CHILLICOTHE, OH. Kicking off a three-month road tour that will take it to 36 U.S. and Canadian dealerships, one of the first Kenworth T680 Advantage tractors built at the company’s truck plant here was the star of an eight-truck ride and drive event staged for the press. With customer deliveries of the new fuel-efficient package for the T680 due to begin next month, the first official stop on the tour is today at Worldwide Equipment in Lexington, KY.

The touring Advantage tractor was coupled to a double-expanding 53-ft. trailer also fitted with the latest aerodynamic and fuel-saving options. Inside the trailer is an interactive display outlining the features of the T680 Advantage as well as the new Kenworth T880 vocational truck.

The Advantage package is designed to deliver a 5 to 6% fuel economy edge over the standard KW T680, according to Brett VanVoorhis, Kenworth on-highway marketing manager. That package includes new aerodynamic treatments, a Paccar MX13 12.9-liter engine, an Eaton Fuller transmission with optimized shift calibrations, Meritor and Dana 6x2 drive axle choices and SmartWay-verified tires. It can also be fitted with a variety of other fuel-saving options that include Kenworth’s idle management and tire monitoring systems.

Currently half of the trucks being built at Chillichothe are being fitted with the Advantage package, VanVoorhis said during the press event.

In addition to the touring tractor, the ride and drive featured a T680 Advantage featuring the new Eaton Fuller Advantage automated mechanical transmission and a T680 CNG-powered tractor with an integrated 52-in. sleeper.  Showcasing the company’s vocational line up, three KW T880’s were also on hand – a heavy-haul tractor, a tractor with a new 52-in. sleeper option and a flatbed truck.  Representing the lighter end of Kenworth’s models, a T440 dump truck and K370 cabover box truck filled out the event vehicle offerings.