It’s hard to imagine a more versatile, well thought out design than the rotating table available in the 76” sleeper of this T680. I’ve been writing emails, making phone calls, controlling the road trip play list, and charging just about every electrical device I brought with me. This truck has the optional 1800 watt power inverter that allows me to charge my laptop, Ipad, two cellular telephones and digital camera battery at the same time without having to unplug the television or microwave! I can fit all of that on the table and still have room to work. This table supports 270 pounds during regular use, and is stable and rattle free at 75mph. I can access the drawer style refrigerator and the forward cabin without having to rotate it out of the way. Genius!
My car is about 11 years old, so I’ve been missing some of the benefits of modern technology and interface standardization that has been taking over the automotive industry. Not so in this T680. My car doesn’t have navigation or iPod connectivity, voice activation or even a name for that matter (Hello Siri). I had to install an aftermarket bluetooth kit so I could make phone calls without getting a ticket… Needless to say, I am getting used to the luxuries afforded to me by this NavPlus system. Seamlessly integrated into the modern, functional dash layout of the T680, this thing is a multimedia powerhouse. With truck specific navigation, service, parts and dealership locations built in, bluetooth phone and streaming audio, virtual truck gauges, backup cameras and voice command, it has just about every feature you could want while on the move.
As I write this post, I am sitting in the passenger’s seat. I am also playing Angry Birds on an iPad. I am also playing music wirelessly through the truck radio via bluetooth from my iPad. At the same time, NavPlus is navigating our route to St. Paul, Minnesota. Turn by turn directions momentarily interrupt the music, coming through over the stereo speakers. Amazing.
I’d like you all to meet Gene Sims, he’s been my chauffer for the day. I’ve too much work to do today to drive, so Gene has been taking care of the road while I surf the internet, blog, and play on our NavPlus navigation and entertainment system.
Gene has been working Spiff Services for about 7 years now. We have a lot of experience working with the folks at Spiff, and they’re always a great group. Gene is no exception, and I’ve enjoyed his company these past few days. He used to drive trucks at the age of 18, delivering trailers to a plastics company. His first truck was a tandem axle that didn’t even have power steering. He’s semi retired now, only driving trucks when he feels like it.
"I’ve driven just about everything, but I love Kenworths. I like the visibility, commanding view of the road and the quiet ride of the T680."
I wanted to send a huge thank you to the entire Kenworth of Omaha group for their hospitality, generosity and help during this tour event. We had more T680’s on site yesterday than any other event thus far, and having customers there to take delivery of their trucks made it all the more exciting. Talking with customers and seeing their reactions upon first glance of these trucks is what this tour is all about, but getting a chance to see and drive your OWN T680 at one of these events is something to remember. The T680 is an incredible truck, and the further we travel in them, the more I find to love. I am enjoying the opportunity to share those virtues with the public and I’m positive that once these early customers have the chance to accumulate a few miles, I wont be the only one spreading the word.
Finally, I want to thank the Sales Team from Kenworth Division. We had more support from these guys than we needed, and it really helped us get through the week and ready for the road again. I look forward to seeing some of them again in St. Paul tomorrow and Thursday. Thank you Hank Johnson, Scott Cirksena, Andy Zender and Kevin Tobin. It’s good to see some familiar faces.
Werner wasn’t the only customer on hand to receive a first hand look of their newly ordered T680’s. Hill Brothers Transport had a sharp looking white split fender daycab and a metallic red 76” sleeper at the event. Al and Pete Hill stopped by for a good part of the event, and Andy and KW Omaha earned their lunch by giving them the red carpet introduction on both trucks. It takes solid effort and a clear throat to explain all the features of these new trucks.
Rollie Zeitner of Zeitner trucking and Tom and Dave Hastings of Trans Spec Leasing also made the trip out. I believe we’ll have a few more orders coming in soon. I enjoyed talking with Bob and Bonnie Wynne of Wynne Transport, but I apologize for not being able to get your trucks in our Oro Adonis paint color. There seems to be a public reaction pattern developing around the color on these show trucks. People really want it….
We’ve been in Omaha for the last 5 days, the longest in one place since Las Vegas on the 5th of May. Omaha is a great city, and we enjoyed staying at the Horseshoe Casino just across the river in Council Bluffs. Kenworth of Omaha held a great event yesterday. We had five T680’s on hand for the event, including our show trucks. Kenworth of Omaha was a great host, supplying lunch for myself and the crew yesterday and today. They also providing several able bodies to help set up and take down the tour trailer, which can take two hours with just our crew of four. The event was held outside the Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa and with all the truck parking surrounding the event location, there were plenty of curious people stopping by to take a look.
Tom Berg and Rod French, owner of Kenworth of Omaha were on hand both Monday and Tuesday; hosting, coordinating, touring customers and cooking lunch. With approximately 60 pounds of ground beef and hot dogs on hand, there was never a shortage of food.
Kenworth Sales Managers Andy Zender (right) and Kevin Tobin (left) standing at the barbeque with KW of Omaha owner Rod French (center).
Kenworth also sent out regional and fleet sales pros Andy Zender and Kevin Tobin. Both Andy and Kevin were there the entire day, providing walkarounds for several current and potential future customers. Throughout the midday event, we saw approximately 200 people pass through, with just about every local fleet in attendance. Dwayne Haug from Werner Enterprises stopped by, only to have his Sovereign Blue T680 show up unexpectedly. After a thorough introduction by Andy and the Kenworth of Omaha crew, they took it out for it’s maiden voyage.
Andy Zender, Dwayne Haug and Kevin Tobin posing in front of the yet to be delivered Sovereign Blue Werner T680.
We pulled in last night to Kenworth of Omaha, just minutes from the event location at the Horseshoe Casino. The trucks will be parked at the dealership until Monday, but we are staying at the Horseshoe. It’s very important that we get used to the layout of the grounds before Tuesday’s event, of course.
I met with Tom Berg, the General Manager at Kenworth of Omaha today, and I can assure you Tuesday will be a good day. Tom’s been a great host so far, and we look forward to spending next week with the KW of Omaha group. If you haven’t already seen the flyer, plan on coming out for this event. Kenworth of Omaha will have four T680’s on hand for the day, so there will be plenty of variety for you to explore. He’ll even have ride and drives for you to experience the T680 in action!! The event will be held in the north parking lot of the casino, from 10:00am-6:00pm. Come find me, mention the T680 Tour Blog, and I’ll hook you up with some free Kenworth goods. I have limited supply, so get there early…
Finally packed up and headed out from the Speedway. We’ll be travellig on I435 then to I29 North to the Kenworth of Omaha dealership.
Jake and Jene from Spiff.
It just so happened that this tour stop falls on MHC Kansas City’s annual dealer event, and they pulled no punches this year. They brought out all the toys from their dealership and created a great venue for the center stage T680’s. Just about the entire Kenworth lineup was on display; including a great looking straight rail T470, the new cab over K270, a T660 split fender daycab and studio sleeper to name just a few. There was a DJ on hand, unlimited food, beer and wine, live presentations about the T680 and MX engines, and our beautiful Oro Adonis T680’s.
Most people stuck around for a majority of the event, checking out the trucks, socializing and talking to the seemingly hundreds of MHC folks. The white tent you see above had seating for about 50 people, and presentations went from around 2:30-5:00pm. Props to the Kenworth folks on hand for their great presentations.
Vendor booths surrounded almost the entire event, representing just about everything in the industry from fan hubs to motor oil.
"DJ Kenworth" getting some reprieve from the sun. Weather in K.C. today was warm, relatively calm with uninterrupted sun.
By far the standout in the crowd, the T680’s saw constant traffic throughout the afternoon and evening. When 8pm arrived, I had to politely ask people to step away from the trucks.
Several wide-eyed people ask me if my job duties really consisted of travelling the country, driving and showing off these spectacular trucks. “How do I get that job?” It really says something about the presence these vehicles have with industry veterans. People stuck around to watch us start them up as we drove off the raceway grounds.
Shirlie was a big fan of the daycab, and we enjoyed a few laughs before I showed her driver comfort features abound. She was surprised by the degree of adjustability on the steering column, and loved the accessibility and memory function of the seat air dump. ”Oh my god….and these seats are really nice!” Thanks for the mini photo shoot, Shirlie.
I had a nice conversation with a couple from Oregon in the tour trailer, looking to trade in their 7 year old “brand V” truck on a new T680. They were very excited about the prospect of ditching their current folding table and enjoying meals together at the large rotating table and swivel passenger’s seat. They were happy to hear they could customize each of the sleeper storage bins, as they plan to install a wireless printer in place of one of the drawers, but wanted cabinet doors throughout the rest of the cabin. Learning they could opt out of the flatscreen TV mount, we found the
There were also a few customer trucks, including this Awesome T800 Twin Steer from Santa Fe.
Thanks again to everyone at MHC for taking care of us and putting on a great event for the trucks. We’re off to Omaha, Nebraska tomorrow for another event at KW of Omaha on Tuesday. If you’re in town, stop by and say hello. Until then, we’ll be doing some much needed catching up on sleep, and the trucks could use a serious wash after all the foot traffic. Stay tuned for trip updates and a walkthrough of the two trucks, including vehicle features and specifications!
Come out to 400 Speedway Boulevard to the Kansas City Motor Speedway between 2:00-8:00PM for the MHC Kenworth Annual Event and T680 Tour stop. MHC expects to see over 800 people today, and with 25 Kenworth trucks, 58 vendors and round the clock presentations it’s sure to be an action packed day. We are located under the west side bleachers, you can’t miss us.