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 Kenworth W900A & Kenworth W900B comparison and review

Kenworth W900A Red

The Kenworth W900A & B model truck, top models of classic semi trucks.  Ask any trucker that's a fan of Kenworth trucks and you'll most likely discover, that this model of KW is the model of choice.

What's so great about the W900 Kenworth? It has that much desired classic look: the long nose and clean lines..... a timeless look in a big rig that never goes out of style.

The Kenworth W900A & B's, have always been popular with the independent owner operator...there pretty high end trucks to be considered for 'fleet trucks'.

Although this classic styling of highway truck in the Kenworth and Peterbilt line-up has been popular for a long time, their days may be numbered, due to the increasing need for highway trucks with better aerodynamics.


KENWORTH W900A LARGE CAR

W900A Kenworth White Red

PROS

  • The Kenworth W900A: an amazing nice, smooth riding truck
  • good quality finish
  • as with other Paccar long hood models, the resale value is very good
  • a very tight truck: no wind leaks, no rattles, very quiet
  • Kenworth was the first to introduce the original air ride system (patented), nice smooth suspension
  • good looking and quality. You'll still see some of the Kenworth W900A trucks, that are in excellent shape and have retained their value

CONS

  • The W900A did not have a good turning radius
  • the second step into the truck is too high, unless you have legs like a giraffe, to use the second step comfortably.
  • very heavy hood...so heavy that the hood would suffer stress cracks after a few years. When comparing the Kenworth W900A hood to the W900B hood, it  is somewhat lighter in weight.

Some very fine W900A rigs in this video!


See our gallery

of KW photos


KENWORTH W900B

W900B Kenworth Clifford Truck SHow

PROS

  • The Kenworth W900B :nice overall classic design, with the long hood styling, although the hood is a heavy one to tilt (due to fiberglass composition)
  • well designed cab and beautiful V.I.P. interior.
  • cab is well insulated, resulting in a warm, quiet cab
  • convenient exterior access to the bunk area
  • good ventilation on the side doors
  • the high bunk version has windows which makes for nice, bright space inside, good choice of truck for team driving
  • handy fridge in closet area
  • door seals are superior to it's predecessor, the Kenworth W900A
  • the fuel tanks are supported by struts underneath, so if the straps break, the tanks won't hit the ground, unlike the Pete, where the fuel tanks are held from the top.... if those straps let go, the fuel tanks hit the ground

CONS

  • doesn't turn as sharply as it could, although the Kenworth W900S has a different steering setup, which has sharper steering capability
  • Kenworth went to the once piece windshield for aerodynamics, but there was a down-side to this improvement. These one piece windshields are more expensive to replace and keeping the windshield clean with the wipers, is not so efficient. Comes in a flat or a curved windshield.
  • on the passenger side, the control for the windows was by the headliner, very inconvenient positioning
  • Chrome wasn't great. The grills would start to rust in a few years
  • windshield seal issues

KENWORTH W900- facts & trivia

W900 Kenworth Walcott Show
  • Essentially, the difference between the KW W900B model and the other Kenworth models is the style of the truck cab. They are either 'W900 Aerocab or not Aerocab'. The additional letter with the model number indicates some styling differences. The A' indicates first generation in the W900 series, and the 'B' means it's the 2nd generation of the series of W900's.
  • The W900L is the long hood version.
1998 Kenworth W900L Model Big Rig
  • These trucks tend to be 'heavier', so depending upon the application, or the work the truck will be doing, the sheer weight many be a factor to consider, esp. with the studio sleeper model, designed for the owner operator. It all depends on the specks of the vehicle.If a lighter truck is needed, it may be necessary to go for a Peterbilt with it's aluminum body and lighter weight.
  • Many truckers think Kenworth rigs have the best interior set-up, design and quality of all highway trucks.
  •   These trucks for the most, part retain good value
  • If you've decided to buy used rather than new, there are many very good, used Kenworth trucks for sale, in good working condition.

TRUCKER COMMENTS ON THE W900 MODEL

In my past experience, there were always more warranty issues with my Kenworths, as compared with my Peterbilts. It seemed like the quality control wasn't as good as with Petes.

However, I would not hesitate for a single moment whatsoever, before saying  that  Kenworth W900A and B models, are excellent, high quality well built classic semi trucks.

1998 W900 Kenworth

Comment by Aaron Fox, Bullhead City, AZ

  • I've always wanted to run a W900L.  I have been around trucks nearly my entire life.  The KW W900L has always been and still is my dream truck. I especially love the lines, the hood (taller than me), the fit and finish and the cut downs in the doors for mirrors.  I once ran produce and we had a few large cars, like Pete 379's Western Stars (1986) ....they were real cool trucks.  Back then I would average 7mpg loaded.  Recently pulling skate boards in Freight shakers and corn binders   and I'm still getting 7mpg.   I would take the W900 any time!  

Another trucker's comment

  • I have been a truck driver for 20 years, and I come from a long line of over the road truckers.
    I guess you could say I'm a 5th generation trucker!

    Trucking is certainly in my blood! I've never had any tickets or accidents, whatsoever... clean driving record. I'm finally becoming an owner operator and the truck I chose as my first truck, is a 2007 Kenworth T660. My father has a 2009 Kenworth W900B with classic hood. I didn't choose a Kenworth truck because my father owned one, but because I've driven all other kinds of trucks and really like Kenworth the best!

    They are the 'Harley Davidson of big trucks'!
W900L Kenworth Clifford Truck SHow

Sent in by Jim Cooper, Ontario, Canada

  • I love Kenworths, especially the old Kenworth W900A! Very quiet and smooth ride! But, they need a different sleeper style inside. They are really rather boring. The styling is getting old! CB coax on KW trucks from the factory, always garbage! It's pricey to run all new coax on a T660.

    S.T.G. Comments: I think Kenworth is a great truck. One of the things I've liked the most about them, is their bunk, but I must agree somewhat that it is time for a change of style. The MATS 2012 show, recently featured a new model KW, which included a more spacious bunk.... better use of space and a bunk with the driver in mind... wider space walk through from cab to sleeper, and a nice set up for using the driver's seat, turned to utilize a desk, facing the bunk in the truck, to watch tv, and do desk work.... a much needed feature.
    Good use of sleeper space is important. I always felt Kenworth was ahead of Petes in this department, but that's just my own personal opinion. I think all big truck manufacturers are trying hard to focus on driver comfort, so hopefully new truck models that are released, will keep on getting better and better, and hopefully with more choice and styling for the driver.

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