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Trucking Gets Even More Chrome Thanks to All-New Western Star 49X – autoevolution

Sep 30th, 2020

With some help from its Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) father, the Portland-based manufacturer of Class 8 commercialvehicles is preparing the release of a new chrome-laden star for the North American construction and special vehicle niche, commonly referred to as the vocational trucking segment.

The characteristic front-end design is just begging to have the big W badge swapped with Transformers Optimus Prime markings, it seems, or at least invites the girl next door to check out her latest outfit and hairdo in the chrome bumper...

Well, we bet the truck maker and its parent are actually on to something else, as the company explains that DTNA is the undisputed market leader in the long haul segment, but considers the vocational segment as an area of further growth.

So, they are banking on the new Western Star 49X to address the unfolding strategy, and for that opted to start fresh with an all-new development that will be tougher, safer and lighter in weight. The company also considered the feedback received from conversion customers, promising the 49X will become available on order this very winter, with first deliveries scheduled for early next year.

This is a clean sheet design, with the 49X being more than 150 kg (350 lbs.) lighter than its predecessor, the Western Star 4900. Everything rests on the new vocational frame with single channel rail options that have a best-in-class RBM (Resisting Bending Moment) strength rating - exact values are not specified, though. There is also a new steel-reinforced aluminum cab thats now 8 percent lighter, yet more durable than before.

Western Star says it needed no less than six years to develop and confirm the new truck, with the team from DTNAs Product Validation Engineering unit opting for an all Hell breaks looseapproach to testing. For example, they crushed the cab with 20 metric tons, performed 10.000 frame twists, and spent 400 hours on full-vehicle shakers to replicate a lifetime usage of more than 800,000 miles (close to 1.3 million km).

Underneath the massive hood sits another novelty - a DD15 Gen 5 heavy-duty engine from Daimler Trucks that will be coupled with the well-known DT-12 series of transmissions.

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Trucking Gets Even More Chrome Thanks to All-New Western Star 49X - autoevolution

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