The Kenworth C500 is the biggest and the strongest truck build by Kenworth. The truck was designed as a heavy duty vehicle for severe duty activities and features a bullet proof build quality and the character of a true tank on wheels.
The Kenworth C500 has a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of up to 150,000 lbs. and is available with heavy duty axles and suspensions which can deal with massive payloads without breaking a sweat. The Kenworth C500 can be equipped with strong engines which develop up to 600 hp and features manual or automatic transmissions, with either front or rear PTOs (power take-off).
The truck looks like a metal brick and features a rudimentary design without any fancy lines. Its massive wheels are combined with a huge ground clearance which underlines the tough look of the vehicle. Everything was designed with utility in mind and the company used aluminum, fiber glass, and steel to build a cabin that looks like it can into the middle of a war and come back without any scratch.
For maximum strength, the cab joints are made using huckbolts, while the thick bulkhead-type doors hang on continuous stainless steel piano hinges reinforce the cab’s structure. For added durability, the mirrors are mounted on the cowl, not on the door.
Kenworth also offers a long list of job specific factory installed options such as cast eye or slipper front springs, driveline u-joints with increased operating angles for rough terrain, heavy-duty fuel tank straps, steel under-bellhousing crossmember, sheet-metal hood and fenders and severe service packages designed to make the truck survive to extreme weather conditions.
The truck can also be fitted with roof-mounted rotating beacon or strobe lights tubular oilfield bumpers made of high-strength steel to withstand the most arduous working conditions.
Due to the high ground clearance you’ll need some serious climbing abilities to get inside the cab. Luckily, the well placed steps and the exterior hand grabs are placed ergonomically and make your job easier.
As it was expected, the interior is highly utilitarian and copes perfectly with the rugged exterior design. Here, there is no place for any soft touch plastics or luxury materials, jus good old hard rock surfaces which seem built to last just a little bit more than forever.
The curved dashboard design looks typical Kenworth with plenty of gauges, controls and switches placed pretty ergonomically and within close reach.
The seats are a bit flat for our tastes and come without any useful side bolstering, which makes them a little uncomfortable. The good part is that they can be adjusted to fit any size and shape so lastly, you’ll be able to find a less uncomfortable driving position.
The steering wheel also comes with both tilt and telescoping adjustments and despite its highly utilitarian look and the big dimensions it offers a good grab. Naturally, you won’t have any complains about the all-round visibility as there are massive glass areas all around you and the outside mirrors are big enough to keep you well informed about what’s going on behind you.
The central instrument cluster features two main round gauges and a central information display which keeps you informed about different vehicle stats. All gauges and controls can be specified to monitor or operate virtually any component on the truck and the company also offers up to four spare switches available for any extra equipment.
You also have plenty of different storage places to keep your things. Among them there are two storage consoles above the windshield, a generous glove box in front of the passenger’s seat and two big bottle holders at the bottom of the central console.
The Kenworth C500 is available with a choice of Caterpillar, Cummins and Detroit Diesel Series 60 engines.
The Caterpillar engines are among the most reliable units available on today’s market and feature a cross-flow head design complete with series turbochargers and variable value actuation. They are also available with optional Cat compression brake, and rear-mounted power take-off (PTO) to suit a wide area of applications.
The Cummins ISM has one of the highest power-to-weight ratios in its class and features an advanced fuel injection system and Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VG Turbo) for maximum performances. The Cummins ISX features the proven cooled-EGR subsystem and VGT Turbocharger while a particulate filter and a coalescing filter complete the totally integrated system. Moreover, the engine’s turbocharger has only one moving part in the hot exhaust stream, which makes it more reliable than a conventional turbo engine.
The Detroit Series 60 engine is an in-line 6 cylinder, with wet replaceable liners, overhead cam and electronic engine control.
Kenworth C500 Engines Specifications
|ISX 600||600 @2000||2050 @ 1200|
|ISX 600||600 @2000||1850 @ 1200|
|ISX 550||550 @2000||1850 @ 1200|
|ISX 525||525 @2000||1850 @ 1200|
|ISX 500||500 @2000||1850 @ 1200|
|ISX 500||500 @2000||1650 @ 1200|
|ISX 485||485 @2000||1850 @ 1200|
|ISX 485||485 @2000||1650 @ 1200|
|ISX 450||450 @2000||1650 @ 1200|
|ISX 450||450 @2000||1550 @ 1200|
|ISX 425||425 @2000||1650 @ 1200|
|ISX 400||400 @2000||1450 @ 1200|
|ISM 410||410 @ 2200||1550 @ 1200|
|ISM 370||370 @ 2200||1450 @ 1200|
|ISM 370||370 @ 2200||1350 @ 1200|
|ISM 350||350 @ 2200||1350 @ 1200|
|ISM 350||350 @ 2200||1250 @ 1200|
|ISM 330||330 @ 2200||1350 @ 1200|
|ISM 330||330 @ 2200||1250 @ 1200|
|ISM 310||310 @ 2200||1150 @ 1200|
|ISM 280||280 @ 2200||1150 @ 1200|
|Detroit 60 Series||490 @ 1800||1550 @ 1200|
|Detroit 60 Series||515 @ 1800||1550 @ 1200|
|Detroit 60 Series||455 @ 1800||1550 @ 1200|
|Detroit 60 Series||470 @ 1800||1650 @ 1200|
|C10||295 @1800||1050 @ 1100|
|C10||320 @ 1800||1150 @ 1100|
|C10||350 @ 1800||1250 @ 1200|
|C10||350 @ 1800||1350 @ 1200|
|C10||365 @ 1800||1350 @ 1200|
|C10||385 @ 1800||1350 @ 1200|
|C16||575 @1700||1850 @1200|
Ride and suspensions
The Kenworth C500 offers tandem steer axles to 40,000 pounds, front axles to 30,000 pounds, rear axles to 150,000 pounds, single tandems, tridems and rear axles to 150,000 pounds,. There are also available air suspensions, rubber springs or steel springs from 46,000 to 150,000 pounds.
The cab is air suspended, but despite this feature the truck isn’t able to offer a comfortable ride (regardless of option) as the suspensions send every bump of the road directly into the cabin. On the other hand, the ride gets better if there is some load at the back. For the most rugged applications however, radius rods replace the spring eyes on front springs to better take the pounding and shock loads of offroad work.
Maneuvering this monster around will prove to be a bit difficult, but the truck features a generous 35-degree turn angle and a light steering which will make your life easier. Besides the standard model, the C500 is also available in a twin steer version with 8x4, 8x6 and 8x8 axle configurations.
There aren’t many trucks out there that are able to take the same amount of punishment as the Kenworth C500. This truck has a bullet proof built quality and was built to literary move mountains out of its way if it needs to.
The C500 is also reliable to the core and is the most versatile vehicle built by Kenworth. The list of engine options is endless, while there are also plenty of axles and suspension configurations to suit your needs. Though, the cabin isn’t something to rave about, but is able to serve the utilitarian purpose of the truck with dignity.