Wider, lighter, better
Kenworth’s contribution of trucks for the construction industry has advanced significantly with the launch of the new T360 and T360A models. The successful T359 range is being replaced after the reset button has been firmly pushed to result in trucks which are loaded with improved features.
The launch of the Kenworth T610 in late 2016 signalled a generational change for Kenworth products and demonstrated the attention the manufacturer paid to the specific requirements of the Australian market and environment.
The result has been the T610 quickly finding favour and it currently accounts for about one third of production numbers at the PACCAR Bayswater plant in Victoria.
Kenworth engineers have since turned their attention to trucks in other than the 15-litre engine category and with the availability of the wider 2.1 metre cab the new T410, T360 and T360A models incorporate many of the innovations from the T610, as well as some advances of their own.
“Development of the T360 and T410 started when the T610 with its 2.1m wide cab was launched,” says Brad May, Director Sales and Marketing, PACCAR Australia. “Further developments to the new platform allowed us to refine and enhance many key elements in line with our own research and development, as well as incorporating input and feedback from our broad customer base.”
The new T360 models feature many important enhancements ranging from improvements in safety, visibility, and significant application flexibility thanks to the 100mm shorter bumper-to-back-of-cab (BBC) length.
Overall performance and driveability have also risen to higher levels while the new exterior and interior styling remains unmistakably Kenworth.
A relatively small turning circle is vital for trucks of this type as they frequently have to negotiate work sites with tight access as well as deal with congested urban traffic conditions.
The T360’s kerb to kerb turning circle has improved by almost two metres over its T359 predecessor and the enhanced vision provided to the driver will appeal to operators involved in metropolitan operations.
The revised steering geometry contributes to the situation where owners have more flexibility with overall length and chassis frame space without needing any concerns about manoeuvrability.
The T360A is an application specific model for the concrete agitator market and takes full advantage of the new model’s reduction in tare weight.
The eleven litre Cummins ISM which powered the T359 has been superseded by the nine litre Cummins ISLe5 engine which is available in ratings ranging from 280 horsepower up to 400 horsepower.
There are several transmission options including either an Allison 3000 or 4000 series fully automatic transmission, as well as the 18-speed Eaton manual box or Eaton UltraShift Plus automated manual transmission.
The T3 models have a better tare weight due to a number of factors including a new lighter front frame and a new radiator which combined contribute to around a 100kgs reduction off the weight over the front axle.
The radiator features an aluminium core and delivers improved levels of cooling with a corresponding reduction in fan-on time which helps with fuel efficiency as well as contributing to the trimming of tare weight particularly in the area above the front axle.
The cooling system is so efficient that it eliminates the requirement for an additional transmission cooler on models equipped with the Allison 4000 series transmission, thereby further reducing weight.
The use of a transparent header tank on the radiator simplifies servicing. The new cooling package contributes to the steeper slope of the bonnet which improves driver vision and reduces the size of the front blind spot.
Access to the T360 cab is via wide opening doors, with conveniently positioned handles and three evenly-placed steps progressively offset and angled inboard in an inclined stairway design to reduce the burden on drivers having to use their arms to pull themselves up and also to reduce the chance of slipping.
The wider top step further improves access, allowing the driver to maintain continuous three points of contact at all times by using grab rails and steps.
The perforated steps design provides a safe and tractive surface that will be a benefit particularly when working in and around muddy work sites.
The cab is mounted higher and set further forward and combined with the sloped short hood profile results in an exceptional field of vision for a conventional cab.
Transom windows can be fitted to the kerb-side door to reduce the size of yet another blind spot.
The external mirrors are solidly mounted on the ‘A’ pillars which has been an enhancement brought over from the T610.
Another positive feature carried over from the T610 is the 12-volt electrical system which is crucial to ensure full compatibility with the optional Bendix Wingman Fusion system which integrates various inputs from camera, radar and brake sensors to deliver driver support systems such as lane departure warnings, stability control and collision mitigation.
Pre-trip checks are made better by the light check function which is activated either via a switch on the dash or button on the key fob.
This function cycles headlamps, stop lights, tail lights, clearance lights and indicators allowing the driver to quickly identify non-functioning lights prior to commencing a trip.
The wider 2.1 metre cab is available in two interior trim specifications.
The ‘Fleet’ spec features durable vinyl surfaces and the ‘Premium’ spec has the woodgrain dash panels, leather steering wheel rim and soft plush diamond tufting popular in other Kenworth models.
The super high quality injection-moulded dash shell and the instrument panel are supported and braced internally to provide rattle free durability.
Regardless of the trim level the key features of the cab are driver comfort and control.
Kenworth designers have spent a lot of time refining the instrument panel so switches and controls are positioned intuitively and the dashboard instrumentation is visible at a glance.
Everything has been positioned to allow drivers to maintain concentration and reduce fatigue. Critical information, like the speedometer, tachometer and gauges are clear and well laid out in front of the driver.
Toggle switches provide full control of systems such as engine brakes, engine fan, driver-controlled differential locks and suspension dump valves.
An optional seven inch display screen provides access to satellite navigation, as well as radio and media functions.
The screen can also display’s Kenworth’s ‘virtual’ gauges providing a new level of detail about key temperatures, pressures and voltages. For enhanced ease of operation, the cruise control and audio controls are integral components of the ‘smart’ steering wheel.
The advanced heating and air-conditioning system with automatic climate control specifically designed for the extremes of the Australian climate has been an important feature in the T610 and is now carried over to the T360 models.
More powerful yet even more efficient, it maintains optimum cabin temperatures at all times in all driving conditions.
On the road a factor that quickly becomes evident in both the tipper and agitator versions is the trucks’ feeling of stability at all speeds.
The predicable tracking provided by the twin steer configuration will always be an improvement on a single axle set up, yet these latest Kenworths seem to take stability even further.
This factor is especially noticeable at speeds in excess of 80 km/h when negotiating corners on undulating surfaces.
The T360 has improved ground clearance, giving customers the option to lower the entire vehicle’s centre-of-gravity, which further enhances dynamic safety.
Available in 6x4, 8x4 and 10x4 axle configurations and with their tight turning circles and exceptional driver visibility, the T360 and T360A offer optimum payload and maximum concrete carrying capabilities respectively combined with exceptional driver environments.