Western Star touts product updates at MATS

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At the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., Western Star Truck Sales announced several product enhancements for on-highway and vocational applications. Updates include the availability of air disc brakes and what the truck maker calls the largest on-highway radiator in the industry; the reconfigured Western Star LowMax; and new fifth-wheel options from SAF-Holland.

“We’re proud to offer distinctive new options and enhancements to our customers,” says T.J. Reed, product manager for Redford, Mich.-based Western Star Trucks.

The company also partnered with Denver-based chrome shop and customizers Outlaw Customs to customize a truck that’s on display in the main South Wing lobby of the show. Christened “Rambling Rose” – an homage to Portland, Ore., the “Rose City” and also home to the Western Star manufacturing plant – the truck features a custom exhaust and paint job, chromed fender and grille, updated marker lights and more.

“We love working on Western Star trucks because they’re distinctive, and the trucks’ classic lines and rugged construction make it easy to mold them into show-stopping trucks,” said Alex Gobel, Outlaw Customs president.

Rambling Rose began as a 4900 EX with an 82-inch Stratosphere sleeper and Detroit Diesel Series 60 engine. Outlaw Customs and its team of suppliers – including PPG, Accuride and Michelin – worked around the clock to get the truck ready for the show.

Air disc brakes

Suited for premium on-highway and extreme hauling applications, new proprietary air disc brakes are designed to accommodate weight ratings up to 120,000 lbs. GCW. It’s the only disc brake on the market compatible with all 22.5-inch wheel combinations without any limitations, according to the truck maker, and is available with all drive axle brands and only in combination with AAC proprietary steer axles.

“With a better response rate and shorter stopping distance, this system supplies the premium performance our customers demand,” says Richard Shearing, manager of product strategy for Western Star. “Spec’ing air disc brakes on all wheels eliminates the fade imbalance that results from mixing air disc and standard drum brakes.”

Additional benefits of air disc brakes include longer life and reduced maintenance, Western Star says. The system will be available in the fourth quarter of 2008.

1,875-sq.-in. radiator

Western Star says that at 1,875 square inches, the new copper brass radiator is the largest on-highway radiator in the industry. Its robust size is designed to provide top performance for extreme-duty applications such as stationary pumping for oil field service.

Available on 4900 SA day cab and sleeper cab models, the radiator’s enhanced size was designed specifically to accommodate added heat generated by 2007 engines. According to the truck maker, it can be packaged seamlessly into existing hood envelopes without grille and hood modifications.

“The radiator’s copper brass and bolted steel tank construction results in an extremely durable product with heavy-duty chassis mounting,” Reed says. The massive and efficient cooling package allows for maximum peak performance of 625 hp and 2050 lb.-ft. of torque, he says.

LowMax updates

The unique Western Star LowMax configuration has been updated with impressive design enhancements and now is ready for 2007 standards, the truck maker says. Almost a foot lower than standard trucks, the 4900 EX and 4900 FA LowMax offer a customized look and premium image and performance. Also, the LowMax now is available as either a day cab or sleeper.

The updated design includes an improved cooling package featuring a 1,625-square-inch lightweight aluminum radiator with optimized fan technology for improved fuel economy. Changes made to the front suspension and steering system also have resulted in improvements for better handling, Western Star says; an asymmetric front spring provides enhanced roll stiffness, plus the lower ride heights improve handling and cornering.

Featuring dual chrome 6-inch vertical tailpipes, any LowMax truck can be personalized with Western Star’s custom chrome and stainless steel accessories.

Holland integrated low-weight fifth-wheel sliders

SAF-Holland has introduced the lightweight Holland Aluminum Fifth Wheel Top Plate. One hundred pounds lighter than previous configurations, the Holland Fifth Wheel features an aluminum top plate that incorporates a “no-lube” surface, eliminating the need for constant greasing, the company says.

In addition, SAF-Holland has consolidated its Holland Hitch Sliding wheel with its new Integrated Low-Weight Slider system (ILS), which the company says saves up to 85 pounds. Both the Holland Fifth Wheel and the ILS now are available on all sliding fifth-wheel applications for Western Star’s on-highway tractors.