Difference Between the Kenworth T900 & W900


The Kenworth Truck Company is a manufacturer of class 8 heavy duty trucks. The Kirkland, Washington based company is a division of PACCAR, a holding company. Two of Kenworth's most recognizable heavy truck models are the W-900 and the T-900. Both may have a similar look, but there are some differences.

Driver Controls

  • The Kenworth W-900 is used in the United States and Canadian markets where traffic travels on the right hand side of the road. The driver controls are on the left hand side of the cab. The only exception is the 1975 W-900 AR, which was the first Kenworth designed in Australia.

    The T-900 is used in Australia, which means it is a right hand drive vehicle. Since the traffic travels on the left hand side of the road, the driver controls are on the right hand side of the cab.


  • The Kenworth W-900 was introduced in 1961. This was a decade before Kenworth began building trucks in Australia. The new W-900 featured larger cabs than the previous 900 model. Revisions are continually made to the W-900.

    The T-900 was launched in 1991. Kenworth of Australia called the T-900 a "milestone truck" in terms of manufacturing. Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing software were used for the first time in Kenworth of Australia's truck manufacturing process. Kenworth of Australia does not have the T-900 in its current model line up.


  • Both the W-900 and the T-900 tend to strike the same profile with the long, sleek hood combining with the cab and the sleeper compartment. That is where the similarities end. The W-900 has a large polished aluminum battery box mounted under the cab on the driver's side. A matching toolbox is mounted on the passenger side. The fuel tank is mounted on under the sleeper on both sides of the truck. A space between the the fuel tanks and the battery/tool box. The exhaust pipe is routed under the frame and comes out between the fuel tanks and battery/tool box and connects to the exhaust stacks.

    The T-900 has fuel tanks mounted under the cab and sleeper on both sides of the truck. A small battery box is mounted under the cab on the driver's side. The exhaust is routed on top of the frame and snakes to the side exhaust stacks.

Air Cleaners

  • Both trucks use side mounted air cleaners, which have either painted or stainless steel bodies. The W-900 air cleaners are more compact. The air intake is level with the top panel of the hood, and an optional stainless steel hood flaring covers the air intake hose which leads to the engine bay.

    The T-900's air cleaner has the air intake mounted on a two foot duct. The incoming air enters the intake, which is at the height of the cab's roof, flows down the two foot duct and into the air cleaner body. The incoming air takes a longer route to reach the engine of the T-900 than it does on the W-900.

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