Mixer trucks are supplementing traditional dial gauges with data-rich digital displays. The Kenworth T880’s Driver Performance Center is one example.

Centered above the tach and speedo, the 5-inch, high-resolution, color display has not only digital gauges with general information like time and temperature, but also real-time data about the truck’s operation. This operational data includes oil and transmission temperatures, a sweet-spot visualization of RPM and fuel economy, engine torque, PTO status, and pop-up diagnostic alerts.

Kenworth also will offer the new Kenworth NavPlus+ HD system. It incorporates a hands-free communication system with Bluetooth connections and voice commands as well as turn-by-turn truck-specific navigation, USB port, camera inputs, AM/FM/weather bands, and iPod or MP3 integration, among other features.

“On the highway, the driver wants instant feedback about his truck’s operation. In the work zone, he needs to concentrate on the status of the payload, drum, PTO, and what’s happening around him,” Swihart says. “We’re giving the driver the right information at the right time so he can be more productive.”