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Kenworth’s latest T680 Advantage gains up to 10% in fuel efficiency; driver assistance systems for fuel economy

The latest Kenworth T680 Advantage—Kenworth’s fuel-efficiency leader—has gained up to 10% in fuel efficiency compared to a standard Kenworth T680 built in 2013. The 10% gain for the heavy-duty truck equates to a yearly savings of more than $4,600 in fuel per truck for the average long-haul operation.

The current Kenworth T680 Advantage with 76-inch sleeper features the optimized

powertrain combination of the latest PACCAR MX-13 engine with the Eaton Fuller Advantage 10-speed automated transmission, and fuel-efficient drive axles. Also included is the special factory-installed aerodynamic package introduced last year with longer 76-inch sleeper side extenders, lower cab fairing extenders, front air dam, aerodynamic mud flaps, rear fairing without steps coupled with an air deflector, exhaust cut out covers, and optional wheel covers for drive tires.

The latest T680 Advantage compares to the 2013 version of the standard Kenworth T680 with 76-inch sleeper, 2013 PACCAR MX-13 prior generation engine, Eaton UltraShift PLUS transmission, and previous generation drive axles. Additional T680 Advantage fuel economy specifications include the Kenworth Idle Management System, tire pressure monitoring system and wide-base tires.

Drivers also have always had a huge impact on fuel economy. It’s why we continue to come out with new advancements to help reduce the variability from driver to driver. Our biggest contributor is Kenworth’s new predictive cruise control, which will be an option starting mid-year for new T680s and T880s equipped with the PACCAR MX-13 engine. Thanks to GPS, this predictive cruise control can anticipate the terrain ahead and ensure that the engine and transmission are operating in the most efficient mode.

It can then make subtle adjustments in speed. For example, it can feather off the throttle automatically when the truck is about to crest a hill. This uses the truck’s momentum to ride up and over, then uses its own weight and momentum to gain speed down the hill without adding power like a static cruise control would provide.

And, based on what the predictive cruise ‘sees’ on the downhill slope, it could automatically tell the transmission to go into neutral coast mode. With this, there is no transmission drag and the truck is free rolling to get back up to speed quicker – again, saving fuel.

—Kevin Baney, Kenworth chief engineer

Driver assistance for fuel economy. Baney also noted that driver performance is a huge variable in delivered fuel economy, saying that the difference in performance between two drivers with two identical trucks could be up to 30%. At the Mid-America Trucking Show, Kenworth is showcasing four technology advancements that can help to close the fuel economy gap among drivers.

Predictive Cruise Control can help drivers obtain even better fuel economy. The Driver Shift Aid and the Driver Reward System can also contribute to improved fuel economy. The Kenworth Driver Performance Assistant, introduced as an option last fall, is now standard on Kenworth T680s and T880s spec’d with the PACCAR MX-13 engine.

—Kevin Baney


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