Air tank issue prompts Kenworth, Mack recalls

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Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, March 5, 2024:

Kenworth, Mack trucks recalled for air tank issue

Paccar has issued a new recall that affects approximately 697 Kenworth trucks of varying models and vintages, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents.

In the affected trucks, the air tanks have an insufficient volume of air for the brake system, and as such, they fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 121, "Air Brake Systems." Insufficient air volume can reduce braking performance and increase the risk of a crash, the recall states.

Truck models included in the recall are:

  • 2009-‘21 Kenworth C500
  • 2014-‘16 Kenworth T440
  • 2009-’15 Kenworth T660
  • 2015-‘24 Kenworth T680
  • 2009-‘24 Kenworth T800
  • 2013-‘23 Kenworth T880
  • 2009-‘19 Kenworth W900

Dealers will install the correct volume air tanks, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 23. Owners may contact Paccar customer service at 1-425-828-5888 with recall number 24KWD. NHTSA’s recall number is 24V-145.

The same air tank issue also prompted a recall from Mack Trucks of approximately 10 model year 2022-’24 Mack Granite trucks.

Mack dealers will add additional air tank volume, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed April 15. Owners may contact Mack customer service at 1-800-866-1177 with recall number SC0458. NHTSA’s recall number is 24V-122.

[Related: Volvo recall hits new VNL, VNR models]

C&K Trucking expands to West Coast

C&K Trucking (CCJ Top 250, No. 97), a nationwide drayage trucking company serving importers and shippers, opened new terminals in Los Angeles and Seattle to serve the West Coast.

The expansion is made possible with increased chassis and contractor capacity from Pacific Green Trucking, which C&K Trucking acquired in late 2023.

"This is great news for anyone who needs drayage operations on the West Coast," said Sean McShane, president of C&K Holdings. "Pacific Green has a well-established reputation for excellence and is set to grow with us in the area. With our added infrastructure, we can expedite drayage from the ports to the rail ramps or to the distribution centers on the west coast."

Pacific Green operates more than 120 trucks and is rapidly adding more to its fleet to provide increased capacity for C&K Trucking customers. Pacific Green is also a leader in renewable natural gas (RNG) powered trucks, the company said, and is dedicated to reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality in California.

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C&K Trucking's new Los Angeles terminal was announced in December and is located at 512 East C Street, Wilmington, California. The terminal serves the San Pedro complex, which includes the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Together, the two ports handle 29% of the containerized trade to the U.S.

The Seattle location was opened in January at 4901 Airport Way South, within three miles of all Seattle terminals and ports. The location also serves the Tacoma area. The terminal is adjacent to the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern rail ramps, facilitating efficient drayage service to the distribution centers via nearby I-5 and I-405.

FMCSA hosting Truck Leasing Task Force meeting at MATS

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Truck Leasing Task Force (TLTF) will host a hybrid in-person and virtual meeting on Thursday, March 21 with the in-person portion occurring at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky.

The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to noon. and 1-3 p.m. Eastern, according to a Federal Register notice set to publish Tuesday, March 5. FMCSA is requesting that would-be attendees register in advance by March 14. Pre-registration is not yet available but should be in the coming days.

During the meeting, TLTF will begin consideration of a new task looking at the impact of truck leasing agreements on the net compensation of truck drivers, including port drayage drivers, and specific agreements available to drayage drivers at ports related to the “Clean Truck Program” or similar efforts to decrease emission from port operations.

The meeting will also include a visit from Brian Stansbury, FMCSA’s Chief Counsel, and a public comment period that will allow drivers and lessees of CMVs to tell their personal experiences with leases and to present any supporting information they would like to share to assist TLTF in making recommendations on such agreements.  

Oral comments from the public will be heard during designated comment periods from 11 a.m. to noon and 2-3 p.m. Eastern at the discretion of the TLTF chair and designated federal officer. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the time for each commenter will be limited to two minutes. Speakers are requested to submit a written copy of their remarks for inclusion in the meeting records and for circulation to TLTF members.

[Related: Lease-purchase task force zeroes in on restrictive maintenance covenants]

Kenworth’s Chillicothe plant celebrates 50th anniversary

Kenworth's Chillicothe plant's first truckThe first truck rolled off the Kenworth Chillicothe plant's assembly line 50 years ago.Kenworth

On Monday, March 4, the Kenworth truck assembly plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, celebrated 50 years of building Kenworth trucks. The plant officially opened on March 4, 1974, and the plant’s first truck – a Kenworth W900 – rolled off the assembly line a day later.

Since then, Kenworth Chillicothe plant employees have produced more than 782,000 trucks in alignment with the company’s core values of quality, innovation and state-of-the-art technology. The plant employs approximately 2,500 people, one of the largest employers in Ross County (where Chillicothe resides), and is Kenworth’s largest manufacturing facility. 

“Chillicothe is a great place for Kenworth to build trucks because it is close to our customers, suppliers and, of course, a community of highly skilled employees we are fortunate to call our Kenworth family,” said Jim Walenczak, Kenworth general manager and Paccar vice president. “Today we celebrate 50 years of innovation in Chillicothe, community involvement in Ross County and The World’s Best employees. This milestone is a testament to the dedication of our incredible workforce – both past and present – and Kenworth’s commitment to continued growth in Chillicothe.” 

The Kenworth Chillicothe plant is located on a 120-acre site 50 miles south of Columbus, Ohio. Since 2018, Kenworth has invested $300 million in the 622,000-square-foot facility that features advanced manufacturing technologies, including robotic assembly, and a state-of-the-art paint facility that utilizes the latest technology in the industry. The multi-level paint facility went into production in October 2021 and is equipped with bell spray head technology that improves the appearance and transfer efficiency of the paint.

In 2022, the Kenworth Chillicothe plant received two Manufacturing Leadership Awards for its new Kenworth Paint Facility and Henrob Error Proofing project from the National Association of Manufacturers. In 2020, the plant received an Encouraging Environmental Excellence “E3” Gold Award from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for going beyond regulatory compliance requirements for environmental stewardship activities and in 2006, was recognized by Quality Magazine for its “Plant of the Year” Award.

[Related: Two new truck models highlight 100 years of Kenworth]