Equipment

Sedgwick County's New Kenworth T470s Fit Fleet Needs

December 10, 2009

WICHITA, KS - Sedgwick County fleet recently placed eight spec'd Kenworth T470s into operation for snowplow and dump truck duty, according to the manufacturer.

Rex Victory, heavy equipment supervisor of Sedgwick County, said the county has been looking for a solution to meet its fleet needs. "We've spec'd Class 7 trucks in the past for snowplow applications and they've proved to be too light for our needs," said Victory. "And, full-size Class 8s offer more than we need and at a higher price tag. The T470 is the perfect match between light and brawn - it's in the sweet spot for us and we were thrilled that Kenworth introduced the new model and that it won the bid for our business." Sedgwick County is the first county to operate the new Kenworth T470.

Sedgwick County maintains 680 miles of road surrounding Wichita and outlying areas - about 1,000 square miles. All but one of the 23 Class 7 and 8 trucks in the department are equipped with snowplows for snow season, which lasts from November through March. The Kenworth T470s, purchased through Wichita Kenworth, feature 13-yard dump bodies with 12-yard sand spreaders, and PTOs to operate the snowplow. After the snow season, Victory said the blades will come off and life as a dump truck begins - hauling asphalt for road repairs, and hauling rock for shoulder repairs.

The new Kenworth T470 offers performance and durability for snowplow, dump, mixer, winch, refuse, and other heavy front-axle vocational and municipal applications, and has a gross vehicle rating (GVW) ranging from a heavy Class 7 vehicle at 33,000 lbs. up to a light Class 8 truck at 68,000 lbs.

A 345-hp Cummins ISL engine driven through an Allison automatic transmission provides the right power and traction combination for the county's T470s, and locking front- and rear differentials provide added grip through snow and when collecting sand from the sandbars of the Arkansas river. "The automatic transmission gives us smooth gear changing whereas a manual can cause some spin, which can dig the tires into the sand. And the locking differentials we spec'd give us equal power to the front and rear wheels to maintain a good footprint," said Victory.

The new fleet additions also offer Sedgwick County several advantages in terms of performance, better turning radius, high resale value, and driver acceptance. "With the T470s set-back front axle we're getting an excellent wheel cut so we can make turns in one move - some of our other trucks have to make two or three moves in the same space. And the aluminum cab construction, along with the piano-hinge doors gives us added confidence for a long life. We normally keep trucks 10 years or 150,000 miles. The trucks in our fleet nearing that age with steel cabs have problems with rust. That won't be a problem with a Kenworth."

While Victory said he and others in the county were thrilled when Kenworth won the bid, so were his drivers. "They were about killing each other to get a shot at driving the trucks," he said. "The ride quality is outstanding and the fit and finish really project a great image for our county. The guys couldn't wait to get behind the wheel."

 

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