Done to a T
It’s almost fifty years since the first Australian-made Kenworth rolled off the production line at the Bayswater plant in Melbourne in March 1971. During the past few years there has been a number of new products from PACCAR with the latest being the T410.
Kenworth has applied the features of its new 2.1m wide cab, first seen with the T610 launched in December 2016, and it has been expected that the new cab would progressively roll out throughout the rest of Kenworth range, with the next being the T410.
The launch of the T610 heralded the beginning of a new era for Kenworth and the T610 currently accounts for around one third of the trucks produced at the Kenworth plant.
The product development project for the T410 has been aimed at specific segments of the Australian and New Zealand markets and sensibly hasn’t tried to come up with a truck that is all things to all people.
Nevertheless, the T410 will suit a variety of vocational, intrastate and interstate distribution applications as a rigid or in single or even multi-trailer configurations.
The set-back front axle and the bumper-to-back-of-cab dimension of 2,845mm (112 inches) contribute to the versatility of the T410 which can be specified with ratings up to 70 tonnes gross concessional mass (GCM) therefore also making it a starter for applications such as PBS tipper and dog operations.
In addition to the day cab, the T410 is available in a choice of three sleeper cab options – a 600mm aero, a 760mm mid-roof and an 860mm aero sleeper cab.
The new T410 is much more than just a new wider cab and incorporates a significant range of improvements in areas such as visibility, application flexibility through its shorter bumper-to-back-of-cab (BBC) length as well as overall better performance and driveability. The enhanced aerodynamic styling of the exterior, including the sloped bonnet and raked back windscreen, contribute to improved fuel economy and improve the drivers’ sight lines.
The steps to access the cab are evenly spaced and are no longer vertical and are angled out similar to a staircase.
This important enhancement must have presented a challenge with the wider cab, but Kenworth has managed to achieve it, much to the benefit of drivers’ safety.
Within the cab there is a definite focus on driver comfort and control.
The Kenworth designers paid attention to refining the instrument panel so switches and controls are positioned intuitively and the key dashboard instruments are visible at a glance.
Switches, controls and gauges have been positioned to allow drivers to maintain their concentration on their surroundings instead of fumbling with controls.
Taking away even minor sources of stress can also contribute to reducing driver fatigue. Critical information, like the speedometer, tachometer and air and engine monitoring gauges are clear and well laid out directly in front of the driver.
Toggle switches provide positive control of systems such as the engine brake, engine fan, driver-controlled differential locks and airbag suspension dump valves.
An optional seven inch display screen provides access to satellite navigation systems, radio and media functions and a virtual gauge system which is unique to Kenworth and uses the screen to provide a new level of detail about key temperatures, pressures and voltages.
During development of the T410 the focus was on much more than just ergonomic switchgear and is evidenced in factors such as the super strong, high quality injection-moulded dash shell and the way the instrument panel is supported and braced internally.
To assist with access the driver’s door opens further than the passenger’s and the in-cab environment has a choice of premium quality traditional diamond pleat trim in a range of contemporary colours or the option of a more utilarian ‘fleet spec’ trim.
The ‘smart’ steering wheel is the location for the cruise control and audio system controls.
Carried over from the T610 is the significantly advanced heating and air-conditioning system which features automatic climate control.
Unlike the T409 model which it replaces, the T410 Kenworth will only be available in the 13-litre PACCAR MX-13 in either 460 or 510 horsepower ratings.
There is no option for the 15-litre Cummins X15 engine which was available with up to 550 horsepower in the preceding T409.
The technical reasons for this are many and involve the assumption that the T410 will find favour in urban applications and is not the sort of truck destined to operate at maximum weights between Sydney and Melbourne three times a week.
By restricting the engine availability to its own proprietary MX engine which has 12-volt electrics, 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.
By opting for the 12 volt system the T410 also opens up the potential of the Bendix Wingman System of electronic safety enhancements which include collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and electronic stability control.
The use of an alloy radiator has increased the efficiency of the cooling system with the bonus of removing around 100kgs of tare weight off the front axle area.
New to the Kenworth range and first to be offered in the new T410 is the PACCAR 12-speed automated manual transmission which has a twin counter shaft design and an aluminium main case to reduce weight plus helical cut gearing to reduce noise and increase durability.
Kenworth have chosen to be conservative and have applied a maximum torque capacity of 1850lbft and restricted the GCM rating to 50 tonnes.
On the road the PACCAR AMT demonstrates the worth of it being engineered and integrated to work seamlessly with the PACCAR MX-13 engine.
The transmission is operated via a stalk controller mounted on the right hand side of the steering column and selecting various transmission modes and engine brake activation is easy with both the transmission and two stage engine/exhaust brake controls integrated into the one lever.
Moving the transmission controller away from the dash has provided a little more space to facilitate easier movement around the cabin.
For applications between 50 tonnes and 70 tonnes GCM, an Eaton Manual or UltraShift 18-speed is available upon application.
The more expansive windscreen provides a panoramic view of the road and the large door windows allow for an excellent view to the sides of the vehicle giving a full 180 degree view from the driver’s seat.
The mirrors have carried over from the T610 and their thoughtful placement in sitting low on the cab also allows for an effective forward line of sight, both over the mirrors and between the mirror and A-pillar making for exceptional cross-traffic visibility particularly at intersections and roundabouts.
The use of cast asymmetric mirror arms places the mirror heads in an optimal position for rearward vision which remains clear with no noticeable effect of vibration.
The LED interior lighting provides either bright or subtle lighting to reduce fatigue, using red lights and soft dash lights to minimise distracting glare when driving at night.
Overhead lighting provides a flood of light when you need to complete paperwork or move safely about the cabin.
A door-mounted floodlight also illuminates a clear pathway to the ground surface via the steps with a pool of light 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 immediate area behind the cabin, providing a safe well-lit work area when connecting air lines and electrical cables in poor light conditions.
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 non-functioning lights prior to setting off.
The Kenworth T410 exhibits new exterior and interior styling, improved safety features, improved driver ergonomics and a range of available options.
The tightening of the bumper-to-back-of-cab (BBC) dimension by four inches improves trailer clearance, swing angles, and crucial weight distribution which will appeal particularly to bulk haulage applications such as liquids or quarry products.
The short BBC also adds flexibility to move trailers around within the fleet.