When Daniel Tapia started his job overseeing equipment as operations and maintenance superintendent for the city of Albuquerque, N.M., he noticed variations in the operating and maintenance costs of different medium-duty trucks in the fleet. By maintenance and service reports, the fleet’s 11 Kenworth T300s were operating at lower costs than were the other vehicles.

Tapia oversees a fleet of 104 vehicles, including 32 Class 7 and 8 trucks. The trucks serve a variety of functions, particularly those that help the city maintain more than 4,500 lane-miles for 552,000 residents. Some haul aggregate, sand and gravel for concrete work and crack maintenance, plus road patching jobs. Since Albuquerque typically experiences eight snow events each year, the city needs some trucks to serve as snowplows with 10-foot blades. They must have sturdy frames and engines with high enough horsepower and torque to handle the weight of the snow.

“Budgeting for our vehicles is absolutely top of mind,” Tapia says. “We have bonds that allow us to purchase new equipment – but that’s not every year. When we do get new iron, we’re then able to auction out older units, or vehicles that have been giving us headaches with maintenance.” The photo on the right shows another newly acquired Kenworth.

So when it came time to replace some older 1999-era units with high maintenance costs with new iron, Tapia considered options. Inland Kenworth – Albuquerque responded to the city’s needs by offering trucks with the right specifications. Late last summer, the city took delivery of nine single-axle and tandem-axle Kenworth T470s. And this summer the city took delivery of one more T470 and two T800s.

The T470s, in single-and-tandem rear axle configurations, serve various functions for the city. The tandem-axle units, with 10-yard dump bodies follow the city street sweepers and collect two-to-three yards of street debris in each cycle. They also haul aggregate, sand and asphalt for concrete work and crack maintenance, plus road patching jobs. The single-axle T470s are outfitted with five-yard dump bodies for lighter duty work.

The single-axle Kenworth T470s are powered by the PACCAR PX-8 engine, rated at 330 horsepower. The tandem-axle trucks feature Cummins ISL engines rated at 380 horsepower. Albuquerque’s newest T470 features the 2013 PACCAR PX-9 engine rated at 330 horsepower. Like all Kenworth models, the cab of the T470 is constructed of aluminum, which makes it resistant to corrosion and rust. 

“That’s important to us,” said Tapia. “With a road salt environment in the winter, the impact on our equipment can be seen.”

This video highlights Kenworth's 90th Anniversary celebration in 2013, and looks back at the history of the company's trucks.