The world of news reporting never sleeps. And for Mario Gionet, that means the CBC Radio – the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada’s national news network – is always ready to report the story.
In Montreal, three Kenworth K-Series medium duty cabovers serve as mobile production trucks. A Kenworth K370 Class 7 cabover with 17-foot body on a 182-inch wheelbase is a mini-studio with three technicians running the boards for TV broadcasting. It’s the go-to vehicle for live remotes in French and English.
Two Kenworth K270 Class 6 cabovers, with 142-inch wheelbases and 14-foot bodies, are also used and typically cover smaller, Montreal area news stories. These trucks feature low-profile, 19.5-inch tires to reduce overall vehicle height.
The CBC’s Kenworth K270 and K370 cabovers are powered by the PACCAR PX-7 engine rated at 250 hp, and are equipped with Allison 5-speed automatic transmissions.
“The CBC broadcasts in English and in French throughout Canada, so we need to carry double the camera equipment to accommodate interviews while capturing the news,” said Gionet, who serves as corporate fleet service manager. “When we decided to upgrade our fleet in the Montreal area, we needed trucks that could turn on a dime, and yet could be small in stature while carrying a lot of weight. Our gear is not light.”
After talking with Kenworth Montreal, CBC selected the K270 and K370 since the trucks offer a sharp turning radius, coupled with a shorter wheelbase and high weight capacity. “Kenworth cabovers were the best fit for us,” said Gionet. “Kenworth Montreal took the time to understand our business and requirements. They understood that vehicle reliability was also a huge concern. These mobile TV units are self-contained, so if the truck isn’t moving, we’re not covering the news. You can’t rent one of these mobile production trucks.”
Recently the Kenworth K370 made its way to Florida to cover Hurricane Irma. “CBC covers world news, and the United States is a big part of that,” said Gionet. “Most of the time, the trucks stay in our area, but for national sporting events and other big news, we will send them out for long-distance coverage – the U.S. elections for example.”
According to Gionet, the Kenworth cabovers have been a big hit with drivers, who also serve as the chief technicians for news production in the trucks when the vehicles are on location. “They’re comfortable to drive and the Kenworth trucks do a great job of projecting the image we want. They’re very high quality and it shows.”
Mileage can vary from 13,000 to 25,000 kilometers (8,077 to 15,534 miles) per year, since where the Kenworth cabovers travel is dictated by where the news occurs. CBC does not have its own maintenance shop, so the company relies on Kenworth Montreal for its maintenance and minor repair program. But, with a caveat: the Kenworth cabovers can be called upon at any time, so trucks get in and out of the shop very quickly. “Kenworth does a great job realizing this – that keeps us rolling,” said Gionet.
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Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World’s Best® heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth’s Internet home page is at www.kenworth.com. Kenworth is a PACCAR company.