Classic Kenworth K104 keeps on going

There aren't many 14-year-old trucks still running interstate, but Pat Cassidy’s K104 is one of them

Classic Kenworth K104 keeps on going
Classic Kenworth K104 keeps on going

By Steve Skinner | September 6, 2013

Pat Cassidy’s eye-catching 1999 cab-over Kenworth has clearly been well cared for on its shiny outside as well as on the inside of the big Aerodyne cab.

But it is weekly devotion underneath all this pretty stuff that is the secret to its long and still highly productive life.

"I look after it and it looks after me back," says Cassidy, who at 27 is young to have been an owner-driver for years.

"It’s been a fantastic truck.

"I’m underneath it every weekend, and if I can’t get under it, Dad does," he says of his truckie father Shane.

"It’s the only way to do it, because when you’re under there you look at things and say ‘that’s about to break’, or ‘that needs replacing’."

The old K104 tows B-double fridge vans between Sydney and Melbourne for Berle Transport of Ingleburn in Sydney.

The Cummins Signature power plant is rated at 441kW (600hp) but Pat has it turned down to about 580hp.

"I used to tow only one trailer for a long time and I didn’t need the full power, and I haven’t turned it up because I’m getting great fuel economy," he says.

"I get 1.7 to 1.9 [kilometres per litre] out of it with a B-double, and it’s heavy because it’s refrigerated goods, coming out at 62, 63, 64 tonnes all the time."

It’s the second motor in the old truck and it’s done more than 900,000km.

Meanwhile, the Rockwell diffs and the rebuilt Eaton 18-speed gearbox have about 600,000km up.

The trailers are near-new FTE’s on BPW axles, with Razor electric legs and Thermo King motors "which are nice and quiet".

Cassidy has put in Kenworth Airglide 460 rear end suspension from a K108, replacing the original Airglide 200 system. The front springs are multi-leaf.

He’s retained the old spider drive wheels "to keep it a bit old-school", but has Alcoa 10-stud steers with extra wide tyres.

Cassidy says the old 104 rides "100 per cent better" since he put new rubber mounts in the back of the cab; new spring mounts in the front; and installed two new Bostrom seats. He calls the original Kenworth seats "junk".

"It’s still rough to ride in," he says.

"You will never get a cab-over of this wheelbase (3.95m) and this age to be awesome."

Inside the luxuriously upholstered cab Cassidy has a fridge, TV and air cooler "thing".

Check out the latest issue of Owner//Driver for the full story on Pat Cassidy’s K104.

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