Kenworth has relocated the air tanks, DEF tank, battery box, and exhaust after-treatment behind the cab of the new K270 and K370 medium-duty cabovers. The result is a new “clear rail” package that creates room for body and equipment installation.

Kenworth revamps K270, K370

Nov. 1, 2014
NTEA Truck Product Conference 2014 report

KENWORTH’S new K270 and K370 cabover medium-duty models feature a new “clear rail” package that relocates the air tanks, DEF tank, battery box, and exhaust after-treatment up behind the cab.

This new option opens up room for custom bodies, such as street sweepers.

The revamping of the K270 and K370 models occurred due to the imposition of Euro VI emission standards in Europe, which necessitated wider mounts for a larger cooling system due to offset the extra heat generated by exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technology needed to reduce emissions. The chassis itself did not change, but Kenworth did redesign the exterior look of the truck and make the interior more ergonomic from a driver perspective.”

Built off European cabover trucks made by DAF, the K270 and K370 went into production in Mexico for the North American market this past summer.

Kenworth’s K270 and K370 are for pick-up-and-delivery operations, food and beverage companies, furniture hauling, landscape businesses, and street sweeping and striping, among other applications. They are especially ideal for city and neighborhood applications, where tight turning and a shorter overall length are required.

Other new features for Kenworth’s medium-duty cabovers:

  • A standard air ride driver’s seat and two-person bench seating with storage underneath for both the K270 and K370 models, along with a new option: single driver and passenger seats with a large console with cup holders in between.
  • Available wheelbases range from 142 to 242 inches in 12-inch increments, so the K270 and K370 can accommodate bodies from 16 to 28 feet.
  • Powered by the 6.7-liter PACCAR PX-7 engine, offering from 200 to 250 hp and up to 660 lb-ft of torque, both the K270 and K370 can now be equipped with a 6-speed Allison transmission with new push-button control shifter.
  • New Dana axles as well as new front air disc brakes for improved stopping power and longer brake life.
  • As part of the braking system, a new “electronic braking module” that will allow for the addition of stability control later this year.

Kenworth is adding a natural gas option for the Kenworth T880, the company’s flagship vocational truck.

The natural gas option is ideal for Kenworth T880 dump trucks, mixer, refuse, pickup and delivery vehicles, and other applications operating with up to a maximum of 80,000 lbs gross combined vehicle weight (GCVW).

The Kenworth T880 day cab and 52-inch mid-roof sleeper configurations now can be specified with the factory-installed Cummins Westport ISX12 G 400-hp natural gas engine with 1450 lb-ft of torque. The ISX12 G is available with manual, automatic, and Eaton UltraShift Plus transmission options, including 10-speed LAS.

The ISX12 G can run on either CNG (compressed natural gas) or LNG (liquefied natural gas) fuel systems. The engine uses a maintenance-free, three-way catalyst and does not require a diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank, diesel particulate filter (DPF) or selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology. Kenworth works with such companies as Agility Fuel Systems, Trilogy Engineered Solutions, and McNeilus to provide natural gas tanks and fueling systems.

The T880 also includes an air-assisted hydraulic clutch, complex reflector headlamps, a new five-piece Metton hood for easier and faster repairs, and lightweight, factory-installed lift axles. The T880 uses Kenworth’s 2.1-meter wide, stamped aluminum cab, which is robotically assembled. The cab has 23 inches of room between the seats.

The T880 also features the signature Kenworth grille with a corrosion-resistant aluminum wire mesh that offers superior protection of the truck’s cooling system components. With the advanced hood assist system, lifting the hood requires just 35 pounds of opening force. The reduced BBC and Kenworth standard length hoods for the T680 and T880 are available in day cab and sleeper configurations.

Doug Powell, marketing product manager, said new products include medium-duty air disc brakes.

“We’ve really made our way through our lineup on this for air disc brakes,” he said.

In production are 10,000/12,000/16,000 lbs front axle; Hendrickson HAS single rear suspension; airglide single/tandem; Hendrickson/Chalmers tandems; and 13,200/14,600 front axles/springs. Reyco rear suspensions will be available during the fourth quarter.

“That will really round out full coverage for us in Class 7,” he said. “And a little bit of testing is required. We’ll start moving our products down into Class 6. This continues to grow, and we have more and more interest in this.”

He said Kenworth also is working with Allison and FuelSense, on a set of unique packages of software and electronic controls for a variety of Allison fully automatic transmissions that improves fuel economy. The more you start and stop, the more you save.

The new 5th-Generation Electronic Controls are designed to improve fuel economy in any application. Components include additional levels of acceleration management and a precision inclinometer to optimize shift scheduling. The 5th Generation Controls also maximize transmission protection with advanced diagnostic and prognostic displays that anticipate maintenance needs while maintaining peak performance.

Allison’s EcoCal works to lower engine speed. Lower shift points provide better fuel economy and maintain vehicle performance without shift cycling. Working in conjunction with EcoCal, Dynamic Shift Sensing automatically selects between the EcoCal or a higher-speed shift schedule based on the vehicle’s weight and the surface operating grade. Dynamic Shift Sensing allows for superior performance while maximizing fuel-savings. Neutral at Stop eliminates the load on the engine when the vehicle is stopped to reduce non-productive fuel consumption.

Two levels are available, allowing customization. The standard option allows for reduced load while stopped, with locked output to help prevent roll-back. The premium option provides full Neutral at Stop capabilities. For vehicles with a high start/stop duty cycle, the Neutral at Stop function provides the necessary technology for improvements in fuel economy.

Acceleration Rate Management automatically controls the engine torque. The level of control is determined by the vehicle’s weight and the grade on which it’s operating. Combined with the other features of FuelSense, Acceleration Rate Management will help maximize fuel savings.

“We now have this in production,” he said. “It can hinder your performance a bit to get better fuel economy, so there’s a fine line where you need to get that set up for your application.” ♦

About the Author

Rick Weber | Associate Editor

Rick Weber has been an associate editor for Trailer/Body Builders since February 2000. A national award-winning sportswriter, he covered the Miami Dolphins for the Fort Myers News-Press following service with publications in California and Australia. He is a graduate of Penn State University.