Protecting and preserving the environment are core values at PACCAR, as stated in its environmental responsibility statement. Kenworth Truck Company, a PACCAR Company, which manufactures heavy- and medium-duty trucks, is seeking to reduce the environmental impact of its products by introducing a line of green truck models.

Last August, Kenworth invited Work Truck  magazine to the PACCAR Technical Center in Mount Vernon, Wash., the research, development, and testing facility supporting all PACCAR divisions, including Kenworth and Peterbilt Motors. The focus of the meeting was to discuss Kenworth's natural gas vehicles (NGVs) and hybrid lineup.

There are presently four Kenworth NGV model options and two hybrid models:

  • T470 FEPTO.
  • T440 Sloped Hood ISL G, which is available in both compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). The T440 uses natural gas and is available as a day cab tractor. The Kenworth Extended Day Cab and Kenworth 38-inch AeroCab FlatTop sleeper are available as options. Its engine is a Cummins Westport ISL G with 320 hp and 1,000 lb.-ft. of torque.
  • T800 HD LNG. It is only available in LNG. The T800 Day Cab Tractor uses LNG. Its engine is a Westport HD with up to 475 hp and up to 1,750 lb.-ft. of torque.
  • W900S.
  • Class 6 T270 and the Class 7 T370 diesel-electric hybrids use lithium-ion batteries. They are powered by the PACCAR PX-6 engine.

More than 700 Kenworth hybrids are in operation throughout the U.S. and Canada, along with more than 500 Kenworth natural gas trucks.

Kenworth's natural gas models are focused on vocational, municipal, and regional haul applications.


Alagasco has been transitioning its fleet to CNG since 2009, with 17 percent of its vehicles now fueled by CNG. It is replacing its heavy trucks with Kenworth T440 CNG models (right).

Alagasco has been transitioning its fleet to CNG since 2009, with 17 percent of its vehicles now fueled by CNG. It is replacing its heavy trucks with Kenworth T440 CNG models (right).

Several of Kenworth's natural gas trucks are powered by the Cummins Westport ISL G natural gas engine. Introduced in June 2007, it uses stoichiometric EGR combustion with a three-way catalyst. It was the first heavy-duty engine certified to mandated NOx and PM levels. The ISL G engine operates on either CNG or LNG. Rated at 320 hp and 1,000 lb.-ft. of torque, the ISL G is 2010-compliant with a maintenance-free, three-way catalyst, and does not require the use of SCR technology or a diesel particulate filter.

The ISL G powertrain option is now available in the Kenworth T440, Kenworth T470, and Kenworth W900S models.

According to Cummins Westport, in the medium-duty market, the ISL G is used for refuse, dump, and mixer applications, as well as for transit and school buses. It can also be used in pickup and delivery trucks, along with specialty medium-duty vehicles, such as street sweepers and yard spotters.

In the heavy-duty market, the ISL G can be used for less-than-truck-load (LTL) applications and regional/bulk haul applications.

The key factors stimulating CNG and LNG sales are high diesel prices, stricter environmental regulations for diesel engines, and corporate sustainability initiatives. For example, there is a 21-percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that can be gained by switching to CNG or LNG from diesel.

"The business is changing as the trend moves toward greener trucks," said Andy Douglas, Kenworth national sales manager for specialty markets, who has been at the forefront of Kenworth's "green" initiatives for the past five years.

Domestic natural gas is both plentiful and cheap. Natural gas is currently close to $2 less than the equivalent amount of diesel fuel and the price is expected to remain stable over the long term. Currently, the U.S. is producing more natural gas than it can use, so transportation represents a good emerging market for natural gas producers.

Drayage fleets with port operations were early purchasers of the Kenworth T800 LNG truck. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach created a fund to assist in replacing 16,800 trucks serving the ports with LNG-powered trucks. The ports will ban all pre-2007 trucks by 2012.

Drayage fleets with port operations were early purchasers of the Kenworth T800 LNG truck. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach created a fund to assist in replacing 16,800 trucks serving the ports with LNG-powered trucks. The ports will ban all pre-2007 trucks by 2012.

"We have had many real-world successes with natural gas in fleet operations, and these engines share 80 to 90 percent of diesel engine technology, so it is not a significant paradigm shift," Douglas said.

Currently, there are 112,000 NGVs in operation in the U.S. Of these, 23,100 are heavy-duty vehicles. This includes 11,000 transit buses, 3,800 school buses, 4,000 refuse trucks, 2,200 over-the-road and regional haul, and 2,100 municipal vehicles.

"Drayage fleets with port operations were among early purchasers of our T800 LNG truck. More recently, companies as diverse as UPS, natural gas provider Alagasco in Alabama, and solid waste collector and recycler Enviro Express in Connecticut, to name a few, have purchased Kenworth natural gas vehicles," Douglas said.

Among utility fleets, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in San Francisco was the first utility in the nation to operate Kenworth T800 LNG-powered trucks.
Recently, in March 2011, the Indiana Department of Transportation took delivery of 19 new Kenworth T440 tractors to be deployed in and around Indianapolis where public CNG fueling is available.

There is also pressure by some companies, such as Wal-Mart, for their partner supplier companies to create a greener supply chain. Corporate environmental and sustainability policies are prompting many truck fleets to take a second look at NGVs.

According to Douglas, there are a number of federal, state and provincial, county, and municipal grant programs and financial incentives available to help truck operators purchase NGVs and diesel-electric hybrids. A list of state incentives are available at the website: www.ngvamerica.org/incentives.
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Evolution of CNG & LNG Trucks

Kenworth introduced the Cummins Westport ISL G natural gas engine for the Kenworth T800 short hood and W900S models in December 2009.

In March 2010, the Kenworth T440 natural gas model, powered by the Cummins Westport ISL G engine, was introduced. The Kenworth T440 natural gas truck is focused on local- and regional-haul and vocational applications. The Kenworth Extended Day Cab and Kenworth 38-inch AeroCab FlatTop sleeper are available as options. The Kenworth T440 is also available in a dump truck application that can operate on CNG or LNG. The CNG and LNG fuel tanks can be configured to suit customer applications and range requirements.

In terms of LNG trucks, Kenworth started production of T800 LNG trucks in 2008 at its manufacturing facility in Renton, Wash. The T800 LNG truck is equipped with the Westport GX engine. Under a then exclusive agreement with Westport Innovations Inc., in Vancouver, B.C., Kenworth began using Westport's LNG fuel system technology adapted for the Cummins ISX 15.0L engine.

The Kenworth LNG factory installation coincided with the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach announcement to approve a new $1.6 billion Clean Truck Superfund. The fund assisted in replacing many of the 16,800 Class 8 trucks serving the ports with LNG-powered vehicles. The ports introduced a progressive ban that will remove all pre-2007 trucks by 2012.

The Westport LNG system is available with 400-hp to 475-hp ratings and up to 1,750 lb.-ft. of torque for heavy-duty port, freight, and vocational applications. LNG fuel tanks can be configured to suit customer range requirements.

Kenworth Hybrid Lineup

Kenworth began full production of its medium-duty diesel-electric hybrid trucks in summer 2008. It offers the hybrid option on its T270 Class 6 and T370 Class 7 conventional models and builds the trucks at the PACCAR plant in Ste. Therese, Quebec. Kenworth's hybrids increase fuel economy, on average, by up to 30 percent in pick up-and-delivery applications and up to 50 percent in utility operations.

One fleet that has made a substantial investment in Kenworth hybrids is Coca-Cola, which has more than 500 T370 hybrids in service.

The Kenworth hybrids use an integral transmission-mounted motor/generator; frame-mounted 340v, lithium-ion battery pack; and dedicated power management system. Advanced powertrain controls monitor driving conditions and automatically select the ideal power mode, smoothly switching among electric only, combined diesel and electric, and diesel-only power modes. Electricity generated through regenerative braking is stored and used for acceleration to assist the diesel engine.

The hybrid system is monitored through a high-resolution, full-color, in-dash display. As the power requirements for different driving conditions change, the screen constantly updates the driver on system status.

The Kenworth T270 and T370 hybrids use a PACCAR PX-6 engine rated from 200 hp to 325 hp and 520 lb.-ft. to 660 lb.-ft. of torque and an Eaton 6-speed transmission.

Kenworth Vehicles Earn EPA's SmartWay Designation

PACCAR's strategy to reduce emissions is multi-fold. It also includes the aerodynamic design of its products, telematics monitoring, and idle reduction. According to Kenworth, it is the only truck manufacturer to receive the EPA's Clean Air Excellence award in recognition of its environmentally friendly products.

In addition, PACCAR is a SmartWay Transport Partner and is ISO 14001 certified for its environmental management system.

The SmartWay Transport Partnership (www.epa.gov/smartway) is a collaborative, voluntary program between the EPA and the freight industry. The SmartWay certified tractors offer a full aerodynamic package, including integrated roof fairings, fuel tank side fairings, tractor-mounted gap reducers, aerodynamic bumpers and mirrors, idle reduction technology, and low-rolling-resistance tires. Both the aerodynamic Kenworth T660 and Kenworth T700 hold the EPA SmartWay designation.

In terms of diesel engines, the low-emissions 12.9L PACCAR MX engine achieved EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) certification, and meets the stringent emission standards of 0.2 grams per brake horsepower hour of NOx and 0.01 grams per brake horsepower hour of particulate matter. For medium-duty trucks, Kenworth offers the low-emission PACCAR PX-6 and PACCAR PX-8 diesel engines as standard on its medium-duty products.

"With everything else being equal, one Class 8 truck with a 2010 EPA clean diesel engine produces six times fewer emissions than a Class 8 truck with a 2007 EPA engine. That's a positive trend that will grow as more truck operators move into the low-emissions engines," Douglas said.

From a 20-year perspective, diesel emissions reductions from 1990 to 2010 have been breathtaking. To illustrate this point, in 1990, one diesel truck produced the same amount of diesel emissions as 65 diesel trucks in 2010. 

Alagasco Uses CNG-Powered T440s to Service Gas Lines

Alagasco is a 160-year-old company, which has grown from a gas street-lamp company in Montgomery, Ala., to the state’s largest distributor of natural gas. It has added a fleet of Kenworth T440s for natural gas line maintenance and repair.

“We started moving to CNG in our own fleet in 2009 by converting our cars and pickup trucks to CNG, and, today, about 17 percent are running on natural gas. We also are in the process of replacing our heavy trucks with CNG-powered trucks, and the acquisition of seven Kenworth T440s marks the first installment,” said Bob Strickland, Alagasco’s manager of clean transportation.

Alagasco’s T440s feature the Cummins Westport ISL G natural gas engine, rated at 320 hp and 1,000 lb.-ft. of torque with a torque curve that closely matches its diesel counterparts.

Ferrara Bros. Use CNG-Powered Mixers

Ferrara Bros. Building Materials Corp., headquartered in Flushing, N.Y., operates a fleet with more than 60 Kenworth mixers, including two Kenworth T800SH mixers with CNG-fueled Cummins Westport ISL G engines.

Since the cost of CNG has been running about a third less than the cost of diesel in the New York City area, Bob Gartman, Ferrara Bros. vice president of fleet maintenance, believes the operating cost of CNG trucks will be less than those of comparably equipped diesel-powered trucks. Plus, a federal grant administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority helped pay for the additional up-front cost of the CNG technology.

Ferrara Bros. Building Materials Corp. operates a fleet of 60 Kenworth mixers. Pictured are two T800SH CNG chassis mounted with McNeilus Transit Mixer drums. Ferrara Bros. said the truck's tight turning radius is ideal for construction sites in congested urban areas.

Ferrara Bros. Building Materials Corp. operates a fleet of 60 Kenworth mixers. Pictured are two T800SH CNG chassis mounted with McNeilus Transit Mixer drums. Ferrara Bros. said the truck's tight turning radius is ideal for construction sites in congested urban areas.

The CNG units are as productive as comparably equipped diesel-powered trucks since they're set up for a gross vehicle weight of 78,000 lbs. and fitted with 11.5-cubic-yard McNeilus Transit Mixer drums, a 200-gallon aluminum overhead water system, and three aluminum extension discharge chutes.

Organic Produce Distributor Adds Hybrids to Fleet

Veritable Vegetable, headquartered in San Francisco, distributes certified organic fresh fruits and vegetables, and maintains its commitment to sustainability in every part of the company, including its fleet of trucks. As the nation's oldest distributor of certified organic produce, Veritable Vegetable provides full-service distribution to all of California and parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada.

"We believe that the best way to support farmers is by providing them with consistent distribution channels," said Tom Howard, Veritable Vegetable's transportation systems manager.

Veritable Vegetable operates a fleet of long-haul tractors, many of which are aerodynamic Kenworth T660s, to distribute and backhaul produce to and from neighboring states.

The other arm of its distribution system is local deliveries within a 100-mile radius of San Francisco. The company uses a Kenworth T270 hybrid straight truck for deliveries in the hilly San Francisco Bay area, while three Kenworth T370 hybrid tractors make regional deliveries.

Veritable Vegetable received grant money for the hybrids through the California Hybrid Vehicle Incentive Program. The remaining premium difference is offset by a fuel improvement of 25 percent with its hybrid tractors and nearly 30 percent with its Kenworth T270 hybrid.  "Being able to use a truck chassis that weighs less than a full-size Class 8 chassis to haul loads makes our mixers very productive at a lower cost," Gartman said. "Because of the high cost of labor in our municipal market, having that weight advantage and productivity are critical because they allow us to remain competitive."

Gartman said by having CNG-fueled trucks, Ferrara Bros. can offer contractors green transportation choices that can make it easier for them to meet certification requirements for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. LEED is a third-party certification program and nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings.

Gartman said the CNG powertrains are also less noisy than the company's other diesel-powered trucks. The natural gas-fueled Kenworth trucks use Cummins Westport ISL G engines, which are 5.5 decibels quieter than comparable diesel-powered 2007 Cummins engines at peak torque and load and nearly 10 decibels quieter at idle.

For additional coverage on Kenworth, click here.

Originally posted on Work Truck Online

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