Proprietary Powertrains

A good thing for vehicle maintenance


I had a chance to drive a variety of Kenworth and Peterbilt tractors with the new engine with different horsepower ratings pulling fully loaded trailers. I was pleasantly surprised with the responsive feel, power and quietness - both inside and outside.

Paccar engineers told me the MX engine is two to three times quieter at idle and one and one-half times quieter at 55 to 70 mph than competitive engines.

The more comfortable a driver is, the more productive he will be and the greater the tendency to take good care of the equipment. Here again, less time in the shop.

Another nice feature is the electrical systems for the Paccar MX engine, designed to provide increased reliability through the use of sealed connectors and an air-cooled ECM. A fully encapsulated wiring harness mounted directly to the block protects wiring from the elements and removes stress from connectors for a more dependable electrical system. This results in a dependable electrical system that is serviced in a non-invasive manner.

The idea behind having an integrated powertrain is that vehicles can be better engineered to perform for optimum efficiency and productivity, say the manufacturers that have them. Engines, transmissions and axles can function better because they can be designed to work together.

With control over quality, these manufactures say they can assure the best product possible, and that would be a good thing for fleets and repair and maintenance operations.

Further, these OEMs believe their engineering teams are best at putting together vehicles to ensure the most advantageous vehicle configuration for an application.

Now that Paccar has its own engines and axles, it is eyeing development of its own gearboxes and transmissions, Pigott said.

When this happens, Paccar engineers, in developing new truck models, will be able to focus on further reducing noise and vibration generated by the entire powertain. That would help reduce unscheduled downtime for repairs and maintenance even more.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

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