Western Star aims to open up the vocational market with the expansion of its X-Series of trucks. What started with the 49X last year that was aimed at heavy haul applications like logging has grown with the introduction of the Western Star 47X that is aimed squarely at the larger construction market–offering fits and features for applications like mixers, cranes and dumps, along with configurations that can meet demanding and varied bridge laws.
Western Star 47X equipment details
With a standard 111.6-inch bumper-to-back-of-cab (BBC) length, the 47X is suited to regions or applications that require a shorter overall vehicle length, such as drywall trucks, and an optional 110.8-inch BBC aims to meet federal or local bridge law requirements. The manufacturer noted that the 47X maneuverability is bolstered by its shorter hood and a wheel cut up to 50 degrees for work on construction sites or operation in urban environments. The 47X’s hood also offers forward visibility of 24.8 feet, which is an 11-inch improvement over the 49X. Additionally Its composite construction and ISO Tech suspension system resists bending and cracking by absorbing and dissipating vibrations from road inputs.
Next to it’s bigger brother, the 47X is approximately 200 lbs. lighter than the 49X in like-for-like spec. But like the 49X, the chassis and frame rail design was just as important. The 47X offers frame rails with a resisting bending moment (RBM) of up to 3.8 million inch-lbs. A new 9.5-millimeter single channel rail option is available and features comparable strength as today’s 11-millimeter rail, the OEM noted. Standard high-strength aluminum forward, rear and end-of-frame cross members further reduce mass, as does a new two-battery option.
“A key priority was to consider how to reduce mass without compromising strength,” said Tracy Mack-Askew, chief engineer of chassis, propulsion and vocational engineering, DTNA. “From the cab to the frame rails, to powertrain and battery configurations, we examined all features to deliver weight savings.”
Powering the new vocational powerhouse is the the standard Detroit DD13 Gen 5 engine. ThermoCoasting, a stand-out DD13 Gen 5 feature noted by the OEM, prevents aftertreatment cool-down during a driving regen to keep the system at its optimum temperature and significantly reduce the need for parked regens.
For weight-sensitive applications, the Cummins L9 and X12 engines are available for the 47X. Optional front-engine power take-off (FEPTO) is offered on both Cummins engine offerings and the Detroit DD13 for applications like snowplows. Similarly, rectangular fuel tanks and a raised aftertreatment system mounting are offered with Cummins engines for better clearance for belly plows.
The 47X is also offered with the all-new DT12-V transmission, which is built on the DT12 and has more than 35 million miles of vocational-specific testing. The DT12 includes three work-ready mode applications: Rock-free mode, Off-road mode, and Paver mode for the challenges of specific vocational applications.
Standard for any 47X equipped with the DD13 Gen 5, the Detroit Assurance suite of active safety systems, which follows the 49X’s lead in bringing active safety solutions to the vocational segment, including active brake assist, side guard assist, adaptive cruise control and more to keep operators, workers at the job site, pedestrians, and other motorists safe.
Truck equipment manufacturer features
Staying with the vocational-minded design, Western Star’s Samantha Parlier, vice president of vocational market development, Daimler Trucks North America, noted that the 47X along with its X-Series brethren, the 49X, was created along with input from truck equipment manufacturers (TEM) that build bodies for specific applications. Perhaps the greatest equipment evidence of this partnership is the QuickFit Interface System, which offers ready access to electrical architecture and was designed for easy TEM interface, programming and access to power. The CHEC Tool from DTNA enables TEMs and dealers to view and modify electrical configurations, giving them the power to customize inputs and outputs and change parameters within minutes.
A Flex Panel located in the dash B-panel of the truck gives TEMs the ability to mount body controllers. The Flex Panel can also accommodate additional gauges, switches, or a RAM Mount prep, depending on customer needs.
Not just a new truck launch
A single truck is a model number, but two (and really up to six different trucks if you’re counting 47X configurations) means that it’s a series: the X-Series. For Parlier and Western Star brand at-large, it’s a symbol of the products readiness to tackle vocational applications of all variety, not just niche applications that the Western Star name has been associated with (and still delivers in today).
“We’re here with the same tough, durable and dependable trucks that Western Star has been known, but they are now designed for the wider vocational space,” Parlier said. “With our previous trucks, there wasn’t an application we didn’t cover, but they weren’t necessarily designed for some applications. The new X-Series is designed to tackle any vocational application.”
The X-Series steel-reinforced aluminum cab further reduces mass by up to 8 percent while offering greater driver comfort with 13 percent more space than competitors. An optional two-person bench seat is available for applications demanding a large on-site crew, and a new space-optimized, in-cab battery box affords additional legroom to the operator. An optional roof-mounted condenser offers maximum airflow through the radiator for stationary applications like construction and mining while keeping operators comfortable.
All X-Series models come standard with operator-centric features such as a wrap-around dash that provides easy access to the driver command center and B-panel. On the B-panel, a flex panel can be prepped for a tablet or configured for an additional 12 switches or 10 gauges. The truck’s interior also includes upscale appointments such as metal accents, while all-metal exterior brightwork is distinctive as well as durable.
A closer look at the X-Series
The sheet was just pulled off the 47X, but if you need a closer look at the X-Series, you can check out our 49X ride-along video. We had the chance to drive that truck last November.