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Kenworth’s new W990 combines modern features, driver amenities with retro design

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LAS VEGAS — It was just a coincidence that fighter jets out of Nellis Air Force Base were occasionally buzzing the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the early evening hours of September 27.

But the incidental military flyovers fit right into the sense of fanfare down on the track’s infield, where Kenworth had booked the speedway to hold a grand unveiling event for its latest model, the W990, before an invited crowd of customers, dealers and trucking media.

Before eight of the new W990s made a choreographed, group entrance accompanied by theatrical lighting and rock music and were then parked for the crowd to inspect and admire, Kenworth officials talked about the new tractor and why this debut was special to them.

“The new Kenworth W990 is a reflection of the Kenworth brand, which represents the quality, engineering excellence and both customer and driver focus that goes into every Kenworth we build,” said Mike Dozier, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president. “The Kenworth W990 represents the pride, image and freedom of trucking, and captures the spirit of what trucking is all about.”

It also represents the next evolutionary step in the long-hood conventional W900 series, “The Driver’s Truck” as Kenworth likes to refer to it, which has been a high-profile part of the Kenworth line since 1961.

“We’re celebrating the legacy of the W900 and the introduction of the next generation of the 900, the W990,” Dozier said, but he was quick to clarify that the 990 isn’t so much the successor to the 900 as it is a branching off of the 900’s lineage.

“W900Ls aren’t going anywhere,” Dozier said, “but we’re planning for the future,” the thought being that the market will determine the direction of the 900 series.

The challenge in designing the W990 was to create something that represented a step forward aesthetically and technologically while honoring its predecessors. That challenge fell largely on Kenworth Design Director Jonathan Duncan as his team.

Duncan called the task of combining past and present, form and function a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

“For this truck, it was all about the ‘wow factor,’” Duncan said. It was about making a statement that was original but unmistakably Kenworth.

The most prominent visual features on the W990 are the hood and the grille. With a bumper-to-back-of cab measurement of 131.5-inches, the W990 is only 1.5 inches longer than the W900L, but it appears longer. There’s less downward slope on the 990’s hood, and the wind split – the center crease that runs down the length of the hood – not only accentuates the familiar Kenworth “cathedral” shape but combined with a lower windshield also improves driver visibility.

“Behind the wheel, the driver’s view over the hood is a huge part of the appeal of the W990,” Duncan said. “It’s really one of the keys to the success of this design.”

The side air intakes wrap over the top of the hood so that they are visible from the driver’s seat, which has a strong visual impact from behind the wheel, Duncan said. They made it a point, he added, that all the “shiny metal parts” were stainless steel.

That also goes for the grille, the “face of the new W990,” Duncan said

“Incorporating stainless steel was important. The grill is a real statement. It had to be pure Kenworth and it needed to be instantly recognizable as the top-of-the-line. We maintained the traditional cathedral shape to the grille and the inset surfaces at the top to give it a refined, tailored look. That powerful center spear signifies this is part of the new generation of Kenworth trucks and the tapered grille spears are there for a classic touch.”

Despite the “monumental” appearance of the W990’s front end, it is actually 67 percent more aerodynamic than the W900, Duncan said. It wasn’t a consideration as they were designing it, he said, but they’ll take it.

While much attention was paid to the 990’s looks, it’s what’s inside that counts. Components under the hood have been reconfigured for easier serviceability, Duncan said, and the fenders are bolted on for easier replacement.

The W990 comes with the Paccar Powertrain consisting of the Paccar MX-13 engine rated up to 510-hp and 1,850 lb.-feet of torque, a 12-speed Paccar automated transmission and Paccar 40K tandem rear axles.

Kenworth TruckTech+ remote diagnostics system comes standard. Kenworth NAV+HD seven-inch, color in-dash display provides access to valuable features such as truck-specific navigation, roadside assistance, vehicle data, hands-free calling, audio controls, blind-spot camera inputs and the internet. Bendix’ Wingman Fusion system is optional.

The W990 is available in day cab, 40-inch flat top, and 52-inch and 76-inch mid-roof sleeper configurations, and is built on a 2.1-meter cab platform. In keeping with the theme of being ‘the driver’s truck,’ the W990’s cab and sleeper areas have also been designed to be a show of appreciation to those who drive it. In particular, there is a Limited Edition cab option and a W990 Driver’s Studio package of premium options that give the truck a sense of luxury.

The Limited Edition interior comes in midnight black with glossy Ravenwood door and dash trim accents. The interior features rich black leather seats, door pads and steering wheel with royal blue double-stitching. The Driver’s Studio offers a 180-degree swivel passenger seat and rotating table for two people, a swivel TV mount, drawer-style refrigerator and premium audio system.

There’s a full-size wardrobe space for hanging clothes, and ample storage space. The 1800-watt inverter includes a shore power connection and four standard 120-volt sleeper outlets to power a range of electrical devices. LED lighting provides ample interior light throughout the sleeper.

“Finding truckers nowadays is harder than ever,” Dozier said, but he added that being able to offer a truck like this would give fleets an advantage over the competition. Or a carrier could use it as an incentive to their top drivers.

“The Kenworth W990’s excellent performance, classical styling, premium finishes and lifestyle amenities underscore a sense of driver achievement and pride,” Dozier said. “We are passionate about our products, our customers that depend on them, and the drivers that operate them.”

Just before the trucks made their appearance, Kenworth presented a promotional video for the W990. That video is now available for viewing at www.youtube.com/KenworthTruckCo.

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Dupré Logistics expands shop, services in Pecos, Texas

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Dupré Logistics is a privately held, asset-based provider of transportation and logistics services that include energy and chemical transport, dedicated truck transportation, site logistics, and freight brokerage. (Courtesy: DUPRE LOGISTICS)

LAFAYETTE, La. — Because of growing business opportunities and demand in the region, Dupré Logistics has expanded its shop and services in Pecos, Texas.

Dupré Logistics has been operating in the West Texas area since late 2014.

The new facility, which is four times the size of its predecessor, will open at noon, June 3, with a Grand Opening Celebration that is open to the public and will include lunch.

The maintenance facility will service and maintain the Dupré fleet and will open for business to other Class 8 providers in the region. Along with the new and larger maintenance facility, Dupré is also building a housing unit to accommodate non-indigenous workers in light of the severe housing shortage in the area.

“For our company to be successful, it’s critical that we have adequate support for our fleet,” said Dominic Dupré, director of operations, Crude Oil Group. “A major key to the success of our business in this area is the ability to maintain our equipment adequately and quickly. The combination of a dry, dusty environment and subpar road conditions creates an unforgiving environment for a tractor and trailer.”

Dupré operates across Texas and southeast New Mexico hauling raw crude oil from the wellhead to pipeline injection sites and rail facilities. In the West Texas region, Dupré currently employs 40 drivers in the area and is looking to hire more.

“We’ve created similar shops open to the public in a few other spots across the country, but based on the demand in Pecos — and the distance to other maintenance shops, we believe our new facility will be beneficial to the region and save other fleets time and money,” said Scott Allen, director of fleet assets and maintenance.

Dupré Logistics is a privately held, asset-based provider of transportation and logistics services that include energy and chemical transport, dedicated truck transportation, site logistics, and freight brokerage. It specializes in tanker, hazmat, and petrochemical transportation and complex supply chain solutions in industrial and consumer products.

For more information about Dupré Logistics, go to www.duprelogistics.com.

 

 

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Utility Trailers Glade Spring, Virginia, plant receives Liberty Mutual safety award

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Glade Spring plant employees gather to celebrate the company’ safety award. Back row frim left, Ralph McMahan, Richard Carver, Rick Mitchell, Michael Phipps, Derrick McGhee, David Sturgill, Sam Hawkins, Tim Jones, Tim McVey. Middle Row: Sam Cassell, Marc Worley, Clarissa Bise, Lucas Jordan, Jeremy Casey, Coy Stokes, Linda Williams, Jeff Hendricks, Odie Barker Front Row: Keith Walsh and Richard Williams. (Courtesy: UTILITY TRAILER MANUFACTURING CO.)

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. — Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co., said that its Glade Spring, Virginia, manufacturing plant has received the Liberty Mutual Silver Safety Award from Liberty Insurance.

The award is based on the days away, restricted and transferred (DART) rate, which is calculated from the number of hours worked relative to the number of accidents at the plant

In 2018, Utility’s Glade Spring plant had a DART rate of only 1.36, with over 1.3 million worked hours. The average DART rate for the trailer manufacturing industry is significantly higher, at 3.9.  A Silver Safety Award is presented for DART rates that are at least 40% lower than the industry average rate.  The Glade Spring plant’s DART rate was nearly 1/3 of the industry rate.

“Receiving a safety award is an honor and takes a total team effort to accomplish. Keeping safety at the forefront everyday with employee participation is key to earning such an award. Employees identifying hazards, removing them, or managing them in the workplace, keeps us all safe,” said Keith Walsh, Utility’s Glade Spring Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Manager.

“This is the fifth Liberty Safety Award for the Glade Spring plant. This is a huge honor, particularly considering less than 0.5% of Liberty’s customers receive this award. More importantly, our employees are continuously focused on the safety of themselves and each other,” said Bob Griffis, corporate EHS manager for Utility Trailer Manufacturing, Co.

“Walking through the front door of the Glade Spring facility, the commitment this team has toward safety is obvious,” said Sam Cassell, Utility’s Glade Spring plant manager. “It is reflected by the five safety awards hanging on the wall. Each of our over 700 team members were part of achieving each of those awards. An award like this is more than a commitment towards doing the job safely, it is a commitment each team member has toward each other. Many of our employees will stop others, even managers, to point out safety issues. That is a commitment toward safety and to each other. I cannot express how proud I am of each person on the shop floor.”

Richard Williams of Liberty Mutual Insurance, Risk Control Services, presented the Safety Award to a group of Glade Spring employees on behalf of all Utility’s Glade Spring employees.

Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co. was founded in 1914 and designs and manufactures dry freight vans, flatbeds, refrigerated vans, Tautliner curtain-sided trailers, and aerodynamic technologies. Utility currently operates six trailer manufacturing facilities across North America.

For more information, visit www.utilitytrailer.com.

 

 

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Carrier Transicold upgrades dealer locator app

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The Carrier Transicold Dealers smartphone app for Google Android devices and Apple iOS devices has been improved with new features and expanded functionality. (Courtesy: CARRIER TRANSICOLD)

ATHENS, Ga. — Carrier Transicold’s free app for mobile devices that helps refrigerated truck operators find nearby Carrier Transicold dealerships has been upgraded with a fresh appearance, a significantly expanded dealer database and helpful new user features.

Now called “Carrier Transicold Dealers,” the app works with smartphones and tablets, so drivers can quickly and easily locate and connect to service operations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and, thanks to the 2019 update, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, according to Mary Udry, marketing manager, Carrier Transicold.

“The improved app now covers the entirety of the Americas – more than 300 dealerships in all,” Udry said. “And for the first time, it offers users multi-language support, enabling the choice of English, French, Spanish or Portuguese. The look and feel of the app has been modernized, making it more intuitive to use, and the amount of helpful reference material has been expanded.”

As part of the app’s expanded offering, Carrier Transicold Dealers now enables access to more operator manuals for current and legacy Carrier Transicold truck and trailer refrigeration systems, heating systems and auxiliary power units (APUs). As before, the app includes a convenient alarm code list for the Carrier Transicold APX control system, providing descriptions of potential problems and corrective steps for different warnings.

The “Nearby Dealers” function finds the closest dealer to the user’s location, including a map, address, contact details and hours of operation. Depending on device and connection, the app can auto-dial the dealership and can help provide navigation to the dealership. Where applicable, quick links are provided to connect to individual dealer websites or to share dealership details via an emailed link to content within Carrier Transicold’s online dealer locator at https://locator.ttdealers.carrier.com/

Most of the app’s resources require a cell or wi-fi connection, however the dealer lookup menu is available offline – users can always find dealers by selecting a country, plus state or province if applicable, from alphabetical listings.

Carrier Transicold Dealers works on smartphones and tablets using Google’s Android and Apple Inc.’s iOS operating systems. The latest version (3.0) can be downloaded through Google Play or the Apple App Store.

For more information, visit www.transicold.carrier.com. Follow Carrier on Twitter: @SmartColdChain.

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