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New Kenworth T610 launched in Melbourne

Prime Mover Magazine  /  December 5, 2016

After almost a decade of development, Kenworth has officially launched the new T610 model during a spectacular ceremony in Melbourne on the weekend.

The result of more than 100,000 Australian design hours and more than ten million kilometres of testing and validation, the T610 was specifically developed for the local road transport market, according to Brad May, Paccar Australia’s Director of Sales and Marketing.

“The T610 is the single largest investment in product development the company has ever made in Australia,” he said.

“It represents everything a Kenworth should be in terms of durability, reliability and safety. Yet the really noticeable product improvements are the superior space, ergonomics and driver comfort and control.”

Based on a tried and proven chassis, the T610 features an entirely new cabin that is centred around the needs of the driver, May elaborated.

“The core of this project was about building a bigger cab but it’s really about creating the ultimate driver environment.

“A good driver environment leads to better all-round driving performance, safety, efficiency and productivity.”

At 2.1m, the new cab is almost 300mm wider than the outgoing one (T409, ed.), with the engineers having also pushed the cab 300mm forward over the engine to meet Australia’s stringent length laws and make the T610 more attractive for the contested fleet market.

“Incorporated into the design is greater foot space, more standing room and storage, wider walkthrough access between the seats and more expansive door and windscreen glass, providing space, visibility and ergonomics never before seen in Kenworth’s suite of Australian made trucks,” May summarised.

While all Kenworth trucks are tested and validated to the same standards, the benchmark for the T610 has been elevated even further, Kenworth’s Engineering Project Design Manager, Ross Cureton explained during the launch event on Saturday.

“The T610 has been tested three times more than any Australian Kenworth truck that’s gone before it,” he shared.

“All Kenworth trucks would normally run on a standard, 60-day shake test program, where the physical cab is mounted on a simulation machine, as if driving on its chassis, to see if it survives. We put the T610 cab through three of these cycles, which acts as if it were being subjected to the vibrations and forces of the worst case road conditions found in Australia.”

Cureton said despite the multiple, at times violent simulations, the new Kenworth cab passed with flying colours. “I’ve been at Kenworth for 23 years and the T610 shake test has proven it to be the most durable cab we’ve ever tested, and we wouldn’t want it to be any less, given the Australian market and our collective expectations.”

As part of the new cab, Kenworth also developed a new, automotive quality dashboard with improved access to the air conditioning (HVAC, ed.) system and tool free access to electrical circuit protection, plus visually apparent fasteners in the dash to assist further access if required.

Under the hood, the new T610 will be powered by Cummins’ X15 Euro V engine with Advanced Dynamic Efficient Powertrain (ADEPT) technology – a term to summarise a whole suite of electronic features that interact with the optional Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), dynamically adapting to operating conditions to enhance fuel economy with no impact to productivity.

The T610, which also come in a SAR version, will be offered in either a day cab or a 860mm sleeper to make it suitable for virtually any application – including maximum payload 26m B-double work. The set forward front axle (SAR) version will also make it suitable for 19m single trailer, as well as tipper and dog applications.

On the safety front, the 610 will be available with state-of-the-art collision avoidance and mitigation technology, “including active cruise with braking and lane departure warning working in harmony to take safety to the next level”, as Kenworth put it.


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Exclusive Report: Kenworth launches new T610

Steve Brooks, Owner/Driver  /  December 4, 2016

Kenworth’s new T610 is the biggest and most expensive truck development program ever undertaken in the company’s Australian history. From Kenworth headquarters and behind the wheel, Steve Brooks files this detailed report

In the 40 years and more since Paccar first started building Kenworths at its renowned Bayswater (Vic) facility, there has been nothing quite like the new T610.

Sure, the first T600s in the mid-80s revolutionised the world of conventional truck design but in the 30 years since then, the actual structure of Kenworth conventionals with their 1.83 metre wide cab has changed very little. Until now!

In fact, senior Kenworth insiders say there is nothing in Paccar’s Australian history to even remotely match the investment made in the T610 with its 2.1 metre wide cab.

Word has it that by the time trucks start rolling out of Bayswater in February 2017, around $20 million will have been spent on an entirely new conventional truck engineered and built to the specific requirements of Australia and surrounding regions.

Some perspective on the extent of the investment in the T610 is perhaps best understood by the fact that the entire range of current 09 models (T409, T609, T909 etc) plus the radically revamped K200 cab-over all came to life for less than half of what will be spent on bringing the T610 into existence.

"This is the biggest single investment ever made in new Kenworth product in this country and outside Australia there is nothing like this truck anywhere in Paccar," said a proud Brad May, Paccar Australia sales and marketing director.

"We basically took what we could from Paccar’s global platform but no one should be in any doubt that the engineering and design of the finished product are all ours, all done in Bayswater."

Major cost items like the firewall and floor structures as well as a completely new and strengthened dash are uniquely Australian, fully engineered at Bayswater to achieve the structural durability and design goals deemed essential for this market.

"Our parent company obviously had to approve the investment and we certainly utilised Paccar’s facilities in the US in the durability validation process, but the engineering design is totally ours," Brad May emphasised. "This is a truck engineered in Australia, for Australia. Absolutely!"

While external styling is definitely different and comes with a number of ancillary features adapted from the inventories of both Kenworth and Peterbilt in the US, the T610 is unquestionably an exercise in substance over style.

Most notably, the cab is wider, taller and in sleeper form, vastly more spacious and liveable than the long-serving cab of Kenworth’s current conventional range. Unlike existing T4 models, for example, sleeper versions of the 610 provide full standing room from the seat to the sleeper and there’s little doubt this fact alone will be a major attraction for owners and drivers alike.

For its initial assault on the market, Kenworth’s new T610 will immediately supersede the hugely successful T409 and its SAR derivative, but only those powered by the 15 litre Cummins ISXe5 engine.

The 610’s first foray into the market will see it offered in set-back and set-forward (SAR) front axle configurations, initially as a day cab or with an 860 mm (36 inch) sleeper. Of course, further sleeper options will be progressively added.

Meantime, ‘409s punched by Paccar’s own 13 litre MX engine will for the time being continue with the current 1.83 metre cab and existing sleeper options. It’s understood, however, that development work on an MX-powered version (T410) is already well under way.

As for other conventionals in the Kenworth range, the 2.1 metre cab is almost certain to be applied to all models in due course.

The T610 evolved from the conceptual possibilities provided by a US$400 million Paccar development program in the US around 2008 which ultimately saw the release of new Kenworth and Peterbilt models, notably the T680 and Pete 579. 

Despite their fiercely held independence, the new Kenworth and Peterbilt models shared a new 2.1 metre wide cab. Realising the obvious potential of the wider cab, Australia’s product planning team were soon in touch with their US counterparts investigating the possibilities of a wider righthand-drive cab for the Australian market.

As Brad May remarked, it was a long and highly detailed exercise and while a wider cab was seen as a ‘no-brainer’ for the next generation of Kenworth product, building a truck capable of enduring Australia’s operational and regulatory requirements was an all-consuming task.

Meantime, the hugely successful T409 with the Cummins 15 litre engine was seen from the outset as an ideal first candidate for the new cab. Evolving from the T600, the T4 family has grown to become the most versatile range in the Kenworth armoury.

There are, however, issues associated with the installation of a big bore engine into the relatively narrow confines of the existing 1.83 metre cab. Chief among those issues are a narrow driver’s footwell, awkward access to the bunk due to limited space and lack of standing room between the seats, complex steering geometry, and poor service access to the rear of engine, particularly the 15 litre Cummins.

Yet as a few hours behind the wheel of a pre-production unit quickly verified, the 2.1 metre cab of the T610 dramatically diminishes all these issues and in the case of steering geometry, completely negates concerns about complexity thanks to a straight shaft from the cab to the chassis-mounted steering box.

The T610 also provides a substantial (30%) increase in space around the driver’s footwell, the gap between the seats has been significantly opened and with a rise in the height of the bunk, there’s now room for an optional slide-out fridge. It’s actually amazing what Kenworth has achieved with an extra 270 mm between the B-pillars.

Meanwhile, floor height of the cab has been lifted by around 75 mm, adding another step for the climb in and out. However, the advantages of the higher floor are considerable.

Perhaps the greatest benefit is that it has allowed the cab to be moved forward to create a bumper to back-of-cab (BBC) dimension of just 112 inches on the day cab model, giving the newcomer particularly strong appeal for any number of length-critical applications. By comparison, the current T409 has a BBC of 116 inches.

Stayin’ Cool

Importantly, the higher stance of the cab allows greater airflow underneath to enhance cooling efficiency and considerably improves service access to the rear of the engine.

Furthermore, the taller cab also improves visibility though some drivers may rue the fact that the top of the KW ‘bug’ is no longer visible and therefore unavailable as a line of sight to the edge of the road. Kenworth insiders, however, are quick to point out that the bug remains visible over the snout of the SAR version.

Still, it’s almost certain some operators will question the cost-effectiveness of the T610’s single-piece windscreen over the two-piece ‘screen available on current T4s. For now though, Kenworth says it will be sticking with the single ‘screen.

However, it’s highly unlikely anyone will question the mirrors. Adapted from US models, they’re mounted on low slung dual arms and offer little visual interference on the approach to roundabouts and the like. They’re also incredibly strong as a Kenworth executive demonstrated by swinging his full weight from the mounting arm.

Under the hood, the T610 uses an aluminium radiator and an assertive Brad May says the new model has no difficulty cooling 600 hp at high loads and high ambient temperatures.

As for durability of the aluminium cooler, May says there have been no issues with the aluminium radiator used in MX-powered 409s and given the amount of testing done on the T610, Kenworth is entirely confident there won’t be any dramas with the new installation.

Furthermore, Kenworth is adamant that despite the bigger cab there has been no increase in tare weight due in large part to the use of aluminium wherever possible, not least in the radiator and the majority of the cab shell. It’s worth mentioning, however, the roof of sleeper cab models is made of a strong yet lightweight composite material.

Typically, quality and strength were high on the priority list with extensive engineering and test procedures put in place from the outset. One of those procedures was to ‘wire’ a T650 operating in roadtrain roles with Queensland-based livestock specialist Ross Fraser to electronically record a ‘drive file’ of real world and often severe road conditions for testing and engineering validation.

This data platform was the critical factor in creating what Brad May says is "The strongest cab we’ve ever built," with test cabs enduring three times the normal cycle of shaker tests.

"No Kenworth cab has undergone greater durability assessment than the T610 and the whole structure stood up to everything put to it.

Meanwhile, back in Bayswater the cab was subjected to ECE R-29 crash standards and again came through with flying colours according to Brad May.

Likewise, the interior layout is a uniquely Australian design. For example, between the firewall and an injection moulded dash fascia which is said to be double the thickness of US designs, a totally new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system was created for Australian conditions.

Additionally, the structural integrity of the dash and its underlying components are founded on what Kenworth describes as a purposely designed cross-car steel beam stretching across the width of the dash.

"A huge amount of time, effort and obviously money went into the dash and all the components attached to it. It was a complex exercise but we knew it had to be absolutely right," Brad May remarked.

Visually, the dash is decidedly different but in typical Kenworth fashion, strong on function and form. The initial design sees a woodgrain fascia surrounding traditional gauges, with an optional multi-function touchscreen in the pipeline. Lower down and within relatively easy reach is a line of switches to a wide range of functions such as engine brake, diff lock and the like.

Meanwhile, switches for cruise control, audio, and menu functions for an LCD info display directly in front of the driver are mounted on the arms of a comfortably padded steering wheel.

Most prominent gauges are obviously the speedo and rev counter under the LCD screen. On each side are well positioned gauges and Kenworth points out that up to 18 gauges can be specified in the T610.

 Putting practicality first and certainly bucking the trend in automotive design are exposed fasteners holding the dash in place.

"The trend in automotive styling these days is to hide screws and fasteners," Brad May explained. "But if something needs attention behind the dash, access is made a lot easier and there’s much less chance of damage by simply undoing a few easily reached screws to get behind the dash fascia."

Surprisingly, cup holder trays on the lower edge of the dash centre differ between automated and manual transmissions. With a manual stick, the cup holder is neat and unobtrusive but automated versions have the ‘cobra’ shift controller mounted on a much larger assembly which extends notably into cab space.

In the lead-up to the launch of the T610, the first field evaluation unit went to work with high profile fleet McColl’s in June and over following months another four units – day cab and sleeper versions – hit the highways with various operators. Kenworth insists that by the time production trucks start rolling out of Bayswater, at least 11 pre-production T610s will be involved in ongoing field trials.

Trial results have been extraordinarily positive says Brad May, adding that the years of careful planning, local engineering and design experience, and brutal test procedures have driven high levels of confidence that Kenworth’s latest will also be its greatest. 

"The T610 is home-grown and we are already incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved with this truck," he said earnestly. "Yes, we’re extremely confident but then, I think we have good reason to be.

"After all, the T610 is the latest evolution of what we’ve been doing in this country for 40 years. Building trucks for Australia."


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New Kenworth Unveiled

Diesel News AU  /  December 4, 2016

Paccar HQ in Bayswater has seen a new Kenworth unveiled, the T610. Available in two models, the T610 and T610 SAR, this new generation of Kenworths looks set to revolutionise the truck maker’s range, here in Australia.

After almost a decade of development, and the result of more than 100,000 Australian design hours and more than ten million kilometres of testing and validation, Paccar said the T610 is the single largest investment in product development the company has ever made in Australia.

The new models have been designed to utilise the technology and components available from the Paccar organisation worldwide, but put it together in a particularly Australian way, to meet the trucking industry’s needs both in terms of power and dimensions as well as being able to remain durable in Aussie conditions.

The new cabin is fitted to the traditional Kenworth chassis and is the coming together of three sections, an adaptation of the unitary driver’s cab used in the US, a sleeper compartment custom built at the Bayswater plant and a fibre glass roof designed and built in Australia.

The 2.1 metre wide cab is almost 300 mm wider than the outgoing cab, with the engineers having also pushed the cab 300 mm forward over the engine to meet Australia’s difficult length laws.

With the introduction of the Cummins X15 engine, the new trucks will be available from 450 to 600 hp. This means the two new models will have the capability to replace all of the existing T4 and T6 range from Kenworth. Not that the existing models will be going away anytime soon, Kenworth will be building old and new models, side by side on the production line for the time being.

Kenworth says the new cabin is centred entirely around the needs of the driver. Incorporated into the design is greater foot space, more standing room and storage, wider walkthrough access between the seats and more expansive door and windscreen glass, providing space, visibility and ergonomics never before seen in Kenworth’s suite of Australian made trucks.

“The core of this project was about building a bigger cab but it’s really about creating the ultimate driver environment,” said Brad May, PACCAR Australia’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “A good driver environment leads to better all-round driving performance, safety, efficiency and productivity.”


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Not sure of price for this model, but some comparisons. 

Legend t950 was $400,000. 

Mate bought a t909 for $385,000.  

I can get a flat roof k200 for $260,000. 

I reckon this would be $280-300. 

Cab looks best on the sar hidden behind air filters I think. 

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Power Torque Magazine  /  December 2016

Dave Whyte and Chris Mullett find the Kenworth T610 brings in the long-awaited appeal of a wide cab for conventional operators

It’s not exactly been the best kept secret in Australian trucking, but when production kicks off finally in February and the wide cab versions start entering fleets there are going to be a lot of extremely satisfied drivers out on the road.

Eagle-eyed readers of PowerTorque have spotted the five trucks seeded into major fleets as they’ve been racking up the kilometres under the most extensive product testing Kenworth has completed in our market to date. One such example used on linehaul with driver changes is currently covering 14000 km each week. But there’s much more to the development of the T610 than just producing five prime movers and running them up and down the highway.

Brad May, director of sales and marketing for PACCAR Australia, gave PowerTorque an exclusive insight into the T610 development programme that started back in 2012, at the same time that PACCAR in the United States showcased the Kenworth T680 and Peterbilt 579 at the Mid-America Truck Show.

“The T610 is the result of a $400 million investment programme that has been built around the decision to increase the width of the cab from the previous 1.83 metres measured between the B-pillars to 2.1 metres,” said Brad.

“It may sound a simple idea, but the development programme to substantiate the increase in width also resulted in a new design of floor plan and a totally new method of assembling the cab structure during manufacturing. The work also included a wide range of changes to the interior design and dashboard layout that has produced a more modern visual appearance and improved ergonomics,” he added.

The initial development work was a combined programme between the two PACCAR brands of Kenworth and Peterbilt in the United States, in conjunction with the R&D team at Bayswater in Victoria. The Kenworth development team concentrated on the bonnet and cab changes, while Peterbilt developed the interior dashboard layout and trim requirements.

Building a larger cab meant changing the construction method from a reliance on Huck bolts to using Henrob self-piercing rivets for the alloy framed and sheeted cab. The roof for the sleeper versions is manufactured in composite material. The larger width of 2.1 m has provided an increase in interior space in many areas of up to 30 percent, but has been achieved with virtually no additional weight penalty, with the new cab tipping the scales at just a 20 kg difference.

The bumper to back-of-cab (BBC) measurement of the T610 has moved from the 116-inch dimension of the T409 it replaces, to 112 inches, and, with noise intrusion significantly reduced, there’s also additional strength in the firewall that is now 60 percent thicker at 4.0 mm compared to the T409 at 2.4 mm.

Drivers will appreciate the additional space between the seats when moving around the cab interior and also how the forward vision has been improved. The traditional West Coast style of mirrors has been replaced by aerodynamic power adjustable mirror heads mounted on extended arms from the A-pillar. This new location enables forward vision over the top of the mirror housing, and between the mirror housing and the A-pillar, removing previous blind spots.

The injection moulded dashboard is now much more car-like in appearance and features digital display screens showing driver information and engine data such as fuel economy and performance. With a completely new floor design there’s now much more room in the footwell around the pedals, with extra space for the driver’s left footrest.

A lot of development work has also taken place in the redesign of the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) system, which is now a full climate-control unit.

In past designs, where a right-hand-drive version has been the result of modifications to an original left-hand-drive design, there have always been issues occurring through routing the steering column past components such as turbochargers. Often the solution has been to incorporate a series of universal joints.

Because of the close collaboration of the three design teams between America and Australia, it was possible to create a straight path for the steering column, right through from the wheel to the steering box. This results in probably the best steering precision yet achieved for an on-highway truck of this category.

The electrical system retains the normal US choice of 12 volts, but is now based on a multiplex system, with the new cab frame constructed in the US and shipped direct to the Bayswater factory in Victoria.

The cooling system has also come in for close attention, with the radiator on the T610 now based on aluminium cores, replacing the previous copper and brass construction. The durability of the new designs has been verified by extensive finite element analysis and then further confirmed by physical shakedown testing on continuous activity rigs that reproduced highly destructive road conditions. The shake-down testing programmes were repeated three times more than any previous test programme in order to validate the durability by simulating over 10 million kilometres of real-time experience.

As well as the single-cab version, the T609 is available as a sleeper cab SAR with a set forward front axle. This features the traditional Aerodyne style sleeper but without the roof mounted windows that featured in previous versions. The bed size has been maintained at 860 mm, the same spec as used in the previous 36-inch sleeper design to maintain compatibility for 19 m and 26 m B-double application.

“We looked at how to improve headroom and spaciousness inside the cab and the input we had into the final designs enabled us to move the high roof slope forwards in the roof line,” said Brad.

“Mike Dozier, Kenworth Australia’s chief executive at the time of the T610 development programme, came from a product background with Peterbilt. Being tall himself, he was a strong supporter of ensuring sufficient headroom to promote the feeling of interior spaciousness with excellent walk-around access.

“This attention to visibility for tall drivers also resulted in the window line of the doors being styled to provide clear vision, without having to stoop to improve line of sight.

“The doors themselves have triple seals to prevent noise and dust intrusion, and no longer have to carry the mirror mounts, which, as mentioned previously, are now fixed to the A-pillar framing. Conventional hinges now replace the older-style piano hinges, providing a more positive and refined door closure,” added Brad.

The T610 is the culmination of many years of extensive product development and cooperation between Paccar in Australia and the United States. Although currently confined to one model in two configurations, there’s little doubt that over the next couple of years we will be seeing the innovation of the T610 influencing other models throughout the Kenworth Australia product range.


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New Kenworth T610 could reshuffle truck market

Prime Mover Magazine  /  January 20, 2017

Kenworth’s new T610 model could be able to compete across a broader area of applications than any other truck currently on the Australian market.

According to Peter Shields, Senior Technical Writer at Prime Mover, the new T610 brings with it an “extensive range of versatility” that could see it succeed not only in the 26- and 19m B-double market, but also in the infrastructure boom-led tipper-and-dog segment, and possibly even in Performance-Based Standards (PBS) applications.

“Kenworth’s new heavy-duty model is arguably the brand’s most ambitious project to date,” he said.

“Walking the line between traditional design and high technology, it’s short enough to fit into Australia’s 26m B-double envelope and thus able to go head-to-head with the increasingly bullish European cab-over faction – all while retaining that distinct North American spirit Australian trucking is so fond of.”

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Best-ever Kenworth on show

New Zealand Truck & Driver  /  January 2017 

Kenworth’s new T610 conventional model will have its New Zealand launch (and its first public showing worldwide) at next month’s Transport & Heavy Equipment (THE) Expo at Mystery Creek.

The T610 is reckoned by Kenworth Australia to be its “best truck yet” – AND the North American make’s biggest single investment ever in an Australian truck.

The T610 (and its T610SAR variant) has also been subjected to three times more testing than any previous Aussie Kenworth, the company says. In almost a decade of development it’s been the subject of more than 100,000 hours of design work….and over 10 million kilometres of testing and validation.

The result, it says, is Kenworth’s “most innovative, durable and productive truck yet.”

New Zealand distributor Southpac Trucks will have three T610s as the centrepiece of its stand at the THE Expo – daycab 6x4 and 8x4 T610s and a T610SAR 6x4 sleeper.

Southpac general sales manager Richard Smart says the T610 is an important new model for the NZ market – replacing the current on-highway T409s and T609s.

The first customer trucks are scheduled to arrive here within a few weeks of the show.

The T610 is powered by Cummins’ new X15 Euro 5 engine, with ratings up to 600-horsepower (447kW) and 2050 lb ft (2779Nm) of peak torque.

The X15 has Cummins’ advanced dynamic efficient powertrain (ADEPT) technology – an electronics suite designed to interact with Eaton AMTs, “dynamically adapting to conditions for fuel-efficient operation, with no impact on productivity,” says Kenworth.


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Video - Kenworth T610 test drive

Steve Brooks, Owner/Driver  /  February , 10, 2017

Labelled by Paccar as "Our Best Truck Yet", the Kenworth T610 and T610 SAR line-up was put through its paces at the Mt Cotton Training Centre's test track in south east Queensland on February 7.

Steve Brooks took the various configurations for several laps around the winding and undulating circuit, and was particularly impressed with the performance of the T610 B-double configuraton with 18-speed Roadranger gearbox.

Video - https://www.ownerdriver.com.au/product-news/1702/kenworth-t610-test-drive

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Will Kenworth's new SAR cannibalise the T909?

Big Rigs  /  February 24, 2017

Look at the style, drive the thing the T610 SAR has the specs and aesthetics to attract a T909 buyer.

The obvious drawback is a potentially rougher ride with the set-forward front axle.

Kenworth marketing boss Brad May says the T610 SAR could potentially push into the dream list of operators considering a T909.

"From a point of view of the power and performance it can offer, I guess a fundamental difference in the 909 is that it is still a set back cab and it's raised even higher. So from the point of view of getting the driver further away from the front axle, which is obviously a preference for some people, they like to sit further between the axles.”

And at this stage a larger sleeper is not an option for the SAR.

The big question - of course - is when will the T910 be launched and May agrees that Paccar would like to make the new cab standard but he says coyly that there are no plans to trot out the T910.

"Other than an idealism that we'd like this cab design on every Australian conventional truck inside a couple of years so. If the traditional T909 buyer was in this room right now, they'd look at this truck (T610) and say, do not change my T9, leave it alone, just use the new cab on other model.”

Brad May is confident however that when the benefits of the comfort become better known it will be accepted in other models.

"When you can stand up in the cab, things like climate control I think the market will push harder than what they are pushing right now, so yes, maybe by 2019 the new cab could come to the T9 series,” he said.

I asked him did he think the T610 will find work in larger multiple combinations.

"I can see no reason why it wouldn't, the chassis is the same, the foundations of the truck are exactly the same as the legacy Kenworth product and the cab itself has been tested to a level that is beyond any testing that we've ever done for any model, and to a level that replicates the harshest conditions that any of our trucks go into.

"If we ask anyone what is the toughest Kenworth we make, people would say the T650 - bulletproof!

"If that's the strongest truck we make for the harshest conditions, what we did with this truck is that we recorded in a livestock situation out west what the truck was subjected to and subjected this truck to every bit of that and more and we can't break it. So I can see no reason why we wouldn't see this truck anywhere were you see a Kenworth right now, whether that be in this particular model or in some future release of a T9 or a C5 but there is nothing light weight about this truck, this truck is designed to be everything a Kenworth needs to be in this country and it's been tested to do that.”

The bottom line is that some buyers will buy this truck on aesthetics, they like the look of a more traditional truck and PBS has made load configurations more flexible.

T610SAR - http://www.kenworth.com.au/trucks/t610sar/

T909 - http://www.kenworth.com.au/trucks/t909/

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Building Trucks Australian Truck Drivers Want To Drive

Diesel News AU  /  March 14, 2017

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 T610 and the T610 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 T610 seems to have hit just the right balance of old and new to keep most people happy.

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Kenworth Balancing Act

Diesel News AU  /  April 20, 2017

Moving with the times while keeping its traditional enthusiasts has created a Kenworth balancing act, where it retains a pragmatic quality. The brochure for the new trucks from Kenworth, the T610 and T610 SAR are headlined, ‘Our Best Truck Yet’ in its brochures. Of course, this can be dismissed as just a load of hype from the marketing department, but it is not like the Paccar organisation to go over the top on these occasions.

Kenworth does have a lot to crow about, it is the dominant player in the Australian heavy duty market, and has been for some time. It is also coming under pressure from a couple of directions, the European cabover trucks are making inroads into heavy duty prime mover market and the older designs for conventional trucks are getting into dimensional strife in some applications.

Often in Diesel News we talk about the debate between cabover and conventional and European vs US, but there are a large number of issues making truck buying choices trickier each year.

However, the first question anyone considering these new trucks asks may not be about the exact dimensions, ratings and design. They are more likely to be more about whether these new trucks really do look and feel like a Kenworth, and carry on the long tradition so proudly developed by the Bayswater-based truck maker.

Yes, they understand the compromises which have to be made by a boutique, in global terms, truck manufacturer. The days of individual trucks hand crafted for each individual have passed, now it’s all about streamlined tailored production of a truck capable of doing the job in the harsh Australian trucking environment.

It is here where Kenworth has to do a tricky balancing act. The truck has to meet a number of conflicting expectations. There has always been a kind of ruggedness to a big KW, but the driver always notices the quality of the finish. The door closes precisely every time for ten years, cables don’t rub when running on farm tracks and those annoying little rattles in the cab are rare. This is the perception the company has been building up throughout its history.

This brings us back to the question. Does it look and feel like a ‘proper’ Kenworth? The answer is, of course, yes. The compromises made in the design to bring the conventional Kenworth up to 21st century standard do not compromise those little cues which tell the driver they are in a KW.


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Kenworth T610 recognised by Good Design Australia

Prime Mover Magazine  /  May 22, 2017

The aerodynamic design of Kenworth’s new T610 and T601SAR models has been recognised by Good Design Australia, the organisation behind Australia's annual Good Design Awards program.

According to PACCAR Australia, the T610 received a ‘Good Design Selection’, with the judging committee stating, “The Jury takes their hat off to the design and engineering team.
This is design excellence at its best.”

According to Good Design Australia, involving customers in the design phase has resulted in a user-focused outcome.

“The driving position in the Aero is just beautiful and it is clear the designers put driver comfort first. Overall, this project exemplifies good design at all levels.”


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Driving McPhersons Interstate Transport's Kenworth T610 SAR

Peter Schlenk, Owner-Driver  /  August 1, 2017

Brian Barnik was offered a job as the regular driver of a new Kenworth T610 SAR and jumped at the opportunity

McPhersons Interstate Transport, based at Myrtleford in Victoria’s high country, was one of the first to purchase a Kenworth T610 SAR, with driver Brian Barnik being the lucky recipient.

Brian jumped out of a Transtar to drive the 610 and really noticed the difference with the modern Kenworth.

"This engine feels like you are in a plane taking off and it has a nice note to it as well," Brian smiles. "I could really get used to driving this."

The SAR is kept busy doing Carter Holt Harvey work, carrying timber to the mainland capitals of Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne.

"No-one knows what it is," Brian says of the new Kenworth. "It doesn’t have many badges, just one Kenworth badge on the grille.

The T610 SAR looks the goods in McPherson Interstate Transport’s colours and Brian takes a lot of pride in it, just as he does with his own Kenworth.

"I’ve got a 1978 Kenworth with an 8V92 Detroit in it and am restoring it slowly. It was originally a Goulburn based truck and is a very original old girl."

Brian is a Kenworth man through and through. He even has a Kenworth tattoo to back it up.

"The X15 Euro V Cummins sounds great and pulls very well. Alan [McPherson] has specced it up very heavily with the intention of doing some float work later."

Brian has been in and around trucks for decades. Although his parents weren’t involved in the transport industry, they were friends of the Rouse family, leading him to start work John Rouse Transport yard before he even left school. There he would help wash and grease the trucks.

Back then John Rouse Transport had three trucks in its fleet, but now John’s son Kurt runs over a dozen.

It led to led Brian doing 15 years as a mechanic and 17 years driving.

"I just loved trucks. It’s a disease," he exclaims. "Once you are into them, you can’t get out of them."

By the time Brian was 19, he was looking for a change of scenery and headed for Queensland, landing a job working on Peterbilts.

"I enjoyed doing that. Peterbilts are a different class of truck but I got the itch to drive and started with Richers Transport in Maryborough.

"That was my first interstate job, running down to Sydney in a Mack Vision. That was my first banger and was followed by an Iveco Powerstar. I thought that was flash."

Brian's wife Melissa doesn’t have a truck licence, but enjoys going along for the ride, especially in the new Kenworth T610 SAR.

"She came with me to Sydney last week," Brian continues. "And there is plenty of room in the T610."


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Kenworth T610 SAR: The definitive Scotty Douglas review

Trade Trucks AU  /  September 1, 2017

My fascination with trucks and trucking started in a strangely auspicious way. It started with a shit-tsunami; it was clearly a sign of things to come.

The irony of that is not lost on me; in fact every day on the road or in a warehouse somewhere, some numb-nut attempts to replicate what happened that fateful spring day.

I would’ve been about 8 years old and I’d just been given a model matchbox truck, a silver single-drive Ford LNT complete with tipping trailer. It was my prized possession.

The bonnet flipped open to reveal a shiny engine, the windows were tinted green and the tipper body raised. That truck and I did plenty of highway miles across the lounge room carpet hauling express loads of Lego. I even managed to alternate between making engine noise and fictitious CB radio conversations without drooling too much. I was clearly doomed to a life of trucks.

Then one day a brand spanking new LNT rumbled up the driveway of the family farm, a real life-sized one, hauling a stock crate. I was in awe, my pudgy little feet carried me down the verandah steps in a trance as the bonneted behemoth sat out the front idling.

Sun glinted off the chrome radiator grille and the rain caps on the ends of the exhaust stacks tinkled in unison with the engines’ idle. I circled this shiny beast in a daze, the driver clearly thought I was an idiot and decided to ignore me. I stood beside the truck taking it all in.

It was then that the load of Merino ewes inside the crate decided to walk over to my side of the truck for a sticky beak. A tidal wave of liquefied sheep shit and piss crashed over the side of the trailer with the movement, coating me from head to foot in ovine excrement.

The driver near pissed himself laughing; in fact he missed a step on the way out of the cab.

May as well start as you mean to continue eh?

But apart from that old toy LNT tipper and its urgent loads of Lego, I’ve never had a go at being a mud-carter in real life. However, I have been drooling over the new T610 Kenny since I first saw it but I haven’t had the chance to have a steer of one. The boss certainly isn’t going to buy me one; he thinks I’m a prick.

But I managed to con someone to let me have a go of theirs. I got to tick a couple of first time boxes; my first as a mud carter and my first go of the new T610.

Jason (Big Jay) Davis was another kid doomed to a life of trucking, for the vast majority of his working life he has been behind the wheel. From little rigids in the early days to linehaul B-double and tipper and dog.

In fact, way back when I was spluttering across my Victorian lounge room carpet with my Lego loaded Louie, Big Jay was also spluttering across his own Penrith lounge room floor with a matchbox Scammel Crusader towing a float and dozer.

What a likely couple of sad bastards.

New Banger

The big fella is quite a happy camper these days though. His bosses, Mark and Linda Anzellotti Of Silverdale NSW based Subbies Tipper Hire, have just handed Jason the keys to a brand spanking new Kenworth T610 PBS truck and dog.

The white 610 makes for a striking looking jigger, and with just under 10,000km on the clock it’s still being run in. The tipper body and quad dog are from Borcat and under PBS the whole combination can run at a gross weight of 57.5 tonnes. In payload terms this means 39.5 tonnes of yonnies in the back.

This truck tends to do mainly quarry work, feeding sand and gravel into concrete plants dotted around the Sydney area. Being a PBS truck means it’s restricted to the PBS road network. The good thing about this for the big fella is that this means there’s none of that dirty pokey demo work. Its pretty much just quarry to plant.  

Mud carters cop a lot of flack from both the wider community and even from within the trucking fraternity. It’s not helped by some….er…..interesting displays of driving prowess from some individuals out there. But really, a lot of this can be put down to the fact that these trucks are on the road when everyone else is, not on a highway in the dead of night. If you drive like a flog at 1am there are not a lot of people around to get the shits, or video you on their phones.

The combination of a squared off bonnet SAR and the curvy new 610 cab tends to polarize a few people. I however, actually quite like it.

In the early morning gloom I climbed up the steps into the Kenny’s wheelhouse. I’m not real keen on the third step placement though. The spacing between the steps is awkward, though I ‘spose you’d get used to it. I’m also not a huge fan of the bright yellow grab handles either; it kinda makes me feel like I need an induction before I’m allowed on site.

A Vision Splendid

But once I got my arse planted in the driver’s seat I have to say I was pretty impressed with the cab. I had my doubts because I actually like the old narrow cab and I didn’t see the need to adopt a new yank design for Oz. Visibility out of the day cab was exceptionally good and the mirror design and placement is a standout; no more looking around mirrors at intersections!

I was also concerned that the American style dash would be a plastic fantastic, but I was instead greeted with a modern leather clad layout that still had a quality feel. Best of all, the guys down at Bayswater have finally standardized the switch layout, no more guessing what switch does what and where!

It used to shit me to tears when everytime I jumped into a different K-dub I ended up searching for the bloody headlight switch, or the jake switch, or the interior light switch. Remember those old cruise control and jake stalk switches from a decade ago? They were usually the first thing you broke if you swung your bag around a bit much getting in or out of the cab.

I swear that there was, at some stage there was someone on the Kenworth assembly line whose job was to randomly change switch placement just to screw with people’s heads.

Freeway Run

With the seat adjusted and the big fella safely strapped into the passenger seat I rumbled down the M4 to pick up the first load of the day, I wish I could say the same about the freeway though, it was packed. This thing has a pretty short wheelbase so it can fit inside 19-metre length restrictions, I thought that this may make it a bit twitchy but it actually steered quite well.  The doggie out back did what it was told and followed faithfully.

The empty run down the M7 and M2 was pretty uneventful until we hit the clotted and clogged varicose vein known as Pennant Hills road. Anyone who tackles this piece of bad karma generating real estate on a regular basis knows that apart from the occasional wildlife observation opportunity, getting through this shit storm is about as much fun as having your hemorrhoids cauterized with an orbital sander.

The Mt White weighbridge on the M1 is placed in a very awkward spot really. If you’ve left Sydney in peak hour you’ve generally got the shits by the time you get there; having recently negotiated PH road. So if you get wheeled in the first thing you feel like doing is biting the ears off an RMS officer!

Name Change

But, the admittedly empty, big Kenny took it in its stride. The old Cummins ISXe5 badge has gone, replaced with the much cooler looking X15 badges. I’m told that this is the only real difference, but initial observations are that this engine seems to lug down even better than engines wearing the old badge. Maybe they’ve just updated the fuel system software since the last time I drove one.

After getting off the M1, I pointed the jigger up the hill towards Mangrove Mountain; we were getting a load of 20mm gravel out of Kulnurra. Anything with a set forward steer axle like the SAR is generally pretty good to steer on shitty road surfaces. We were going to find out on the way back with a bit of pudding in those bins.

After negotiating the quarry, the weighbridge and enduring the obligatory homoerotic banter, I pointed the SAR back up the hill and out of the quarry. It’s a decent drag out of the hole and apart from an overly optimistic gear change on my part, the 610 lugged out up the grade quite well.

Ride Time

The combination of a short truck, relatively big weight and a dog trailer was a pretty good test of the 610 platform. The 8-bag rear end kept the thing feeling stable and as before, the dog did what it was told. To pass the time, Big Jay made a consistent point of calling up and trade insult his co-workers on the UHF to good effect.

The 18-speed stick shift is all you expect it to be, easy and positive and the clutch well weighted yet light. Given how green this engine is I was still surprised how well in hung on under load. We’d left Kulnurra grossing 57.3 tonnes, our destination was Western Suburbs Concrete back in Penrith. What did take a bit of getting used to was the laggy throttle response of the X15, I’d blip the throttle on a down change and the bloody engine would barely register the rpm. So yes I muffed a couple of gear changes.

Jay just glared at me with silent reproach at these moments, if there was a thought bubble above his head it would’ve read "You screw with my truck  Buddy, they’ll never find your body."

Old Mack

Jason only recently took delivery of this truck after hopping out of a solid yet well-used Mack Vision. "That Mack was a great old truck, it was no powerhouse but it really had a go," he reckons. That said he’s over the moon with the 610.

"It’s a forgiving truck, it’s got more grunt than the Mack and it’s just an all round easier drive." He’s even logged a bit of wheel time in the company’s other truck, an International Eagle. "That old banger sounds great, and it pulls like a train but you know you’ve done a shift at the end of the day."

As far as the SAR goes, he reckons it’s a good thing from a driver’s point of view. "You hop out of it at the end of the shift feeling a lot better."

The next load was a load of fine sand out of Maroota back to Emu Plains, again the Kenworth was in its element winding along the narrow asphalt as we thundered through the bush. The X15 still managed to impress, it’s currently rated at 580hp but the way it lugs down makes it very driveable.

Good Gig

And you know what? This mud-carting malarkey isn’t actually a bad gig, especially out in these parts anyway. Sure there’s traffic but that’s unavoidable but there’s also plenty of off-roading and some nice tight places to challenge your reversing skill as well. Jase agrees, after years of varied jobs, he’s very much found his place in the world, and he can’t speak highly enough of Mark and Linda as employers, "I’ll retire here," he says emphatically. This thing is doing pretty good on juice too, I averaged 2.26km/l, not to bad for a PBS truck hauling in the ‘burbs.

You may get the impression that I’m some sort of KW fan-boy. I’ll admit to having a bent for North American iron which of course means I appreciate a K-dub amongst others. But I’ll be the first to admit that I gotten the sh*ts with Kenworth over a number of less than impressive designs over the years.

Not All Roses

Anyone remember the flapping dipstick cover on the K104B? It gave you impression nobody drove the design before they built the bloody thing! Then there’s the engine hump in cab over’s that endured until the K200. The stupid cruise control and jake stalks?

The scalp slicing entry to a K series? Dare I even mention Cat ACERT? Or even better Cummins ISX-EGR? Or how about the absolute bloody travesty that was the 3-pedal Auto-shift transmission?

I’ve driven some absolute plonkers wearing a KW bug on the front.

The T610 SAR however, isn’t one of them. They reckon that Kenworth Oz spent 20 million big-ones developing this truck. The funny thing is that the first things I really noticed after all of that investment was the inclusion of 3-cup holders and the new mirrors! Big-ticket items indeed.

There are plenty who’ll bang on about this American cab not being a "real" Kenworth, most likely from the vantage point of their old cab-over Kingswood. Sure the initial run of cabs arrived flat packed from Seppo land but that’s only until the tooling is set up at Bayswater.

The T610 may be a new generation Kenworth, but really, it’s a Kenworth for a new generation.

Bugger me; I just got all poetic ‘n’ stuff. If I keep this shit up someone may even give me a job!

Photo gallery - https://www.tradetrucks.com.au/truck-reviews/1709/kenworth-t610-sar-the-definitive-scotty-douglas-review


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