Kenworth medium duty cabovers making in-roads

Kenworth's newest cabover models - the K270 and K370 - are doing considerably better sales-wise than the previous models - introduced around the 2006/2007 timeframe - and are "slowly gaining momentum and popularity," reports Doug Powell, the company’s medium duty marketing manager.

Introduced early last year, the new Class 6 K270 Class 6 and Class 7 K370 are ideal for pickup and delivery, towing, refrigerated van, roll-off, landscape and other applications that that require a highly maneuverable truck with good visibility, he notes.

The new models were designed specifically for the North American market, whereas the previous K270s and K370s were adapted from European models. The new models are built on a North American chassis very similar to Kenworth's conventional medium duty trucks - the T270 and T370.

Since the 2012 launch, a number of options have been added to the new models. These include a 22.5" tire and wheel package (the standard had been 19.5 tires/wheels), a second fuel tank option, rear air-ride suspension and expanded wheelbase choices - from 142 to 242" in 12" increments to allow for up to a 28' van body.

Meanwhile, Kenworth has increased training of its dealer salespeople on its new cabovers and is getting dealers more engaged in all of its medium duty products.

Powell says there remains a stigma and perception from years ago that cabover trucks ride rougher and are noisier than conventionals models. Getting dealers and buyers behind the wheel of its new cabovers is a key strategy for increasing sales, he says.