Kenworth have been the dominant player in the heavy duty truck industry for over twenty years, building trucks Australian truck drivers want to drive. The changes which have arrived with the new T 610 and the T 610 SAR from the Bayswater-based company suggest the tastes of the Aussie truckie have changed, but not that much.
Any Kenworth truck is always going to be a compromise. the Australian trucking industry is just not big enough to justify designing and building a tailor made truck for Australia, from the ground up. Instead, the art is to take components sold in the big truck markets of the world, namely the US and Europe, and then adapt and mix them in such a way to suit our conditions and climate.
Paccar Australia has a good long term relationship with a number of Australian component suppliers to draw on and it also has the resources of Kenworth and Peterbilt in the US and DAF in Europe at its disposal to come up with a solution which works for us. The result is a mix and match which has to be designed to become unified whole, with its own look and feel.
The time has come for the conventional truck in Australia to bring itself up to date. Modern electronics and assembly technology have introduced many new possibilities. The modern truck owner is also looking for a lot more from each truck in terms of productivity, information as well as driver safety and comfort. The Paccar group, as a whole, is moving towards a unified cabin design and Kenworth in Australia have come up with their unique adaptation of this to give us the T610.
These two new truck models are a direct replacement for the T409 and T40SAR, but we can expect them to also replace the T609, as well, the high power options are all available in the T610. The Cummins X15 will be available from 450 hp all of the way up to 600 hp in all models. This is due to the new improved cooling package, which is claimed to have more capacity in hand than the current package offered on the C500 from Kenworth.
However, we must not forget, this is Kenworth, a very careful and conservative brand, with conservative customers, who are willing to embrace change, but not too much in one go. The T 610 seems to have hit just the right balance of old and new to keep most people happy.