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City of Birmingham Chooses Kenworth T370s for Versatility, Long Life and Resale Value


BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Birmingham has long been known as the “Magic City” due to its rapid growth in the late 1800s. With railroads crisscrossing the community, the town sprang up, “just like magic,” say historians. Today the city is Alabama’s largest with 1.1 million people in the metropolitan area, and the banking and the medical industries are its mainstays.

“It’s a can-do city,” said Cedric Roberts, deputy director of fleet operations for the City of Birmingham. “That goes all the way to our public works department which handles road repairs, tree services, garbage pick up and street cleaning, among other duties. While other cities typically outsource many of these responsibilities, we take pride in handling them ourselves.”

Cedric Roberts, deputy director of fleet operations for the City of Birmingham in Alabama, stands next to one of the city’s 27 T370s.

The city is responsible for 151 square miles surrounding Birmingham and operates a fleet of 2,300 vehicles, ranging from scooters up to Class 7 and Class 8 trucks. The city recently put 27 Kenworth T370s, covering various applications, into service throughout Birmingham. The trucks were purchased through Kenworth of Birmingham.

“Each application has different specs and that shows the versatility of the T370 to match up to what we need,” said Roberts. “We’re thrilled that we were able to get the Kenworths since, as with other government agencies, there is a competitive bid process.”

According to Roberts, the city operates 10 new T370 dump trucks, including eight single-axle dumps and two front-end dumps (which operate like a large dust pan to pick up debris from street sweepers). The five T370 garbage trucks include three side-loaders and two 18-yard rear loaders. Four T370s are pickers or limb loaders, which work with the city’s Department of Public Works. Four are shuttle trucks with flatbeds that can pull self-dumping trailers for brush and demolition. Two are street sprayers for work with sweepers or used for dust control. One is a work truck with a digger and an auger bit-equipped derrick to drill telephone post holes. The last T370 is used as an aerial bucket truck.

The Kenworth T370s are equipped with PACCAR PX-6 engines rated at between 245 and 280 hp (depending upon the application) driven through Allison automatic transmissions.

“The T370s are an upgrade from what our drivers have been running,” said Roberts. “Drivers really like the comfort and the city likes the fact that Kenworth trucks can handle the test of time. On some of our other truck makes, we’ve had problems with door sag, which comes from years of service in an application where drivers get in and out of the trucks all day long. That takes a toll. The Kenworths are designed with a piano-hinge on the door, so that shouldn’t be an issue. The quality of the Kenworth cab is very impressive.”

As the City of Birmingham moves forward in its replacement cycle, it plans to rotate vehicles into and out of different quadrants of the city to prolong service life. “For example, we own two landfills and high-mileage refuse trucks that travel longer distances to the landfill will be rotated out after a few years and replaced with lower mileage ones,” said Roberts. “By managing our trucks and their use, we’ll be more productive and have a better vehicle to auction when it comes time for replacement. And, with these Kenworths T370s, we’re confident we’ll be able to get a higher resale value than with other trucks in our fleet. Kenworths are known for their quality and long life, which makes them more appealing on the used truck market.”


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