Kenworth celebrates delivery of 60,000th locally-made truck

Members of the Wickham family with representatives of the Brown and Hurley Group, and Andrew Hadjikakou. Members of the Wickham family with representatives of the Brown and Hurley Group, and Andrew Hadjikakou. Members of the Wickham family with representatives of the Brown and Hurley Group, and Andrew Hadjikakou.

Hadjikakou hands keys of the milestone truck to Wickham Freight Lines


Kenworth celebrated the production and delivery of its landmark 60,000th locally-manufactured truck during a special event in Melbourne today.

Paccar Australia MD Andrew Hadjikakou handed the keys to the T610SAR prime mover to Wickham Freight Lines co-founder and industry legend Peter Wickham.

Hadjikakou says the 60,000th truck was a major milestone not only for the company and its dealer group but also for its local suppliers.

"Celebrating key production milestones is a Kenworth tradition, one that began in April 1974 when we handed over the keys to truck number 1,000," Hadjikakou says.

"Since then we’ve celebrated each major milestone, leading to today, when we hand over the keys to the 60,000th truck that’s rolled off the Kenworth production line since we began designing and manufacturing uniquely Australian trucks in 1971."

ATA CEO Ben Maguire, who was also at the event, congratulated Paccar Australia, the company behind Kenworth trucks, on its achievement.

"Kenworth started designing and manufacturing uniquely Australian trucks in 1971," Maguire says.

"Kenworth trucks are the mainstay of many transport businesses. Some drivers won’t climb into anything else.

"Kenworth employs more than a thousand staff in Melbourne.

"The company supports a host of Australian suppliers who provide most of the parts and materials that go into the trucks.

"Many Australians think we no longer make things in this country, but Kenworths continue to roll off the line at the world class Bayswater facility, as they have for almost 47 years."                                

Wickham Freight Lines and Kenworth association

Hadjikakou says it was fitting that the milestone truck was built for Wickham Freight Lines.

"Wickham Freight Lines is one of our long term customers," Hadjikakou says.

"They are knowledgeable and passionate about the road transport industry and forthright with their thoughts and opinions, which has contributed to the continuous improvement of our trucks for close to four decades.

"It’s been a win-win for both parties, and it’s the epitome of how we conduct business with all of our customers."

Wickham Freight Lines chief executive Darren Eather says it is "gratifying" to receive the vehicle.

"We have been working with Paccar for many years; it’s being part of a team," Eather says.

"They satisfy all of our trucking needs – not just sales, but also finance, servicing and parts.

"Paccar and Brown and Hurley take the stress out of maintaining a large and diverse fleet, enabling us to focus on improving our service to customers."

Speaking about Wickham Freight Lines and its co-founder Peter Wickham, Maguire said the company began operations in 1978 with a single Kenworth truck that was used to transport potatoes in Queensland.

"Their business now has about 160 late model Kenworth prime movers, refrigerated pantechs, dry vans and tautliners," Maguire says.

"They are accredited under the industry’s own safety management system, TruckSafe, which puts them amongst the best and safest companies in the industry.

"Peter Wickham featured at Trucking Australia 2016 as one of our Kenworth legends, when our delegates heard his inspiring story.

"Today is a great day for Paccar Australia, Wickham Freight Lines and the Australian trucking industry."

Kenworth in Australia

Hadjikakou says it is important that Australia has a local manufacturer that "understands the challenges facing transport businesses".

"Kenworth is the only local truck manufacturer offering full design capability, technical expertise and resources to application-engineer trucks for the most extreme on and off-road operations," he says.

"Our trucks are designed to satisfy these unique needs.

"They feature higher cooling capacities to handle heavier weights and hotter conditions, more robust construction to manage the roughest roads, and embody a design philosophy that means cost-effective maintenance and reliability."

Kenworth currently employs over 1,000 staff in Melbourne, a majority of whom are directly or indirectly involved in the manufacturing operations.

The manufacturer says it supports the industry’s best nationwide network of Paccar dealers who employ about 3,000 people throughout Australia.

"In addition, the company supports a variety of local suppliers who provide the majority of the parts and materials which make a Kenworth," it states.

"As part of its manufacturing commitment, Kenworth has made a substantial investment in design engineering.

"This enables it to purpose-build trucks with short lead times – a feat imported trucks cannot match."

Hadjikakou says local design and manufacturing remains the "driving force" behind the business.

"We are continually reinvesting in expanding our operations, continually refining our techniques and introducing new technologies," he says.

"Most importantly, we listen to our customers and we meet their needs."

Kenworth T610SAR

Kenworth’s 60,000th truck is one of its latest models – the T610SAR, which was launched in December last year.

The truck is powered by a Cummins X15 engine, producing 600 hp and 1850 lb/ft of torque.

The company says the engine uses SCR exhaust after-treatment technology for emission reduction, which meets Euro 5 and Australian ADR 80/03 emissions regulations.

The truck is equipped with an Eaton Fuller RTLO22918B 18-speed manual transmission, Meritor MF573 (7.3t) front axles and Meritor RT46-160GP rear axles.

It features two 480-litre and two 400-litre rectangular fuel tanks, Kenworth Airglide 460 suspension and an 860mm Aero Roof sleeper.

Kenworth says the truck is capable of hauling up to 19m B-double and tipper and dog applications.

It features a "significantly" wider cabin, with "increased walkthrough space between seats, greater room head-to-toe for the driver, and more standing room in the sleeper cabs".

"With advanced heating and cooling that’s more powerful yet efficient, the cabin maintains optimum temperature at all times, Kenworth states.

"The expansive windscreen offers a panoramic view of the road, the cabin’s superior ergonomics means controls are positioned intuitively and dashboard instrumentation is visible at a glance.

"With a complete range of active and passive safety features, including advanced collision avoidance technology, the T610 readily adapts to operating conditions to enhance fuel economy with no impact on productivity."

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