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As fuel prices rise and constricted working conditions increase, smaller vocational trucks are increasingly attractive for many contractors. This fall, Kenworth threw its hat into the Class 5 ring with the debut of its T170 straight truck. The truck rounds out Kenworth’s medium-duty vocational line, which already consists of the Class 7 T370 and Class 6 T270 vocational models, both of which will be available in diesel-electric hybrid powertrain versions next year. “This truck provides a highly affordable and maneuverable product in a diversity of applications,” says Gary Moore, Kenworth’s assistant general manager for marketing and sales. “In addition, the T170 is a non-CDL vehicle, which will help contractors find and retain drivers.”
Up front, Kenworth designed the T170 to have the highest power-to-weight ratio in the Class 5 market with its 4×2 configuration and proprietary 6.7-liter, 200-horsepower Paccar PX-6 diesel engine with 520 pound-feet of peak torque. (See chart at right).
The T170 weighs in with a gross vehicle weight rating of up to 19,500 pounds distributed over an 8,000-pound front axle and 11,500-pound rear axle attached to a low-frame height chassis (with 19.5-inch wheels and tires). Hydraulic brakes are standard. You can spec a manual or automatic transmission.
Design changes improve damage resistance
To reduce impact damage, Kenworth positions a single-piece, painted steel front bumper forward of the hood. New Metton quarter fenders provide additional front-body durability and impact resistance. Compared with sealed beam headlamps, halogen projector low-beam headlamps mounted in the fenders provide up to 30 percent more illumination down the road and offer up to three times longer service life. The T170’s sheet-molded composite hood is also new and tilts 90 degrees for extra engine bay access. Additional exterior features include a steel battery box, ABS cover, heat-treated frame rails and 35-gallon, steel rectangular fuel tank.
Inside its cab, the T170 exhibits many of the same styling and ergonomic features Kenworth installs in its big rig models. The dashboard features a wrap-around instrument panel with large, easy-to-read gauges. There is no doghouse, which greatly decreases interior noise while adding additional passenger room and storage cab space. Standard in-cab features include power door locks, passenger-side electric windows (optional on driver’s side) and Daylite doors with right-side peeper windows. Key interior options include a telescoping and tilting steering wheel, a workstation with two, 12-volt power ports, optional corner windows for better backing and maneuvering in tight surroundings and an electronic shift module. EW
PX-6 diesel engine quick specs
Displacement: 6.7 liters
Peak torque: 520-750 pound-feet
Governed speed: 2,600 rpm
Clutch engagement torque: 350 pound-feet
Oil system capacity: 4.5 gallons
Engine weight (dry): 1,150 pounds