Driver issuesEquipmentNews

Kenworth touts its new W990 long-hood tractor as a true “driver’s truck”

 Kenworth’s new W990 long-hood tractor. ( Photo: Kenworth )
Kenworth’s new W990 long-hood tractor. ( Photo: Kenworth )

There’s nothing like being among the first to receive a new truck model, and three Kenworth (NASDAQ: PCAR) customers got to experience that feeling on Thursday night when they accepted the keys to their new W990 tractors at an event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Executives from Fleenor Bros., Taylor Transport and Oculus Transport accepted the keys to Kenworth’s newest long-hood tractor.

“A well-spec’d long-hood conventional stands out in a crowd,” Kyle Cousins, vice president of operations of Fleenor Bros., said. “The big hoods get you noticed; and customers as well as our drivers love them. I know it’s helped in our recruiting and retention. Drivers stay in part because of our trucks. They feature 3-color paint schemes and owner-operator specs.”

Touted as a “Driver’s truck,” the W990 borrows from the T680 and T800 cab designs for a driver-focused experience in the cab. Set on a 131.5-inch bumper to back-of-cab chassis and carrying with it the traditional long hood of the W900, the W990 is designed to stand out on the road.

Designed and often used in line haul, pickup and delivery, regional haul, and heavy haul operations, the truck is expected to project a bold presence, Kenworth said. That is something that is important to Cory Heck, vice president of assets and equipment for Calgary, Alberta-based Oculus Transport.

“We stand out with our long hoods and bright orange paint scheme,” Heck said. “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.”

The W990 comes in day cab, 40-inch flat top, and 52-inch and 76-inch mid-roof sleeper configurations, all equipped with a Paccar powertrain standard. An MX-13 engine rated up to 510 hp. and 1,850 lbs.-ft. of torque, a 12-speed Paccar automated transmission and Paccar 40K tandem rear axles round out the key specs.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.