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August 21, 2015 8:30 AM, EDT

Kenworth Rolls Out New Features on T680, T880 Models

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Kenworth Truck Co. announced new fuel-efficiency features on its T680 and T880 models, including predictive cruise control and a virtual tool to coach and assist drivers. 

New features also include a visual cue to help drivers shift and a driver-reward method that can lead to increased cruise speed. 

The announcement also mentioned two new battery-related technologies, one to protect against weather-related drainage and the other an AC inverter for high-amp loads.

First, the cruise control feature is available for T680 and T880 models specified with Paccar’s MX-13 engine. It is a factory-installed option and combines cruise control with GPS, and is available with Eaton UltraShift and Eaton Fuller Advantage automated and manual transmissions.

Also, its driver-performance assistant now is standard on the T680 and T880 models spec’d with Paccar’s MX-13 engine. With that feature, the truck maker said, drivers receive real-time coaching to improve fuel economy based on coasting and braking patterns. A point system gives drivers, and fleets, visual feedback.

Also, Kenworth’s shift aid item provides drivers with a visual cue, a “shift now” light, when it's time to shift. It is available on Kenworth models with the MX-13 engine and manual transmissions, the company said.

Plus, the truck maker said its customizable driver-reward feature draws on fuel economy results and idling time to reward good driving performance with cruise-speed adjustments; when a fleet sees positive fuel-economy results from a driver, the vehicle’s cruise speed can be increased.

Kenworth said its ultracapacitor-based Maxwell engine start module provides dedicated start power and is a factory-installed option for T680 and T880 models, plus its dealers offer the module as an aftermarket solution, too.

The engine start module is designed to start an engine in temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit to a high of 149 degrees Fahrenheit, even when the batteries have low voltage. 

The other new device, an 1,800-watt inverter, provides AC power in the sleeper instead of DC power to operate appliances, entertainment systems and other devices. The inverter is an option on the T680 76-inch sleeper.

Kenworth added that the inverter also can charge the starter and idle management system batteries when plugged into shore power.