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Kenworth is now offering glider kits for a variety of its model lineup The glider kits can be a lowcost option for customers including in some cases being exempt from federal excise tax

Kenworth is now offering glider kits for a variety of its model lineup. The glider kits can be a low-cost option for customers, including (in some cases) being exempt from federal excise tax.

NTEA Truck Product Conference: Kenworth: new glider kits save money

Starting in August, Kenworth began releasing glider kits for several models to help owners who wish to bring an older truck back to “new” status. The kits, available for the T660, T800 (split-fender configuration) and W900L models, are designed to be mated to customer-supplied EPA 2004 engines and matching transmissions.

All sleeper sizes are available, Kenworth said. Customers can spec the kits directly from the company.

Gliders are being offered as both rolling and non-rolling models (customer supplies driveline, axles, suspensions, wheels, tires and other “rolling” equipment) and no FET tax is included from Kenworth, according to Alan Fennimore, Kenworth's vocational marketing manager.

Depending upon the project's final cost, and if the host parts came from a useable truck, the truck may be exempt from the 12% federal excise tax. He said FET will apply when a glider kit is used to repair a de-commissioned (wrecked) vehicle, or change its intended service (for example, tractor to a full truck), or where the restoration cost exceeds 75% of the value.

The Kenworth glider models feature the latest amenities and updates in each of the three models. The truck model year of the glider will be determined by the donor chassis, as long as two of the three major powertrain components (engine, transmission, and drive axle) are utilized from the donor chassis.

Growing popularity of gas

Kenworth believes that natural gas models could make up 5% to 10% of the market within five years, although acknowledging that infrastructure concerns still remain.

Kenworth's T440 CNG is equipped with an 8.9-liter Cummins Westport ISL G engine, 6-speed Allison 3000HS transmission, and Kenworth extended day cab. It is available as a straight truck or tractor in a gross vehicle weight (GVW) ranging from a heavy Class 7 vehicle at 33,000 pounds up to a light Class 8 truck at 68,000 pounds. The ISL G engine uses a maintenance-free, three-way catalyst and is 2010 EPA- and CARB-compliant without the use of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology or a diesel particulate filter (DPF). Rated at 320 hp and 1,000 lb-ft of torque, the engine's torque curve closely matches that of its diesel counterparts.

Other Kenworth natural gas trucks include the Kenworth T660 (CNG or LNG), Kenworth T800 (LNG) and Kenworth W900S (CNG or LNG).

The T800s are powered by the 15-liter Westport GX engine. By equipping a Kenworth T800 with dual LNG fuel tanks, operators now have the option of running the truck up to 700 miles on a single fueling This option doubles the operating range of a typical LNG-powered Kenworth T800 equipped with a single LNG tank, making the truck a better choice for long haulers with slip-seat or drop-and-hook operations and for regional haulers whose drivers travel long distances, but still return home at the end of their shifts.

The Kenworth T800, when equipped with the Westport GX, can be ordered in a gross combination weight (GCW) of up to 80,000 pounds for over-the-road operation, with additional ratings exceeding 100,000 available for certain applications. For the T800, the GX engine is available in power ratings from 400 to 475 hp and torque ratings from 1,450 to 1,750 lb-ft, giving it similar horsepower and torque ratings to its diesel engine counterparts. Since natural gas can be produced in North America, it helps reduce dependence on foreign oil sources.

For the dual LNG tank configuration, Kenworth uses a Dewar flask (or cryogenic tank) system that is like a large Thermos bottle inside a metal cylinder. Each LNG fuel tank, which is designed to keep the fuel in its liquid state at minus 260 degrees F, can hold up to 60 diesel gallon equivalents (DGE) of fuel. The dual LNG tank configuration is only available on the Kenworth T800, equipped with a day cab or the Kenworth Extended Day Cab.

Hybrid available

As part of its alternative fuel lineup, Kenworth also offers the Kenworth T270 Class 6 and T370 Class 7 diesel-electric hybrid trucks for utility, pickup and delivery, and service applications. Kenworth hybrid tractors, available up to 55,000-pound GCW, are for local haul applications, including beverage, general freight, and grocery distribution. Kenworth's goal is to enhance fuel economy by up to 30% in both pickup and delivery and hybrid tractor applications and up to 50% in utility operations.

Kenworth will offer a 22.5-inch tire and wheel package and expanded wheelbase choices for the K270 and K370 medium-duty cabovers, which will match up to standard dock heights at pickup and delivery locations in several applications. Depending on van body installation practices, the cab floor will be at approximately 50 inches up from the ground with an 11R22.5-inch package. The K270 will also retain the 19.5-inch tire and wheel package as an alternative for customers that require a lower-step height and entry.

Kenworth also will expand the total wheelbase configurations available for the K270 and K370. The 22.5-inch tire and wheel package introduces a wheelbase range of 146 inches to 242 inches in 12-inch increments. According to Powell, the new longer wheelbase allows for up to a 28-foot van body installation, while the shorter wheelbase can accommodate a van body length down to 16 feet.


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