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Kenworth says the tractor weighs around 15,000 pounds with 100 gallons of fuel. Amongst the lightweight components are the conventional aluminum cab and also optional Alcoa wheels.

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Photos: Tom Berg

Lightweight is the divine grail of most mass haulers, who can often transform a pound reduced from automobile weight directly to payload, be it grain, gravel, chemicals and also food-grade liquids, or building materials. Kenworth recently showed turn off a T680 sleeper-cab tractor the scaled at 14,200 pounds (not counting fuel), follow to master at a ride-and-drive occasion staged at the KW plant in Chillicothe, Ohio.


As with any kind of lightweight specification, conserving weight comes from the careful choice of components. Kenworth’s list, and also estimated load savings, include:

Standard aluminum cab, about 400 pounds much less than a comparable steel cabin.A 52-inch mid-rise aluminum sleeper compartment, 500 pounds much less than a longer and taller unit. The lower height is a better match for the tank and also flatbed trailers regularly operated by weight-conscious fleets. Extra length adds pounds, not just in the sleeper structure but likewise in the much longer main-frame rails, but this modest size makes for an extremely livable accommodations.Paccar’s MX-11 diesel, around 400 pounds under one MX-13 or Cummins ISX12. Thanks to progressed electronic controls and combustion technology, the smaller sized MX deserve to make an ext power and also torque than size alone would certainly suggest. This one had the optimal rating of 430 hp and 1,550 lb-ft.Eaton benefit 10-speed hands-on transmission, 70 pounds less than an automatically version.Meritor FueLite 6x2 tandem, saving about 300 pounds vs. A twin-screw and can conserve up to 3% in fuel. The partially liftable dead axle have the right to transfer weight to the journey axle, do traction much more than enough under most circumstances.Wide-base single tires ~ above aluminum wheels, saving 350 to 400 pounds over double wheels.A 100-gallon aluminum fuel tank rather of higher capacity; diesel weighs about 7.5 pounds per gallon. A hundred gallons is still enough for a day’s running by one driver.

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It doesn’t show up that the lightweight components will result in any type of loss of reliability. This Kenworth has a strong feel and also it, and also the liked components, have actually a history — or at least the potential — of being rugged. The Eaton hand-operated transmission, because that example, has almost nothing to go wrong – no electronics or servos or any other form of automation come fail. Ns did have actually occasional difficulty with a sticky shift lever throughout up- or downshifting, simply as I’ve had actually with previous new-generation KWs. Is the me, as company reps have actually suggested? (Maybe, but at least one other editor, a former owner-operator, had comparable problems.) Or was it the gearboxes’ modern, strict contoured teeth and also utter newness — that is, simply not being damaged in?


Otherwise this tractor gift a pleasurable steering experience. It rode and also handled well, and aside from exhibiting an in its entirety sense of quality and tightness, the cab to be roomy with great visibility in every directions. It was nearly uncannily quiet while underway, one attribute of other T680s and also T880s I’ve driven since their advent several year ago. The this one was a lightweight adds to its utility and value.