It's a bona fide success. That's the message from Gary Moore, Kenworth general manager and Paccar vice president, as he spoke about the Paccar MX engine.
"The biggest testament to the Paccar MX engine's success is the more than 20,000 trucks now running the engine in various customer applications throughout North America, and we expect that number to continue to expand in 2012," said Moore. "We're finding that once fleets or owner operators try the Paccar MX, they're convinced.
"The performance advantage in fuel efficiency and other performance metrics is just too difficult to ignore. It's steadily becoming a greater portion of Kenworth's build."
The Paccar MX engine is available with a horsepower range of 380 to 485 hp, and torque up to 1,750 lb-ft on selected Kenworth Class 8 models, and is well suited to truck users operating in many over-the-road, pickup and delivery and vocational applications.
"The Paccar MX engine has given our customers a lightweight, fuel-efficient option for their fleets," noted Tim Murphy, CEO of MHC, which operates 43 Kenworth dealerships in 10 states. "We continue to see strong interest in the MX engine from our customer base."
One such customer is TransAm Trucking Inc., a leading refrigerated fleet based in Olathe, KS, which operates 500 Kenworth T660s and T700s equipped with 485-hp Paccar MX engines.
"The Paccar MX engine and enhanced aerodynamics of our new Kenworths have delivered a 10-1/2 percent improvement in fuel economy, and that's really helped us offset the additional costs of the new emission technology," said Russ McElliott, president of TransAm Trucking, comparing the performance of the company's previous aerodynamic trucks equipped with pre-2007 engines. "The reliability and drivability of the MX engine have also contributed to a 12 to 14 percent improvement in our company's driver retention rate in 2011."
McElliott said before TransAm Trucking took delivery of its first Paccar MX in January 2011, the company anticipated some issues with the emission control system. "And yet despite that fact, the Kenworth chassis and Paccar MX engine combination has been the most reliable truck and new engine platform we have ever run in the history of our company from day one. Kenworth and its dealer MHC Kenworth worked through those new technology issues."
Steve Kent Trucking
Bobby McConal, fleet manager for Steve Kent Trucking in Lottie, LA, agreed that having one service organization handle the truck and engine is a benefit. "Our standard spec going forward is the Paccar MX engine," he said.
"If we have an engine issue, we want it solved at the dealership. That way, at all of our service points, we don't have to wait on another engine manufacturer to make a decision. We want one standard engine that we can depend on in the field and at our Kenworth dealer."
According to Reid Nabarrete, assistant Kenworth general manager for marketing and sales, dealer 24/7 support is critical to keeping downtime to a minimum. "As Bobby McConal said, one-stop repair work is a time-saver for a fleet. It's truly a selling point for the engine and our dealership group – which has been thoroughly trained to work on the engine."
The Kenworth dealer network's constant commitment to superior satisfaction is demonstrated by Kenworth receiving the 2011 J.D. Power and Associates award for "Highest in Customer Satisfaction for Heavy Duty Truck Dealer Service."
Nabarrete said Canadian customers are just as enthused with the Paccar MX engine. "The higher horsepower, up to 485, and torque level, match up well with many fleets in Canada," he said. "With our 12.9-liter engine, they reap improved fuel economy."
"I have a lot of faith in the Paccar organization and see the commitment they've made to this (Paccar MX) engine," said Jeff Hall, president of J&R Hall Transport of Ayr, Ontario. "We looked long and hard at our options to make sure we were getting the most fuel-efficient and dependable engine.
Fuel economy alone is a big advantage, but under the hood of a T660 - the combination really seals the deal."
Hall said the 12.9-liter Paccar MX consistently provides a 3 percent to 4 percent advantage in fuel economy. "That's a savings of $5,000 a year per truck," he said.
Ultimately, Nabarrete fuel economy and engine performance will set the Paccar MX apart from its competitors. "With diesel prices continuing to climb, fleets need to get the best fuel mileage possible. And we feel the MX is best in class and we've been seeing it first hand from customer reports."
"We're getting 4/10ths of a mile per gallon better with the T660 and Paccar MX engine over the other trucks in our fleet," said Tracy Bogler, president of Woody Bogler Trucking of Rosebud, MO. "In fact, our best driver is getting almost 8 mpg."
According to Bogler, the fuel economy improvement means about a $4,000 savings per year, per truck. And, once the entire fleet is converted over to the T660 with Paccar MX, it will result in a fleet savings of around $500,000.