (DRL) and other mounts.
  • DEF tanks: The redesigned DEF tanks provide improved thawing time, which reduces emissions and helps to increase fuel economy. There are various DEF options for a variety of body types.
  • Exhaust system: Exhaust options include right-hand, under cab DPF/SCR that optimizes cab access via a robust step and cover design. An underframe DPF/SCR is available for clear BOC and provides an improved diffuser design. Benefits of this configuration are a shortened wheelbase offering a gain of 5 in. and additional flexibility for under cab components.
  • Hydraulic brake: When pressed, it is similar to engaging a brake in a passenger vehicle. The brake better matches a driver’s foot angle to further reduce driver fatigue.
  • Kenworth SmartWheel: The optional Kenworth SmartWheel steering wheel controls for the digital display provide automotive-level functionality. The multi-function wheel features scroll input that keeps allowing for quick fingertip control.
  • Kenworth TruckTech+ Remote Diagnostics: This optional system enhances vehicle diagnostics by providing engine health information from new Kenworth medium-duty trucks to fleet managers and Kenworth dealers. The system diagnoses the issue and provides the recommended solution to the driver and fleet manager.
  • Steering and front suspension: Kenworth medium-duty vehicles feature an impressive wheel-cut angle for an enhanced turning radius. Maximum axle capability is 50 degrees (standard track) and 55 degrees (wide track). The axles are compatible with a wide range of tire sizes (225/70R19.5 – 425/65R22.5). Lighter weight mono-leaf front springs (8K lbs., 10K lbs. and 12K lbs.) are available.
  • Steering column: Standard in the new Kenworth medium-duty models, the new steering column is designed to extend the ergonomic range of motion, reduce driver fatigue and enhance overall comfort. It features full-tilt and telescopic position capability, self-canceling turn signal capability and a column-mounted shifter.
  • Throttle pedal: The new durable, hanging throttle pedal offers an automotive feel to Kenworth’s medium-duty trucks. The new pedal helps reduce driver fatigue and features a slip-resistant surface.
  • Transmission shifter: The column-mounted shifter provides improved ergonomics over the former pushbutton controller.

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