NASHVILLE -- Kenworth is expanding the capability of its popular Engine Auto Start and Stop monitoring system to include engine oil temperature. This is added to the existing battery-charge monitoring that triggers an engine start to shut-down, said Jason Skoog, assistant general manager for sales and marketing.

Oil temperature is an indirect way of watching fuel temps that, when too low, can cause fuel clouding and gelling, he said during the announcement at the Technology & Maintenance Council's annual meeting.

Initially introduced last fall as an option for its on-highway T680 sleeper-can tractor, the optional Engine Auto Start and Stop can now be ordered on sleeper-equipped T880 tractors and trucks.

The system may be ordered with or without the Kenworth Idle Management System, a battery-based auxiliary power unit. In addition, Kenworth has added the engine monitoring system to include T680 and T880 day cabs.

“Our system is proactive,” Skoog said. “Instead of shutting down battery draws, or letting the engine oil temperature get to a state of no return, Auto Start and Stop automatically starts the main engine to keep all systems going. Once at a designated level of charge or oil temperature, the engine shuts down. 

“This is a great feature, especially for those running in climates where fuel gelling may be an issue,” he said. “This will help ensure trucks are ready to roll regardless of winter conditions.”

The truck operator does not need to be with the truck for auto start/stop to be engaged.

“The truck is in auto-pilot, so if the driver is off-site or eating dinner, for example, the truck will turn on to recharge the batteries and get engine oil back to a normal operating temperature,” explained Skoog. “There are safeguards in place, so the truck cannot be moved or stolen when the auto start feature is activated.”

For added battery monitoring, the Kenworth Driver Performance Center on the Kenworth T680 and T880 provides the operator with real-time information on the battery state of charge and oil temperature.

“This is very useful, especially with our Kenworth Idle Management System,” Skoog said. “When the engine comes on for recharging, the driver can watch the progression. If only an hour or two more power is needed before leaving to deliver a load, the driver can shut down the system early and use the battery power, then recharge the battery banks while on the road.”

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