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Truck Make Spotlight: Kenworth

When you think about heavy-duty trucks, the name Kenworth automatically springs to mind. Even people with no connection to the trucking industry have no doubt heard of Kenworth. It’s a testament to the quality and reliability of Kenworth trucks.

But what exactly makes Kenworth so good? In a market with plenty of vehicle options, why do so many people choose Kenworth? One key aspect of the brand’s success is the use of high-quality parts and components in its vehicles, all of which are readily available in Australia and New Zealand. Perhaps most of all, the words’ durability’ and ‘reliability’ are a big reason why people choose Kenworth.

Kenworth history

Back in 1914, two brothers from Portland, Oregon, George and Louis Gerlinger from Gerlinger Motors decided to start manufacturing vehicles of their own. The result was the Gersix truck, which became highly sought after by loggers in the Northwest. While the company didn’t quite work out as planned, it was purchased by E.K. Worthington and Frederick Kent.

By 1923, the business was known as Kenworth Motor Truck Company, and it was set to take the world by storm. They started producing more vehicles and even moved into war vehicle manufacturing during World War 2. Following further ownership changes, the company continued to grow and is now a household name in many parts of the world, famed for its heavy-duty truck manufacturing.

Kenworth trucks in Australia and New Zealand

The great thing about Kenworth, as far as Australian consumers are concerned, is that the brand has its own headquarters in Australia. Back in 1962, a Kenworth KWS925 truck arrived in Australia fully assembled. From there, they were imported in kits and assembled in Preston, Victoria.

Today, Kenworth’s Australian headquarters is in Bayswater, Victoria, where all Australian models are assembled. Many Australian models are actually exported to other international markets such as New Zealand, Japan, Papua New Guinea and also Thailand.

As far as Kenworth parts and components go in Australia and New Zealand, you’ll have no trouble finding what you need. OEM parts for Kenworth trucks can be sourced through dealerships and reputable aftermarket channels, ensuring you get the right parts to keep your Kenworth healthy for many years to come.

The Kenworth truck range

One of the biggest selling points for Kenworth vehicles is the comfort and driveability for drivers. Of course, the vehicles themselves are packed with high-quality components, modern safety features and all the bells and whistles you could ask for. But there has been a special focus on enhancing and optimising the driver experience.

Perhaps even more important is the brand’s focus on developing vehicles that stand up to Australia’s unique conditions. Coping with the long distances and extreme weather conditions in this country is never easy, but Kenworth has gone the extra mile to ensure all of the parts and components used in its trucks are suited to our environment.

Here is a snapshot of the current Kenworth models.

·        K220

The K220 comes in an 18-speed manual or AMT transmission, and you’ve got a wide range of engine choices and other configurations. For stylish design and driver comfort, you won’t find much better than the K220. A stunning interior, streamlined vehicle design and the standard Kenworth toughness are just parts of this great package.

·        T360

The T360 isn’t the biggest Kenworth in the range, but it’s highly versatile. It features a short turning circle and BBC, making it perfect for urban and intrastate use. It can be configured for a wide range of applications, as well as offering plenty of customisations to the configuration and transmission. From transporting other heavy equipment or for use as an agitator, crane truck, tipper and many other specialist functions.

·        T410-Series

As a heavy distribution vehicle, the T410-Series from Kenworth ticks a lot of boxes. It’s a purpose-built solution offering high performance, productivity and durability. For delivering higher payloads for long distances, the T410-Series is perfect. Importantly, it can also be rated for up to 70 tonnes GCM, meaning it can perform a wide range of functions.

·        T610 Series

Boasting 600HP, the 610 Series is one of the most powerful yet fuel-efficient models in the Kenworth range. While it’s aerodynamic enough to save you plenty of money on fuel, you don’t need to sacrifice power or comfort. Of special interest to those making long-haul trips, the interior and sleeper is something that has to be seen to be believed.

·        T659

Built for tough Australian conditions and customisable for a range of applications, the Kenworth T659 is purpose-built for Aussie roads. It can be used for so many different applications, including freight, logging, livestock haulage, and mining. Benefit from on or off-road configurations with single or multiple trailers. The T659 is also known for its drop front frame that allows for the installation of an advanced cooling system.

·        T909

The T909 is another vehicle built for Australian conditions. You can use it in single or multiple trailer configurations and for almost any purpose. From freight to logging, this truck is made for versatility. Available in a 6×4 or 8×6 configuration, the T909 is favoured by many Australian operators due to its high performance even in extreme weather conditions or long hauls.

Availability of approved parts

Kenworth runs its own distribution channel for parts, known as Paccar Parts. Essentially, Paccar Parts is there to distribute all of the partner brands used when manufacturing a Kenworth vehicle. Being one of the world’s biggest truck manufacturers, Kenworth partners with some excellent brands when it comes to parts and components. Some of the popular ones include:

· Knorr-Bremse

· Bendix

· Continental

· CRC

· Gates

· Hendrickson

· SKF

· Stemco

· Timken

· Dana

· Norman G Clark

· Haldex

· Plus, many more

Kenworth operators can contact your local dealership or anyone in the Paccar Parts network to buy OE parts, and Kenworth truck parts are all available through reputable aftermarket truck parts suppliers. Look for these high-quality, trusted brands to ensure your truck stays in good working order. By choosing the right OEM parts and components, you can increase the life of your vehicle and decrease the downtime caused by unexpected repairs.

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