Jon Kibler (L) and Bryce Pinnell pose with a 1923 Kenworth on display at Kenworth’s Chillicothe, Ohio, plant during their tour of the plant. The plant tour offered Kibler and Pinnell an opportunity to learn more about the history of the Kenworth Tru
When Jon Kibler of Bowmansville, N.Y., and Bryce Pinnell of Morrisonville, Ill., heard they were winners in the recent Kenworth T880 Test Drive Contest, they especially looked forward to becoming among the first truck drivers to drive the new Kenworth T880.
Introduced at the 2013 Mid-America Trucking Show, the T880 builds upon Kenworth’s 90-year heritage. The T880 is standard with the PACCAR MX-13 engine, which has ratings up to 500 hp (373 kW) and 1,850 lb.-ft. of torque and offers excellent fuel efficiency, high reliability and durability, lightweight design and low cost of ownership, according to the manufacturer.
Kenworth hosted the two winners at events in both Columbus and Chillicothe, Ohio. In Columbus, the group attended the Kenworth Natural Gas Summit customer event and learned more about Kenworth’s extensive natural gas truck line-up.
The following morning, they journeyed one hour south to Chillicothe, Ohio, home of Kenworth’s largest assembly plant. Upon their arrival, the group was greeted by plant manager Scott Blue, and then taken on an informative and action-packed 90-minute tour.
And then, it was time for Kibler and Pinnell to take the Kenworth T880 out for a test drive around the Chillicothe area.
Kenworth had several T880s for the two winners to experience first-hand, including a regional T880 day cab with a PACCAR MX-13 455 hp (339 kW) engine and 13-speed Eaton manual transmission, and a T880 Ohio dump with PACCAR MX-13 485 hp (362 kW) engine and Eaton UltraShift Plus transmission. They also had a chance to climb into the latest Kenworth natural gas trucks there for the Kenworth customer event at the plant.
Kibler, who has been a truck driver for one year, currently drives for Central Transport out of its terminal in Buffalo, N.Y. He also has worked for Stevens Transport, where he mostly drove a Kenworth T660.
Kibler took a T880 dump truck out for a run and was impressed.
“It’s very stable and easy to drive. Everything is right there in easy reach on the dash. I liked the air-ride seat, which was very comfortable. The T880 has excellent power with the PACCAR MX-13 engine. The engine and the cab were very noticeably quiet. I could actually hear the person next to me. I want one,” he added.
Pinnell, who has been a truck driver for seven years, became an owner-operator in 2009 and operates his own company called E&M Transport. He has six trailers and now operates two trucks — a 2013 T660 72-in. AeroCab sleeper and a brand new T660 with 2014 86-in. Studio AeroCab, which he picked up in Chillicothe after completion of his T880 test drives.
“The T880 is really comfortable and the PACCAR MX13 engine had good pick-up and go. I liked the overall visibility through the windshield and over the hood. The turning radius was great and I could make sharp, tight turns,” said Pinnell. “The controls on the dash were in good position, and I could reach everything without having to stretch. And both the T880s I drove were real quiet.”
Before they parted company, the winners and their guests each received a special Kenworth backpack stuffed with Kenworth merchandise, including a lightweight jacket, fleece blanket, T880 cap, T880 cowhide/denim work gloves and travel tumbler mug.
More than 250 entries were received in the contest, which was for entrants 21 years and older with a valid commercial driver’s license.
For more information, visit www.kenworth.com.