The new Kenworth T470s were barely in service, and Len Finchum, street commissioner for the city of Noblesville, was already getting calls from other Indiana cities and municipalities.
“They wanted to be first in line on the trucks when we’re ready to sell them at the end of our five- to six-year trade cycle,” he said with a grin.
Noblesville was the first city in the country to order the Kenworth T470s, and 13 were recently delivered, outfitted with snowplows and 10- to 13-yd dump bodies. The city purchased the trucks through Kenworth of Indianapolis.
Each of the 8-tandem-axle Kenworth T470s snowplows hauls 13 to 15 tons of a mixture of salt and magnesium chloride. Two tanks, each holding 75 gal of calcium chloride—a liquid deicer—are mounted to opposite sides of the curved dump body. After the plow clears the lane, the deicer is laid down in concert with the salt mixture. The single-axle Kenworths are used to carry 6 to 8 tons of salt and support tanks for deicing. Equipped with Cummins ISL engines rated at 345 hp with 1,150 ft-lbs of torque and driven through Allison automatics, the T470s have locking differentials to ensure added traction.
The city services a growing population base of 50,000, covering 232 miles of road, and is located 8 miles north of Indianapolis.
“We’re in Hamilton County, which is one of the fastest growing in the United States,” said Finchum. “Last year the county grew 13%. So, there are more housing developments to cover and more citizens to keep happy with clear streets. We normally have around a dozen major snow episodes a year and around three ice storms. People here expect wet streets, not icy or snow-laden streets. We can’t afford poor performance.”
After the snow season, which runs from November through March, the plows will come off and the Kenworth T470s will be utilized as all-purpose dump trucks for sand, gravel and asphalt hauling, patching roads and repairing sidewalks.
According to Finchum, the city “thought it was unreal” that it could get Kenworth T470s within its budget. “These are the first Kenworths our city has ever had and they are the perfect size for our application as combination snowplows and dump trucks,” Finchum said. “A full-size Class 8 was really overkill for our city, and a medium-duty truck was too light.”
The Kenworth T470 has a gross vehicle rating ranging from a heavy Class 7 vehicle at 33,000 lb up to a light Class 8 truck at 68,000 lb and is for snowplow, dump, mixer, winch, refuse and other heavy front-axle vocational and municipal applications requiring front-frame extensions. The vehicle offers full parent rail extensions, delivering maximum resistance to bending moment from one end of the rail to the other. The T470 is available with 12,000- to 22,000-lb front axles, 21,000- to 26,000-lb single rear axles and 40,000- to 46,000-lb tandem rear axles.