October 4, 2013
A Kenworth T680 specified in a 6×2 axle configuration can offer reduced weight and enhanced fuel economy over the traditional 6×4 axle configuration, the company says. The 6×2 configuration saves several hundred pounds by using one ‘live’ rear drive axle instead of two, and eliminating the inter-axle driveline and rear differential. Kenworth says the need for internal gearing in the non-drive axle is also eliminated, resulting in fewer parasitic losses. The combination of a 6×2 tandem axle configuration and wide-base tires may provide a significant fuel economy improvement, which will vary depending on use, road conditions and other factors.
Kenworth says the Bendix eTrac system links into the Bendix ABS braking system with automatic traction control (ATC) and electronic stability programming. This system automatically engages and disengages – without driver input – the vehicle’s airbag pressure transfer system, transferring pressure from the non-drive to the drive axle when it recognizes wheel slip, the company says. This provides improved fuel efficiency in a lighter package combined with on-demand traction, according to Bendix.
The Bendix eTrac system also protects the drivetrain by automatically disengaging after a low-traction event or when the vehicle’s resumed speed exceeds 25 mph, the company says. The system also allows for manual activation at speeds below 10 mph, or when a vehicle’s ATC mud/snow switch is enabled.
The 6×2 axle configurations are available with the proprietary Kenworth AG380 and AG400L lightweight air-ride suspensions. The Kenworth AG380, which is rated at 38,000 lbs., is for on-highway fleets and truck operators who require less weight and a lower chassis height in applications such as tankers, flatbeds, reefers, vans and car carriers. The disc brake-compatible Kenworth AG400L is a 40,000-lb. rated highway rear suspension system. The cost-effective, four-bag suspension is especially well-suited for over the road and pickup and delivery applications, Kenworth says.