A recognized "green" workhorse, and one in a product line that earned Kenworth an Environmental Protection Agency Clean Air Excellence award, the Class 7 Kenworth T370 Hybrid has been employed in a variety of medium-duty fleet applications across the U.S.

Organizations such as a Hawaiian utility, a Texas county government, and a Massachusetts-based moving company are achieving fuel savings and emissions reductions with the T370 Hybrid.

Parallel Hybrid System Developed with Eaton

Equipped with a PACCAR PX-6 6.7L engine, the T370's parallel hybrid system was developed in partnership with Eaton. The hybrid powertrain includes an integral transmission-mounted motor/generator, a frame-mounted 340-volt lithium-ion battery pack, and a dedicated power management system.

According to the manufacturer, the T370 Hybrid is particularly suited to slower, stop-and-go traffic. The hybrid system automatically switches between two modes of operation. Advanced powertrain controls monitor driving conditions and select the ideal power mode, switching among electric-only, combined diesel and electric, and diesel-only power modes. Stored electricity provides nearly 60 horsepower with 310 ft.-lb. of torque.

Braking events called "regenerative braking" generate and store electricity. Electrical power is used for acceleration, assisting the diesel engine.

The hybrid system is monitored through an in-dash display. As power requirements for driving conditions change, the screen reveals continually updated system status reports.

The T370 Hybrid can be spec'ed with an electric power take-off (ePTO), which draws energy from the batteries for engine-off operation.

Rated 33,000 lbs. GVWR, Kenworth T370 Hybrid applications include pickup  and delivery, utility, and service applications. Kenworth T370 hybrid tractors, available up to 55,000-lbs. GCW, are for local haul applications, including beverage, general freight, and grocery distribution.

An advanced forward-lighting system provides up to 30-percent more down-road coverage than conventional sealed beam designs, according to Kenworth.

Other T370 Hybrid features include:

■ A PACCAR PX-6 engine, delivering 300 hp at 2,600 rpm and 620 ft.-lb. of torque at 1,600 rpm.

■ An Eaton 6-speed UltraShift

hybrid transmission.

■ 153-inch minimum wheelbase.

■ Dana Spicer front axles, 8,000-14,600 lbs., and Dana rear axles, 16,000-26,000 lbs.

■ Air or hydraulic brakes.

■ Steel or polished aluminum wheels.

■ Kenworth aero-heated mirrors.

Kenworth's hybrid product line also includes the Class 6 T270 model. Purchasers of Kenworth hybrid trucks may qualify for a federal tax credit ranging from $6,000 to $12,000.

In developing hybrid trucks, Kenworth's stated goal is to enhance fuel economy by up to 30 percent in pickup and delivery applications and up to 50 percent in utility operations.

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Texas County's T370 Hybrids Help Meet Energy Goals

Bexar County, Texas, officials expect the county's three new T370 Hybrids will help meet energy policy goals to reduce and conserve energy and promote environmental responsibility, according to Street and Drainage Manager Tony Vasquez.

The Bexar County T370 Hybrids are assigned to pick up and deliver loads of dirt and aggregate throughout the county, which serves more than 1.5 million people.

"We expect heavy use for these Kenworth hybrids, with each traveling up to 20,000 miles annually," said Vasquez. He expects the hybrid technology will be especially suited to the rural and half-urban areas, "with a lot of stop-and-go driving" in which the trucks will operate.

"We estimate the new hybrids will enhance fuel efficiency by 30 to 40 percent," said Vasquez.

Equipped as six-yard dump trucks with five-occupant Crew Cabs, the county's Kenworth hybrids also carry a pintle hitch, so trailers can be towed to haul service units, such as skid steers, small rollers, and shredders.

Utility Expects to Run Hybrid 30,000 Miles Annually

"Our new Kenworth T370 hybrid utility truck is working great!" said Kelvin Kohatsu, fleet administrator for the Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. (HELCO). "The driver - a senior lineman - loves it. We're going to order another one for 2010."

HELCO operates 65 Class 7-8 trucks, including a number of Kenworth medium-duty trucks and Kenworth T800 bucket and crane trucks.

"From a fuel savings alone, we expect to save upwards of 50 percent with the Kenworth hybrid," said Kohatsu.

The hybrid is equipped as a bucket truck with ePTO.

"We expect to run the truck up to 30,000 miles a year, and we'll have a lot of stop-and-go city driving. Since we won't have to run the engine to power the boom, we'll really save on our fuel bill. A hybrid really works well in the utility industry," Kohatsu said.

'Proud' of Leading the Moving Industry

William Duggan believes his moving company is among the first in the industry to adopt hybrid technology, and he is "very proud of that fact."

Owner and president of Wm. Duggan Co., Inc., in Walpole, Mass., Duggan said, "We're moving to hybrids for the environment, and we're doing it for the cost savings."

According to Duggan, whose company runs 55 Class 5-8 moving trucks under the Atlas Van Lines banner, the Kenworth T370 Hybrid doubles the fuel economy of the company's other medium-duty moving vans. "The quality of the truck and its components greatly exceeded anything we could have imagined," said Duggan.

"The Kenworth hybrid fuel economy and quality also has exceeded our expectations. We're getting between 11 and 14 mpg compared to 6-7 mpg with our standard medium-duty trucks," said Duggan. "Since the hybrid is expected to run 30,000 miles per year, we're projecting close to $7,000 a year in fuel savings. WT

 

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