Friday, February 19, 2016

Western Star 5700XE

It has certainly been slow to show up in Canada since it was launched in September 2014, but after some more upgrades, the Western Star 5700XE (for eXtreme Efficiency) has finally arrived at a local dealer.

Western Star's first truly aerodynamic truck, it gets the brand into the big league highway market, but also keeps a traditional look, and with many power, axle capacity and configuration options it is likely that there will be many interested operators.

The main feature, aside from the exterior styling is the Detroit Diesel Integrated drive train consisting of engine, transmission and axles - all from one manufacturer. You can't get any other manufacturer's engine - but it does come in DD13=470HP, DD15=550HP and DD16=600HP engines, with a variety of axle loading from 12-14,600lbs forward and single or tandem drive axles 23-46,000lbs. The drive train is promoted as superbly efficient and economical, and integrated for one stop service.
(Detroit Diesel and Western Star have been part of Daimler since 2000.)

There is also a whole variety of cab options from a 126"BBC day cab to sleeper options from 34", 40", 64", 68" and 82" with low, high and ultra-high roof configurations (the latter only on the 82" sleeper) on wheelbases up to 250".

The list of features such as automated clutch, ABS brakes, Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation goes on and on.with numerous other weight saving and aerodynamic components. The cab is steel however and there is steel on the grille bumper and visor - not just chromed plastic.

When Western Star moved from Canada  in 2002 it established its new plant in Portland Oregon, but this model and a few others, are built at another new plant, this one in Cleveland, North Carolina.

It is one sharp truck.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

"Mystery" truck

When I saw this container carrying a truck yesterday I wondered who would go to the trouble of covering a truck with some sort of sticky paper.

The answer it would seem is our own government - likely a branch of the military. When I saw it again today on the back of a Transport Vitesse truck, I put two and two together. Vitesse is a major hauler for the military, so someone in Ottawa decided they needed a close up view of this vehicle, but didn't want to share that view with the rest of us.

A sticker in the window said "Do Not Tilt the Cab" in English and Chinese, so that put me on the hunt. The headlights and windshield are typical of those used by FAW, one of the Chinese big four manufacturers. The rest of the cab doesn't look much like they have to show on the internet, but it could be a new model.

The truck is new, even though it has lots of dirt under the fenders and on the engine (check out that unused fifth wheel). So I guess it is a demonstrator with a number of hours on the engine, but no work, and I will stick with FAW until the wrapping comes off.