Kenworth T600

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Kenworth T600
1995 Kenworth T600B Aerocab 6x4 Class 8 tractor.jpg
1995 Kenworth T600B
Overview
Manufacturer Kenworth
Production 1984-2007
Body and chassis
Body style

Conventional

  • Day cab
  • Sleeper cab
Chronology
Successor T660

The Kenworth T600 (also known as the Anteater)[1] was an aerodynamic semi truck first launched in 1984.[2] Paccar begun design work in 1980, predicting that the shrinking margins in trucking would require more aerodynamic designs. The T600A arrived just at the right time, propelling Paccar into the runner up spot in heavy truck sales while coming in only sixth or seventh place in terms of absolute capacity.[2] By 1986 it represented 40 per cent of Kenworth's tractor sales, despite being considerably pricier than the conventional W900.[3]

The T600 was a radical shift in truck design compared to its cousin the W900 (on which it was based). The major difference between the two was the massive aerodynamic facelift the T600 received, which resulted in up to 22% better fuel economy due to decreased drag.[4] This meant that engines of about 100 horsepower less could be used, with knock-on effects in the form of lower weight which equals a higher payload.[2] A better forward view was an additional bonus.[3] Behind the hood, the T600A's cab structure was all W900. The axle was set back farther, allowing for better springing and eight per cent more turning lock.[3] The T600A also received a digital dashboard, developed in conjunction with Boeing.[5]

History[edit]

Design for the T600 began in the mid-1970s (during the 1973 oil crisis) with PACCAR researchers experimenting with wax models in wind tunnels. The original T600A was replaced by the smoother T600B in late-1994. This model has a curved windshield (which also found its way into the W900 lineup). Sometime in 1995 turn signals were added to the rear-facing portion of the front fenders. Then, in 1997, the front fenders were changed for replaceable units rather than being molded in one piece with the hood. The T600 was replaced by the Kenworth T660 for 2008, which featured smoother styling.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lockwood, Rolf (2008-08-21). "Ground Breaker: Kenworth's T600 Celebrates 20th Birthday". Today's Trucking. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  2. ^ a b c Kennett, Pat (December 1986). "Paccar Proving Ground". TRUCK. London, UK: FF Publishing Ltd: 46. 
  3. ^ a b c Kennett, p. 47
  4. ^ a b "Kenworth's T600 - The Truck That Pioneered Aerodynamic Technology Celebrates 20th Anniversary". Layover.com. 2008-08-25. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  5. ^ Kennett, p. 79