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Kenworth Blunt Instrument goes Digital

Updated: Jul 11, 2020

So T410SAR is New? Well, it might not look it, but yes it is. It arrives with a blending of the best new features from the T610 range now incorporated into the lighter duty range of classic Kenworth solutions.

The SAR in front of its slipperier cousin.

The SAR variation is an Australian oddity that exists because of user preferences. Time has wrought vast improvements in design, practicality and efficiency, but it still has the aerodynamics of a comparative dunny door when lined up with an ‘average’ Euro truck, and even the smoother, slippery T410.

The 2016 release of the 2.1-metre wider cab was a major step forward and allowed fan drivers to rediscover their elbows when driving. Now the 410SAR variant has drawn the latest PACCAR electronics suite into the spec to make the truck as digital as possible given the constraints of the chassis and major body shell pressings, which are still closely linked to Kenworths of the past.

Key to the potential success of this new model is the PACCAR MX-13 engine and the group’s own 12-speed transmission. The only options are power choices in either 460 or 510 horsepower. The 12v MX-13 provides exceptional levels of refinement and service simplicity. No longer requiring 24v-12v inverters, the electrical architecture is claimed to be simple, durable and cost-effective to service and maintain.

The PACCAR 12-speed can be replaced by an Eaton 18-speed automated transmissions under option, both integrated with the PACCAR 12v MX-13 engine. The 12-speed transmission features an aluminium main case, internal sensors and wiring, and helical cut gearing. It delivers a torque capacity of 2508Nm and is rated to 50 tonnes GCM. The Eaton 18-speed UltraShift Plus transmission punches that torque capacity up to 2780Nm and a rating of up to 70 tonnes GCM.

The transmission controller is now a stalk mounted on the right-hand side of the steering column, but to ease the minds of traditionalists the engine brake still needs you to lean across and toggle a switch. Show-offs can still option the Eaton 18-speed Eaton manual transmission, although to be quite honest some applications work best and most efficiently with a manual.

Kenworth has packaged the new truck to combine a minimal overall length with the serviceability, ease of cab access and low-tare weight of a bonneted truck. The set-forward front axle helps deliver bigger payloads, a better driver environment, improved fuel economy and a greater choice of options.

Specifically designed for maximum payload for 19m B-Double, most 19m Quad Dog applications and car carrier specifications, the T410SAR’s bumper-to-back-of-cab (BBC) length is a usefully tight 2,850mm.

It’s available in 6x4 rigid, single and multi-trailer combinations with car carrier and 8x4 configurations confirmed for release later this year.

There are 4 sleeper cab options, a 600mm aero, 760mm mid-roof, 860mm aero and for car carrier specifications, a new 600mm flat-roof sleeper due for release early in 2021.   

The full EBSS safety suite includes collision avoidance and mitigation technology, active cruise with braking and lane departure warning working in harmony to take electronic safety aids to the level of the best competition. It builds on existing critical active and passive safety design elements and overall ergonomics aimed at comfort and control.

One thing's for sure - many of our younger friends wouldn't dream of getting on board one of these prime movers. But chances are most of their devices, gadgets and other essential supplies have had a ride in a Kenworth somewhere between the mine, the factory and their tap-happy pinkies.

PS: Ever wondered what it's like out on the road when I'm doing a road test? It can be pretty vast.

Plus, here's some video of a run I did from Darwin to Broome in the T610 and its SAR good buddy . . .

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