The 1920s saw many innovations in truck design, Kenworth said. This early fleet illustrates the transition from solid to pneumatic tires and from open to enclosed cabs.
Kenworth Truck Company is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2013.
The early 1920’s Kenworth assembly process.
An early Kenworth log truck.
In 1933, Kenworth unveiled the first sleeper. This is a 1936 diesel-powered sleeper-cab model.
1976 saw Kenworth introduce the industry’s first raised-roof sleeper. Initial production of the Aerodyne was a special version called the VIT 200 Bicentennial Edition, to coincide with America’s 200th birthday.
In 1933, Kenworth became the first American truck manufacturer to install diesel engines as standard equipment, it said. The new trucks proved to be a big hit with customers, who also reaped fuel savings as diesel was just one-third the price of gasoline.
In 1978, this Kenworth K100 moved the space shuttle Enterprise during ground operations at Huntsville, AL.
Although Kenworth offered an integrated sleeper cab, customer requests prompted Kenworth to also develop a separated sleeper model in 1947.
Kenworth introduced its first-ever medium duty conventional – the T300 in 1994, which evolved into the T170, T270 and T370 models in 2007.
The T600 debuted in 1985 and was said to improve aerodynamics by 40%. The radical sloped-nose design saved customers up to 22% on fuel compared to traditional conventionals.
In 2007, Kenworth introduced the T660, further refining the art of designing aerodynamic highway trucks.
In 2012, Kenworth introduced the T680, the most aerodynamic model in Kenworth history. The T680 recently received the 2013 Heavy Duty Commercial Truck of the Year from the American Truck Dealers.
Kenworth began production of the wide-cab T700 in 2010.
Kenworth launched the T800 in 1986. Geared for more heavy-duty operations and suitable for on/off highway applications, it utilized a set-back front axle for maximum payload and maneuverability. This T800 transported a retired SR-71 Blackbird plane from the Mojave Desert to the Museum of Flight in Seattle in 1991.
The industry’s first tilt-forward fiberglass hood was offered on Kenworth conventional truck in 1959. Dubbed the Unitglas hood, it offered improved durability and reduced weight.
In the early 1960s, Kenworth introduced two new models. The W900 conventional featured classic lines, long hood, wider and taller cab, a redesigned instrument panel, and enhanced driver comfort. The K100 cabover was designed for maximizing cargo within state restrictions.
Kenworth Truck Co. is celebrating 90 years in business in 2013. Kenworth provided this walk through memory lane. You can read more about the company’s 90 years here.
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