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One major component operators look for when purchasing a truck is serviceability.

Kenworth trucks offers solutions that aim to “deliver maximum uptime for the owner and driver," said Kevin Baney, Kenworth chief engineer. "Innovative technology and vehicle design are big parts of how we get there."

Baney outlines 5 components where truck and engine equipment manufacturers are working to make vehicles more cost-efficient and easy to use.

  1. Dealership installed parts

When purchasing new vehicle parts – opting for factory installation can save big bucks down the line. These technicians can offer a level of expertise that others can’t and the benefit of a factory warranty.

"On the assembly line, these items are installed with a high level of precision and consistency," Baney said. "You're far more likely to get the performance and service life you expect from OEM components installed at the factory.”

Kenworth suggests this especially for components like lift axels and PTOs. Kenworth offers numerous options such as a J1939 CAN bus and a 12-pin remote engine harness.

  1. Remote diagnostics

Kenworth’s new TruckTech+ tells operators a lot more than other truck models.

"Instead of just illuminating a ‘check-engine' light on the dash, we can assess why that light is on and help you make informed decisions about what your next step should be," Baney said. "The beauty of TruckTech+ is its simplicity."

TruckTech+ is now standard across all of Kenworth’s new Class 8 trucks with PACCAR MX-13 engines.

Codes and alerts within the system are accompanied by a more in depth description of the issue and even proposes solutions. Operators who see these diagnostics will be advised to either: keep driving (no action required); keep driving, but address the fault at the next service interval; drive to a dealer for service; or pull over to prevent damage.

If the problem requires service immediately, the system will plan the route to the three nearest repair facilities. It can even alert the service center of the trucks arrival. This cuts repair time and boosts productivity. TruckTech+ takes the guesswork out of problems and offers a solution so operators can get back on the road. Moreover, data from the problem can be sent directly to the fleet manager, who can then review the truck’s status, location, and also recommend a solution.

  1. Low replacement/maintenance costs

Serviceability of vehicles is an important factor to consider when selecting a truck. Fleet managers will be looking for lower repair costs, maintenance fee, and reasonably priced replacement parts. Parts such as the bumpers, headlights, fenders, hood, and grille are the body features that are the most susceptible to damage.

Kenworth’s T880 5-piece hood is designed to make repairs simple. This is the same for the company’s T680 3-piece aerodynamic hood and headlights, which use halogen bulbs. These bulbs are easy to find at many locations and do not require any tools to replace.

  1. Good customer support

Having a solid network of service providers is an important aspect when deciding on a truck. The more dealers are available to you, the more options you have should a problem occur. It is also important to ensure dealers are providing the service required in a timely manner.

"Kenworth dealers have invested nearly $500 million in new and relocated facilities in the past five years," Baney said. "We now offer over 360 locations in the United States and Canada."

Kenworth’s superior customer service is available via the PremierCare ® program, which has an express lane with technicians who will provide diagnostics and a cost estimate within a two hour window.

The program, along with 24 hour roadside assistance, and extended operation hours, ensures its customers receive the service and attention they need to for ultimate productivity.

  1. Ergonomics

Having easy access to truck components means they are more likely to receive the service they need. Something simple such as a burnt headlight can go unseen during an inspection process where checking the lights takes too much time.

"Customers tell us that when service or pre-trip inspections are simple and efficient, they reduce the risk of unplanned downtime," explained Baney.

Kenworth has developed a system which does not require the operator to go in and out of the cab at all during the inspection process. Checking the lights systems on the truck only takes about 5 seconds per step.

The hood is no exception. Kenworth’s T680 has a 70-degree opening angle on the hood and the T880 opens to 85 degrees. "A larger opening combined with the fact that there's no engine doghouse gives a technician much better access to the engine and components on the firewall.