The Kenworth T800 is among the toughest trucks built by the company. The T800 has a highly versatile character and is comes in both Day and Sleeper cabs. To be able to deal with its heavy duty missions the truck is equipped with a bunch of strong Paccar engines and features a generous radiator sized from 1,440-1780 square inches. The engines can be mated on automated transmissions which are combined with either rear or front engine PTOs.
Thanks to a solid construction, the front axles can take up to 22,000 pounds, while the twin steer front axles can deal with up to 37,500 pounds. For an enhanced versatility the Kenworth T800 is also available with front drive axles, pusher axles and tags, single, tandem and tridem drives.
As most trucks in the segment, the Kenworth T800 features an aerodynamic design enhanced by its conventional cab configuration. With a huge grille and a tall stance, the T800 has an imposing appearance which is enhanced by two polished vertical exhaust stalks mounted at the back of the cab.
At the front of the massive wheel arches are mounted two rectangular light clusters with a rugged, rectangular design that copes well with the workhorse character of the truck.
For easy and cost efficient replacement in case of an accident, the massive windshield is made of two individual pieces. The big glass area also offers a good straight road visibility, which is enhanced by the sloped hood. For even a better all-round visibility, there are also available optional cab corner windows which will come in handy if you need to see better when reverse.
The bumper is made of high strength steel and is also fitted with a center front tow hitch for enhanced versatility. The truck is available with factory-installed polished battery boxes, tool boxes and fuel tanks, stainless cowl-mounted air cleaners or roof-mounted lamps and horns.
The Kenworth T800 is equipped with big, wide-opening doors, ergonomically positioned steps and generous grab handles which help you climb inside without too many efforts. Unsurprisingly the cabin is fairly spacious and the amount of head-, belly-, and leg-room compares favorably against similar-sized competitors.
Unfortunately, the interior materials and the build quality is light years behind its rivals, while the NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) levels are also on the noisy side, judging by today’s standards. When the engine is idling the cab vibrates without any hesitation and the noise can be heard all over the place.
The truck is available with air cushion Premium Plus seats which are orthopedically sculpted, fully adjustable for lateral and lumbar support, reclinable and fitted with arm rests. The seats are fairly comfortable and you won’t feel any back pains even after a full day of work.
The Kenworth four spoke multifunctional steering wheel isn’t our favorite unit in the class, but it offers a good grab and also comes with tilt and telescoping adjustments which will help you find a proper driving position.
The gauges feature a warm and relaxing soft blue light which is not disturbing and makes the indicators easy to read and nice to look at. Besides the catchy round gauges, the central instrument cluster is fitted with an information display which looks a bit out of place. The display however, is fairly useful and easy to use, as with a single touch of a button you have access to different readouts on cumulative trip fuel economy, optimum RPM for maximizing fuel efficiency and system diagnostics.
We don’t have any complains about the storage places either, as there are plenty of boxes, cup holders and easy to use consoles to store your things. For an enhanced versatility the center console features two 12-volt outlets a small cubby hole and two cup holders.
Kenworth’s spacious AeroCabs are available in three trim levels including the Studio, Splendor and Diamond. With over seven feet of headroom and a flat floor the Studio AeroCab doubles the living area compared to a conventional cabin.
The Diamond VIT AeroCab is offered with a deeply-tufted interior, full-length door-enclosed hanging closet, cabinet with two shelves, QuietCab package, fold-down desk, over-bunk side storage compartments and a 42-inch mattress. There are also available optional features like a fold-out sofa bed, a TV mounting package, underbunk drawers, liftable lower bunk and a large refrigerator. The Splendor trim level ads full-length clothes closet, storage shelves, insulated rubber floor mats and vented access.
Engines and transmissions
The Kenworth T800 is powered by the Paccar MX engine which develops between 380-485 hp with maximum torque levels rated between 1450- 1650 lb ft. The Paccar units are mated to the Eaton UltraShift PLUS automated transmission which copes well with the strong performances of the engine.
The Paccar MX engine features an Electronic Control Module which gives it improved fuel consumption. The engine also features a lightweight construction thanks to the use of compacted graphite iron for the cylinder block and head.
Kenworth T800 Engines Specifications
|Paccar MX||380 @1600||1,450 @1100|
|Paccar MX||405 @1600||1,450@1100|
|Paccar MX||430 @1600||1,550@1100|
|Paccar MX||455 @1600||1,650@1100|
Ride and suspensions
The T800, features a 48.5-inch set-back front axle, which enables the driver to transfer more of the vehicle’s weight to the front end, thus enhancing the truck’s payload. Kenworth’s 59-inch long taper leaf springs are available in ratings from 12,000 lb. to 22,000 lb and judging by today’s truck standards they offer an adequate ride.
Thanks to a capable steering geometry that T800 has a very generous wheel cut which helps you to maneuver it without too much drama even when is fitted with flotation-type tires and front drive axle configurations. The power steering is also faultless and despite its light nature it offers a good response and is nicely weighted.
Except for the poor build quality found in the cabin, the Kenworth T800 is a pretty good truck. Its workhorse character is enhanced by the capable Paccar engines and the reliable chassis, while the heavy duty suspensions and the multiple axle configurations help it to tackle even the toughest jobs with ease. The truck is also pretty cheap to maintain and the sleeper cabs offer proper comfort and acres of space.