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Kenworth delivers its 60,000th Australian-made truck in Melbourne

Commercial vehicle manufacturer, Kenworth, has delivered its 60,000th Australian-designed and built truck at its Bayswater plant in Melbourne.

PACCAR Australia Managing Director, Andrew Hadjikakou, handed the keys of the T610SAR prime mover to Wickham Freight Lines Co-founder, Peter Wickham, at an event at Kenworth’s head office and factory in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

Hadjikakou said Kenworth’s achievement in manufacturing 60,000 trucks was a major milestone.

“Celebrating key production milestones is a Kenworth tradition, one that began in April 1974 when we handed over the keys to truck number 1,000,” said Hadjikakou. “Since then we’ve celebrated each major milestone, leading to today, when we hand over the keys to the 60,000th truck that’s rolled off the Kenworth production line since we began designing and manufacturing uniquely Australian trucks in 1971.”

Wickham Freight Lines Chief Executive, Darren Eather, has said it is gratifying to receive this milestone vehicle.

“We have been working with PACCAR for many years,” said Eather. “They satisfy all of our trucking needs – not just sales, but also finance, servicing and parts. PACCAR and Brown and Hurley take the stress out of maintaining a large and diverse fleet, enabling us to focus on improving our service to customers.”

Wickham’s new T610SAR is powered by a Cummins X15 engine, producing 600hp and 1850lb/ft of torque. The engine uses SCR exhaust after-treatment technology for emission reduction, meeting Euro 5 and Australian ADR 80/03 emissions regulations.

The truck is equipped with an Eaton Fuller RTLO22918B 18-speed manual transmission, Meritor MF573 (7.3t) front axles and Meritor RT46-160GP rear axles. It also features two 480-litre and two 400-litre rectangular fuel tanks, Kenworth Airglide 460 suspension and an 860mm Aero Roof sleeper.

Wickhams’s T610SAR will go to work transporting meat and produce in refrigerated trailers travelling up to approximately 250,000 kilometres a year along the eastern seaboard.

“With advanced heating and cooling that’s more powerful yet efficient, the cabin maintains optimum temperature at all times,” PACCAR said in a statement.

“The expansive windscreen offers a panoramic view of the road, the cabin’s superior ergonomics means controls are positioned intuitively and dashboard instrumentation is visible at a glance.

“With a complete range of active and passive safety features, including advanced collision avoidance technology, the T610 readily adapts to operating conditions to enhance fuel economy with no impact on productivity.”

Eather said the T610SAR offers significant advantages compared with other American-style and European brands he has tried over the years.

“We have bought almost 250 Kenworths, and we continue to buy them every year because it’s good for business,” said Eather.

“With Just In Time (JIT) deliveries now the norm, our customers need our trucks there on time every time. Kenworths are designed and manufactured in Australia for Australia’s harsh environments and applications. And Kenworth builds trucks to our exact specifications and requirements – and that makes all the difference,” he said.

(Image: Members of the Wickham family with representatives of the Brown and Hurley Group, and PACCAR Australia Managing Director, Andrew Hadjikakou.)

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