CANADIAN oilfield hauler Oculus Transport Ltd was one of six fleets to take delivery of a new Kenworth W990 tractor during a special presentation September 27 in Las Vegas NV. Kenworth’s long-nose W990 was unveiled during an evening event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Mike Dozier, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice-president, told an audience that included customers, dealers, and trade press that: “The new Kenworth W990 is a reflection of the Kenworth brand, The World’s Best, which represents the quality, engineering excellence, and both customer and driver focus that goes into every Kenworth we build.
“We are passionate about our products, our customers that depend on them, and the drivers that operate them. We know that there are many customers and drivers out there who share our passion. The Kenworth W990 represents the pride, image, and freedom of trucking, and captures the spirit of what trucking is all about.”
Those customers include Oculus Transport’s management team members, who are long-time fans of Kenworth’s W900L. Buying long-nose tractors has been part of Oculus Transport’s history from Day 1, and the carrier agreed to purchase their first W990 sight unseen.
“Our company started in 2011, and our owner—Ric Peterson—loved the look of the classic truck,” said Cory Heck, Oculus Transport vice-president of assets and equipment for the Calgary AB, Canada-based carrier. “That’s the truck he used to drive.
“We stand out with our long hoods and bright orange paint scheme. We stick to our roots, and have pride in ownership. Image is so important to us, and the Kenworth W900L, and now W990, support that image perfectly. When drivers are required to dwell in their truck, it is important that they feel rested and comfortable. I know that our equipment helps with driver retention, and we’ve seen our drivers turn up their nose at offers from other companies with lesser equipment. That really tells you something.”
Oculus operates 90 trucks, 70% of them in tanker operations, including 30 tractors used in C3+ and C4 (high vapor pressure) operations. The company’s Kenworth trucks are purchased through Inland Kenworth-Fort St John BC, Canada.
The Oculus Transport W990 is spec’d with the PACCAR MX-13 engine rated at 510 horsepower, and Eaton UltraShift 18-speed transmission. “Everyone loves the PACCAR MX engine around here,” said Heck. “It’s proven very reliable in our other trucks, plus it’s giving us better fuel economy numbers. The W990 with PACCAR MX-13 engines is a great combination for us.”
While it is a whole new generation, the W990 does indeed capture the iconic look of the long-nose W900. At the same time, the truck was designed to deliver maximum performance in line-haul, regional haul, pick-up-and-delivery, and heavy haul.
Kenworth’s design director Jonathon Duncan called the W990 project “a once in a lifetime opportunity for a designer.”
“First and foremost, we wanted to design a truck that had a significant ‘wow’ factor,” he said. “There is nothing like seeing a long-hood Kenworth driving down the road, signifying image, pride, and freedom. The long-hood conventional is the truck that gets noticed and commands attention; it is the truck you see garnering best of show ribbons at truck beauty show across the country.
“We set out to design a hard-working truck that shares those memories. One that can be seen down the road and makes other truckers stare and nod their heads in appreciation. One that will be proudly displayed at truck shows. The Kenworth W990 features the latest in technology, and is built on our 2.1-meter cab platform that features comfort and driver amenities that are second to none.”
The two biggest visuals on the new Kenworth W990 are the hood and the grille. The “long hood” has a bumper-to-back-of cab (BBC) measurement coming in at a 131.5-inches, or 1.5 inches longer than its cousin, the W900L.
“The grille is really the face of the new W990,” Duncan said. “Incorporating stainless steel was important. It had to be pure Kenworth and it needed to be instantly recognizable as the top-of-the-line. We maintained the traditional cathedral shape to the grille and the inset surfaces at the top to give it a refined tailored look. That powerful center spear signifies this is part of the new generation of Kenworth trucks and the tapered grille spears are there for a classic touch. It’s elegant, beautiful, and full of brawn.”
The W990 is available in daycab, 40-inch flattop, and 52-inch and 76-inch mid-roof sleeper configurations. The W990 is standard with the proprietary PACCAR powertrain consisting of the MX-13 engine rated up to 510-hp and 1,850 lb-ft of torque, a 12-speed PACCAR automated transmission, and PACCAR 40K tandem-drive axles.
Built on the proven and popular 2.1-meter cab platform--used in the Kenworth T680 and T880--the W990 features driver comfort and amenities that are second to none. Special comfort and style options include the Limited Edition cab and sleeper interior, and the W990 Driver’s Studio package of premium options that create a luxurious home on the road living experience.
The W990 Driver’s Studio offers a 180-degree swivel passenger seat and rotating table for two people, drawer-style refrigerator, and convenient space ideal for a microwave. Entertainment is provided by Kenworth’s premium audio package with 320-watt amp, 10-inch subwoofer and eight speakers; swivel TV mount for up to a 28-inch flat screen TV; and optional EpicVue pre-wire for satellite TV. There’s a full-size wardrobe space for hanging clothes, multiple storage drawers, and large storage space under the lower bunk. The 1800-watt inverter includes a shore power connection and four standard 120-volt sleeper outlets to power a range of electrical devices. Convenient LED lighting provides ample interior light throughout the sleeper.
“The interior of the W990 follows that of our flagship T680 with all the room, dash layout and sleeper amenities,” said Duncan. “But we went one step further by designing the Limited Edition interior package. We combined great color schemes along with leather and embroidery. The Limited Edition comes in classic midnight black with a glossy Ravenwood trim. The diamond-trim panels on the door pads and in the sleeper, feature Royal Blue stitching and W990 embroidery. The heated and cooled leather seats have perforated leather that is dyed blue on the backside so that the edges of the perforations are blue. That’s a small touch that the driver will notice every time they get into the cab. We also added Royal Blue stitching on the leather Kenworth SmartWheel, another detail that only the driver will know about and a reminder that they’re behind the wheel of something special.”
The W990 is standard with Kenworth TruckTech+ remote diagnostics system. Kenworth NAV+HD seven-inch, color in-dash display provides access to valuable features such as truck-specific navigation, roadside assistance, vehicle data, hands-free calling, audio controls, blind-spot camera inputs and the Internet.
The new W990 will enter production in December, with first customer deliveries starting in Q1 2019. According to Kenworth officials production of the W900L also will continue.