Land­mark for Ken­worth

The truck maker is on a roll, writesGRAHAMSMITH

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Cars 2003- 2006 Nissan Maxima J31 -

AUS­TRALIA’S lead­ing truck man­u­fac­turer Ken­worth has passed a ma­jor land­mark with the pro­duc­tion of its 40,000th lo­cally built truck.

The truck, a T608, was handed over to Mel­bourne-based bulk trans­port com­pany Kalari Trans­port at Ken­worth’s Bayswa­ter fac­tory late last month.

Ken­worth’s con­nec­tion to Aus­tralia dates back to 1962 when the first trucks were im­ported, but took on a new di­men­sion in 1971 when the com­pany be­gan pro­duc­ing trucks lo­cally. It now builds around 3000 trucks a year at Bayswa­ter.

The pro­duc­tion of its 40,000th truck un­der­lines Ken­worth’s com- mit­ment to lo­cal pro­duc­tion. The Bayswa­ter plant is the only fa­cil­ity PAC­CAR has out­side North Amer­ica build­ing Ken­worth trucks.

Ken­worth has long held the view it is nec­es­sary to build trucks lo­cally to meet the unique de­mands of the Aus­tralian truck­ing in­dus­try.

With high loads, long dis­tances be­tween re­fu­elling sta­tions and ser­vice points and speed-lim­ited run­ning on rough roads, trucks in Aus­tralia are sub­jected to some of the harsh­est con­di­tions in the world.

PAC­CAR Aus­tralia manag­ing di­rec­tor Joe Rizzo, hand­ing the keys of the distinctively painted prime mover to Bill Roth­ery, chair­man and CEO of John Swire and Sons, par­ent com­pany of Kalari Trans­port, said Aus­tralia pro­vided a unique and chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ment for the trans­port in­dus­try.

The 40,000th Ken­worth has a GCM of 90,000 tonnes. It is pow­ered by a Cum­mins Sig­na­ture en­gine rated at 433kW and 2505Nm, matched to an 18-speed Fuller man­ual trans­mis­sion, Mer­i­tor rear axles and Ken­worth air sus­pen­sion.

Kalari’s new truck will be a reg­u­lar sight on the east coast, em­ployed on Mel­bourne-Bris­bane, Syd­ney-Mel­bourne and Mel­bourneAde­laide runs. Con­fig­ured as a B-dou­ble pneu­matic tanker, it will trans­port var­i­ous ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing pow­dered plas­tic, raw ma­te­ri­als for the glass in­dus­try, such as feldspar, sands and lime­stone as well as fly ash for the con­crete in­dus­try.

It will run up to 10,000km a week and be­fore it is fin­ished in Kalari colours it will have ac­cu­mu­lated more than a mil­lion kilo­me­tres.

Roth­ery says the T608’s ver­sa­til­ity is a ma­jor ben­e­fit.

‘‘We can have a T608 han­dling tanker work in Vic­to­ria to­day and with sub­tle changes we can send it to Queens­land to­mor­row where it could be haul­ing a road train,’’ he says.

‘‘That level of flex­i­bil­ity is in­valu­able and es­sen­tial in our busi­ness.’’

Roth­ery also paid trib­ute to the reli­a­bil­ity and dura­bil­ity of Ken­worth trucks, say­ing they had out­per­formed ev­ery other truck the com­pany has tried.

‘‘The cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate hasn’t changed the rea­sons we buy a Ken­worth,’’ he says. ‘‘In fact, if any­thing, it has re­in­forced it.

‘‘In tough times you have to get value for money. You need to en­sure that what­ever you’re pur­chas­ing is go­ing to give you good ser­vice and it’s not go­ing to cost money in re­pairs.

‘‘Now more than ever, when we buy trucks, we are mak­ing a de­ci­sion from a whole-of-life per­spec­tive.’’

It took 14 years for Ken­worth to build its first 10,000 trucks and an­other 13 years to reach the 20,000 mark, but af­ter that, things ac­cel­er­ated quickly. The 30,000th truck was de­liv­ered just four years later, and the 40,000th a mere 3½ years af­ter that. At that rate, the com­pany will be cel­e­brat­ing the mile­stone of its 50,000th truck in around three years.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.