MILWAUKEE - As a former truck driver, Dan Goeden knows the quality of Kenworth trucks. "How they hold up, how they drive, their quality -- it's the Kenworth heritage," he said.
As director of fleet management for Milwaukee County, which encompasses 1,190 square miles and covers 19 cities and villages with a population base of nearly 1 million, Goeden's department operates 35 Kenworth T470s purchased through Wisconsin Kenworth. The T470s serve as snowplows during Milwaukee's snow season (November-April), and as dump trucks with 5- to 7-yard bodies in the spring and summer. All told, the County runs 123 Class 6-8 trucks, plowing nearly 2,200 freeway miles, plus county trunk roads.
"The Kenworth T470 is the perfect size for our operation and it works beautifully for the County," said Goeden. "We're getting a lot of bang for our buck with the Kenworths. They're not too big and they're not too small. And, they're robust enough to handle snow plowing with ease. In fact, our plow builder was excited over the T470's frame strength. He told us it was the best truck they've ever hung iron on."
The Kenworth T470 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. The vehicle offers full parent rail extensions, delivering maximum resistance to bending moment (RBM) from one end of the rail to the other. Front axles are rated from 12,000 to 22,000 lbs., single rear axles from 21,000 to 30,000 lbs., and tandem rear axles from 40,000 to 46,000 lbs. A full range of manual and automatic transmissions are offered.
The County's 35 T470 single-axle trucks utilize 10-foot front blades and 9-foot wing blades. The Kenworth T470s feature Cummins ISL engines rated at 345 hp with 1,150 ft-lbs of torque, driven through Allison transmissions. "The configuration of the SCR engine is actually better and easier to work on than previous generation engines," said Goeden. "And we expect to get better fuel economy as well."
With tight budgets, Goeden said he expects the Kenworths to hold up well to keep maintenance and unforeseen repair bills in check. Corrosion problems have plagued the county's other heavy duty trucks. "I looked very closely at wiring and how well the Kenworths were constructed," Goeden said. "Kenworth uses positive locking connectors, which help ward off corrosion, plus they're very well insulated.
"And, when it comes to cab construction you can see that Kenworth designed the dash around the driver so everything is in easy reach. Plus the construction is very solid. We've had to replace the dashes on our four-to six-year old models on another brand truck. They've shaken apart."
Driver response has been excellent, said Goeden. "The teardrop driver's side window lets them see the side of the front blade without leaning toward the window. And, with the peeper window on the passenger side door, they can see what's happening there as well. On the performance side, the ride is very comfortable and the turning radius lets them maneuver in tight areas. They want a whole fleet of the T470s, and hopefully we'll be able to do that down the road."
About Kenworth Truck Company
Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World's Best(R) heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth is an industry leader in providing fuel-saving technology solutions that help increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. The company's dedication to the green fleet includes aerodynamic trucks, compressed and liquefied natural gas trucks, and medium duty diesel-electric hybrids. Kenworth is the only truck manufacturer to receive the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Excellence award in recognition of its environmentally friendly products. In addition, Kenworth is the recipient of the 2010 J.D. Power and Associates award for Highest in Customer Satisfaction for Medium Duty Truck Dealer Service. Kenworth's Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth. A PACCAR Company.