The strength of new developments from Kenworth is the way the brand manages to come up with a mix of the old and the new in its design and layout, as evidenced on a tour of the K220 dashboard. Quite a lot of the dashboard is a carry over from the K200, with some major differences.
However, the picture in behind the dash is all new. The whole electronic system is now a multiplexed one, with components communicating along the common CANbus around the vehicle. This level of sophistication is vital to drive the safety systems which are mandated on new trucks for 2025.
The most obvious symbol of this change is the 15-inch screen in front of the driver. This is a pleasing curved shape and the figures and dials on the screen have a crisp 3D-like look to them. Gone are the days of the small fuzzy screen which couldn’t be seen in bright sunlight.
This can be made as busy or as sparse as the driver prefers. There is a ‘dark mode’ where the screen is mainly dark and displays the rpm, a digital speedo, gear selected and cruise setting. To this can be added fuel and coolant, various air pressures, oil levels and much more. It is up to the driver to turn on as much as they need.
No matter which instrumentation is set on this screen, if some kind of fault occurs, a notification of what has gone wrong will appear on that screen as an alert for the driver.
This also the driver’s interface with the Bendix Fusion system which uses the camera in the windscreen and the radar in the front bumper to monitor the road ahead of the truck. This system enables the active cruise control, where the truck will maintain a speed, but also a maintain a safe preset distance to any vehicle ahead.
Importantly, the Fusion also controls and activates the automatic emergency braking system, which has been mandated for 2025. This activates engine and service brakes to bring the truck to halt in an emergency situation.
On the display, the system shows current following distance and what length of following distance has been set by the driver. An image of a car will appear when it detects a vehicle in front and then alerts will activate and lights will flash, if the system has concerns about closing speed, or the possibility of a collision.
To the left of the larger screen there’s the AVN, an eight-inch audio visual unit, including radio, navigation, and control of music streaming from a connected device. Underneath this is the aircon with controls familiar from the T610 models, but for a system which has been redesigned specifically for the K220.
Further to the left we come to the DIN spaces where one or two UHFs can be fitted, or the operator may want to fit a data screen from a telematics or monitoring system. To the left again is another space for any auxiliary dials the operator wants to include, although these are also digital gauges which are designed look like the legacy analog ones.
Underneath the panels there’s a row of switches, another aspect of the interior design which is reminiscent of the T610 interior. The operator can reorder and change the layout of them and can also add or delete switches, plus they can also be programmed through the data unit.
To the right on the switches there’s the ‘duckbill’ trailer brake lever, replacing the steering column hand-piece to activate the trailer brakes, to straighten up a combination. The system also has a hill start aid which can be turned on and off, next to the duckbill.
This truck also has a lane departure warning system included, which can be turned off for 11 minutes and then it will switch back on again. If the truck is operating on narrow lanes with white lines the system can be turned but after 11 minutes it’s back on again.
There’s a switch to activate the systems check so the truck will go through the 13 systems on the truck before setting off on your journey. This goes through and checks all of the light circuits to make sure there’s no dead lobes or LED malfunction.