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Melton Truck Lines takes delivery of 5,000th Kenworth tractor

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Melton truck lines takes delivery of 5,000th kenworth tractor
Melton Truck Lines executives stand in front of the T680, the 5,000th Kenworth truck sold to Melton. From left to right they are Russ Elliott, executive vice president and chief operating officer; Jason Cruce, director of maintenance; Robert Ragan, executive vice president and chief financial officer; Jeff Robinson, senior vice president of maintenance; and Bob Peterson, chairman and CEO. (Courtesy: KENWORTH TRUCK CO.)

TULSA, Okla. —  In a special ceremony at Melton Truck Lines, company Chairman and CEO Bob Peterson received the keys to a new 2020 Kenworth T680, representing the 5,000th milestone Kenworth truck purchased by Melton Truck Lines.

“The number 5,000 is daunting when you consider that truck No. 1 – a Kenworth T600 – was delivered to Melton many years ago,” said Kevin Baney, Kenworth assistant general manager for sales and marketing, who presented the new T680’s keys to Peterson.

According to Peterson, the historic milestone truck is a little hard to believe for someone who began his career as a company truck driver for CFI in 1985 – behind the wheel of a Kenworth T600. CFI was the first fleet to take a T600 delivery that year.

“I don’t think I could have dreamed that I’d be standing here – nearly 35 years later – with the 5,000th Kenworth under my ownership,” Peterson said. “But, I knew back then I wanted to become a fleet owner. I went to work for CFI and Glenn Brown, who was the CEO. He was my mentor and good friend. I started as a driver to understand the business, and in 1989 I formed GlasTran and was the proud owner of a glass hauling company with 30 leased trucks. The first trucks I bought were Kenworth T600s – 10 of them from MHC Kenworth.”

Peterson purchased Melton Truck Lines in 1991 and continued to grow with Kenworth and MHC Kenworth. Melton Truck Lines has been a leader within the flatbed industry for 65 years, serving customers from coast-to-coast, as well as in Canada and Mexico.

“Over the years, we’ve operated all the Kenworth fuel-efficient, aerodynamic models – such as the 1,400 Kenworth T680s we run today – and they’ve kept improving,” Peterson said. “The positive way our drivers have viewed Kenworth has never waned. We have always spec’d the trucks nicely and the fleet age averages less than two years old. I would not have our drivers in a truck that I wouldn’t want to drive myself.”

The 5,000th Kenworth T680, spec’d with a 76-inch mid-roof sleeper, features the complete PACCAR Powertrain with a PACCAR MX-13 engine rated at 455 hp, PACCAR 12-speed automated transmission, and PACCAR 40K tandem axles. The T680 is specified with Kenworth TruckTech+ Remote Diagnostics and driver comfort features include the stowable upper bunk, auxiliary bunk heater, drawer-style refrigerator and freezer, and television installation package. Melton was among the first fleets to put the fuel-efficient T680 to the test upon its introduction, and the T680 quickly proved itself to the company’s management and drivers.

“It is a special honor and exciting to be assigned to this milestone truck,” said Sam Hill, who has been a driver with Melton Truck Lines for nearly 10 years and is nearing 1 million miles driven for the company. “I love Kenworths and I’m looking forward to getting this new Kenworth T680 out on the road.”

Peterson said the relationship with Kenworth is a symbiotic relationship, which has led to so many years of history with Kenworth.

“We’re important to each other,” he said. “And that’s the way it should be. But ultimately, you also have to look at the metrics, and we do. It’s the sales price and resale value, fuel economy and vehicle weight, cost of maintenance, and how drivers respond to the truck. If Kenworth didn’t come out at the top of the class, we wouldn’t be here to celebrate this milestone.”

 

 

 

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Kenworth to collaborate with Meritor on T680E Electric powertrain development

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concept photo of Kenworth electric model
The electric Kenworth T680E will be a short-hood day cab in tractor configurations of 4x2 and 6x4 axles and as a 6x4 axle straight truck. The T680E will offer an operating range between 100 to 150 miles, depending on application. (Courtesy: Kenworth)

KIRKLAND, Wash. — Kenworth has announced it will collaborate with Meritor on electric powertrain development for Class 8 Kenworth T680E battery-electric vehicles.

The electric Kenworth T680E will be a short-hood day cab in tractor configurations of 4×2 and 6×4 axles and as a 6×4 axle straight truck. The T680E will offer an operating range between 100 to 150 miles, depending on application.

“The Kenworth T680E development in collaboration with Meritor is a major advanced technology step in Kenworth’s evolution of zero-emission electric powertrain solutions for our customers,” said Kevin Baney, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president. “Initial production of the Kenworth T680E is expected to begin in the fourth quarter 2020 and ramp through 2021.”

Meritor, Inc. is a global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets. Meritor is based in Troy, Michigan.

“We look forward to working closely with Kenworth to help develop the Kenworth T680E as an important, viable battery-electric answer for the day cab market,” said T.J. Reed, vice president of Global Electrification for Meritor.

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New Kenworth parts, service locations now open in Maryland and Nebraska

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Kenworth service location in Maryland
West Point Kenworth is approximately one hour south of Sioux City, Iowa, and located along Highway 275, a major trucking route in the area. (Courtesy: Kenworth)

WESTMINSTER, Md. And West Point, Neb. — Kenworth now offers additional locations for parts and services. Mid Atlantic Kenworth has added a full-service location in Westminster, Maryland, while Sioux Falls Kenworth has opened a new parts and services dealership in West Point, Nebraska.

Maryland

In Westminster, Maryland, the 17,400-square-foot facility features a full parts and service department, with 10 service bays to maximize customer uptime for truck operators passing through the area. A drivers’ lounge is available to customers while their trucks are serviced.

The facility, Kenworth Mid Atlantic Westminster is located on three acres, which offers customers ample room to park their trucks.

The Westminster, Maryland facility is located at 821 Baltimore Blvd. and its hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Nebraska

With its new parts and service dealership in West Point, Nebraska, Sioux Falls Kenworth can now offer expanded support to fleets and operators in the greater Sioux City, Iowa area.

West Point Kenworth is approximately one hour south of Sioux City and located along Highway 275. The 12,800-square-foot building is situated on 3.5 acres. The facility features an 8,600-square-foot service department with eight service bays. Also included is a 1,200-square-foot parts retail display area and a 1,900-square-foot space for bulk storage.

The West Point facility is located at 1805 Sycamore St. in West Point. Hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday.

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Agility partners with XStream Trucking to distribute aerodynamic TruckWings

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a patented design allows truckwings to swing out and retract
The patented TruckWings design incorporates folding panels made of impact-resistant, glass-reinforced composites attached to the rear sides and roof of the cab that automatically swing out to close the cab-to-trailer gap at highway speeds and retract at lower speeds. (Courtesy: Agility Fuel Solutions)

COSTA MESA, Cali. — Agility Fuel Solutions and XStream Trucking have announced that Agility will be the exclusive distributor of Xstream’s TruckWings aerodynamic systems for compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks in North America. Agility will also distribute TruckWings on a non-exclusive basis to the diesel truck market.

The patented TruckWings design incorporates folding panels made of impact-resistant, glass-reinforced composites attached to the rear sides and roof of the cab that automatically swing out to close the cab-to-trailer gap at highway speeds and retract against the rear of the cab at lower speeds to leave room for turning maneuvers.

“TruckWings is the first device which completely solves the turbulence problem created by the open area between the tractor and trailer that contributes significantly to a truck’s overall aerodynamic drag,” said Daniel Burrows, XStream Trucking’s founder and CEO. “We are pleased to now partner with Agility to offer TruckWings as a factory option for CNG trucks in North America.”

Agility, a business area of Hexagon Composites ASA, and XStream Trucking have previously partnered to provide TruckWings systems for over 750 CNG trucks used by major fleet operators. Agility’s leadership in providing clean fuel solutions for commercial vehicles coupled with its extensive customer base and value-added aftermarket services will expand XStream’s TruckWings solution to reach the growing CNG truck market throughout North America.

“Agility’s trucking fleet customers are focused on fuel cost savings and on increasing the fuel economy of their CNG trucks. TruckWings are a great answer to this problem, as we’ve demonstrated in real-world use with some of our major fleet customers,” said Eric Bippus, Agility’s senior vice president of global sales and marketing. “We are very pleased to enter into this distribution agreement and to continue to work with XStream Trucking to deliver clean and efficient transportation solutions for the North American trucking market.”

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