Dark Star

The new Kenworth T410SAR provides practical solutions to the often perplexing challenges of maintaining profitability with axle weight compliance.

It’s been 50 years since the first Australian-made Kenworth rolled off the production line at the Bayswater plant in March 1971.

The 2016 launch of the 2.1-metre wide cab T610 signalled the beginning of a new era for Kenworth in Australia and New Zealand, and was followed in early 2019 with the release of the T410 and eight-wheel T360 models.

The release of the T410SAR adds another important element to the current Kenworth line up which will appeal to a number of specific applications where truck tare weight and distribution of axle weights is critical.

The T410SAR has been developed locally to achieve better weight distribution due to its set-forward front axle and to provide for maximum payload under the rather unique Australian regulations for applications such as 19-metre B-Double and most 19-metre four axle ‘Quad Dog’ applications. The T410SAR has a short bumper to back of cab (BBC) dimension of 2,850mm and in addition to the initial 6×4 rigid and prime mover configurations, some additional car carrier specific and 8×4 configurations are confirmed for release later this year.

Rated at up to 70 tonnes GCM, the T410SAR is suited to local and interstate distribution work using single and multiple trailers and will also find its place in a number of Performance-Based Standards (PBS) and other heavy-duty applications including bulk fuel delivery.

The T410SAR combines many of the best attributes of both cab-over and conventional trucks in terms of the manoeuvrability and visibility of a forward control truck, while retaining a minimal overall length and a bonneted truck’s better access to key service components and ease of cab entry and egress due to its low floor height and wide opening doors.

The local Kenworth engineering team have invested considerable and detailed effort into developing a truck with a low tare weight without sacrificing durability.

The steering geometry and the set-forward front axle location enhance the truck’s payload capabilities without compromising on the ride and handling. In common with other current Kenworth T series, the use of an alloy radiator greatly improves thermal efficiency and shaves 100kgs off the static front axle load.

With its classic flat grille and unmistakeable Kenworth body lines, the T410SAR’s aerodynamic exterior styling features the sloped bonnet and raked back windscreen which contribute to maximising fuel economy but also enhances the visibility from the driver’s seating position.

The combination of the design of the windscreen and door windows results in exceptional lines of sight for the driver and delivers a 180-degree panoramic view of the road ahead and to the sides as well.

Rear vision is also maximised via the large electrically adjustable external mirrors which are mounted to the ‘A’ pillars on high strength cast break-away brackets which minimise vibration.

The mirrors can also be conveniently folded back against the doors. Positioned low on the cab the mirrors create minimal interference to forward vision as the driver can see over the top of them as well as through the gap created between the mirrors and the ‘A’ pillars.

The inclined external steps and strategically positioned handles and grab rails make their own contribution to driver safety by ensuring operators have three points of contact at all times.

The cab’s interior is available in a selection of colours with the choice of the traditional Kenworth diamond patterned premium trim, or the easy to clean and durable ‘fleet’ trim which may appeal to the cost conscious customers without appearing cheap.

The ‘smart’ steering wheel is the location for the cruise control and audio system controls and, in similarity with the rest of the T series range, feature the installation of positive action toggle switches to provide driver control of various electrical and electrical-pneumatic systems such as diff locks.

Developed specifically for Australian and New Zealand climate conditions the significantly advanced heating and air-conditioning system (HVAC), featuring automatic climate control, has been carried over from the other models in the current Kenworth T series range.

The T410SAR cabin features innovative triple sealed doors and door apertures to minimise noise and dust leaks, and slamming a door provides an insight into the quality of the cab’s construction.

Available as a day cab, the T410SAR also offers four sleeper cab options: a 600mm aero, a 760mm mid-roof, the spacious 860mm aero and a new 600mm flat-roof sleeper is due for release early this year which will suit car carrier applications.

In common with the T410, there is only one engine available which is the Euro 5 specification 13-litre PACCAR MX-13, with the choice of 460 or 510 horsepower ratings.

Significantly, there is no option for the 15-litre Cummins X15 engine which powers the current T610SAR and was available with up to 550 horsepower in the T409SAR which preceded the current T410 models.

Since its introduction to the Kenworth range in the T409 model, the PACCAR MX-13 has proved popular and earned the respect of drivers and fleets alike due to its performance, responsiveness and fuel efficiency. The MX-13’s engine brake has received deserved praise as well, due to its maximum retardation power of 485BHP at 1900rpm, and still having 250BHP of brake power at as low at 1100 rpm.

Restricting the engine availability to the proprietary MX engine which has 12 volt electrics, means 24v-12v inverters are no longer required and the truck’s entire electrical architecture is more simple, durable and cost-effective to service and maintain. Sticking with the 12 volt electrics also opens up the potential for the option of the Bendix Wingman System with its comprehensive suite of safety technologies including active cruise control, collision mitigation, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and electronic stability control.

Automated transmission options in the T410SAR are the PACCAR twin countershaft 12-speed or Eaton 18-speed UltraShift, or the ubiquitous 18-speed Eaton manual transmission. First offered in the T410, the PACCAR 12-speed transmission features an aluminium main case, internal sensors and wiring, and quiet running and strong helical cut gears and has a torque capacity of 1850lb/ft and is rated to 50 tonnes GCM.

The Eaton 18-speed UltraShift Plus transmission is available with torque capacities of 1850lb/ft and 2050lb/ft and a load rating of up to 70 tonnes GCM. Both of the automated transmissions are operated via a stalk control and selecting various modes for the transmission and the two-stage exhaust/engine brake is easy with both the transmission and engine brake control in one convenient location mounted on the right hand side of the steering column.

This ‘column shift’ arrangement has freed up some area to allow easier movement within the cab.

An optional seven-inch display screen provides access to satellite navigation systems, various audio and media functions and includes a ‘virtual’ gauge system which is unique to Kenworth and uses the screen to provide a superior level of detail displaying key temperatures, pressures and voltages.

Based upon the fact that a significant proportion of road transport functions take place in the hours of darkness, in the guise of this current T Series, Kenworth has sought to deliver a comprehensive lighting system that provides safety and practicality for the driver.

The cab’s LED interior lighting provides a selection of either bright or subtle lighting levels which are known to contribute to reducing fatigue, and the use of red lights and soft dash lights to minimise distracting glare for night driving. Switching on the overhead cab lighting provides a flood of light which is needed when completing paperwork or moving about the cabin.
A door-mounted floodlight also illuminates a clear pathway to the ground surface via the sloping steps with a pool of light illuminated on the ground next to the cab when the door opens.
Mounted high on the external rear wall of the cabin is an LED strip light which illuminates the area immediately behind the cabin, providing a safe well-lit work area when connecting trailer air lines and electrical cables when ambient light conditions are reduced.

To assist with the truck hook-up and pre-trip checks, a light check function is provided and activated either via 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 any non-functioning lights prior to setting off.

Underpinned by the clever positioning of its front axle in order to make the most advantageous use of its payload capabilities, the T410SAR combines its classic Kenworth styling with modern mechanical and electronic enhancements to create a truck with the ability to excel in a broad range of applications.