Western Star Trucks
Western Star Trucks Sales, Inc., commonly designated Western Star, is an American truck manufacturer headquartered in Portland, Oregon, United States, and a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America, in turn a wholly owned subsidiary of the German Daimler AG.
In 1967 White Motor Company started the Western Star division as White Western Star with a new plant at Kelowna, British Columbia, sharing headquarters with White in Cleveland, Ohio. White Western Star trucks in that era typically used cabs from its sister company,Autocar. Western Star production was moved to Ogden, Utah, but it was not included in the 1980 sale of White to Volvo, instead being sold to Bow Valley Resources and Nova Corporation, each owning 50%.
In 2002, Western Star production was moved to a plant in Portland, Oregon. 4700, 4800, 4900 and 6900 model trucks are still manufactured in the Portland Truck Plant. In May 2015, the Daimler Trucks North America plant in Cleveland, North Carolina, began to build 4700 and 4900 models, as well as assemble all new semi tractor 5700XE models.
Western Star produces a range of Class 8 commercial vehicles for both highway and off-road use. Western Star specializes in trucks tailored to customer specifications. Every Western Star offers several sleeper box sizes, with chassis lengths of up to 486 inches depending on model. Five interior packages are available and sleepers can be trimmed to specifications. Engines, transmissions, axles, suspensions and brakes are available in a number of configurations. Engines used include Cummins and Detroit. Western Star also produces right-hand drive trucks for the Australian, New Zealand and South African markets.
Though styled in a conventional fashion and often used in off-road applications, Western Star trucks are also available with anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, and other modern safety features in order to remain competitive and meet DOT regulations.
Western Star currently has five model families:
- The 4700 Series is Western Star's entry-level model and is available in truck and tractor applications, both with a 110-inch (2,790 mm) BBC. In vocational applications, its engineering helps reduce upfitting time and costs for body builders, and can be outfitted for virtually any vocational application. For on-highway use, the 4700 is available only in a daycab configuration and is primarily used in short haul applications.
- The 4800 Series offers more powerful engine options than the 4700 and features a 109-inch (2,770 mm) BBC. Western Star provides the truck as a bare chassis and cab, which can be fitted with a dump body, mixer, tank, crane, or other structure by a bodybuilding company as desired by the customer. The factory-installed twin steer option is also popular on this model for dump and mixer applications. Tractor versions are also available.
- The 4900 Series features a 123-inch (3,120 mm) BBC. This is a multi-use truck/tractor which is targeted at a variety of industries. The truck can be built as a tractor with fifth wheel, bare chassis for a bodybuilder to outfit, or a lowered-cab model (Low Max) for auto hauling. The 4900 is available in five configurations including Extreme Duty and Twin Steer.
- The 5700XE is Western Star's newest model and first truly aerodynamic truck. The XE stands for Extreme Efficiency. Launched in 2015, it is currently designed only for on-highway applications. The truck features a 126-inch (3,200 mm) BBC, and a set back front axle position. It can be specified as a daycab or as a sleeper.
- The 6900 Series is the highest capacity model built by Western Star and is designed for off-highway vocations including logging, mining, and other similar applications. Available in Extreme Duty and Twin Steer configurations (XD and TS), each features a 141-inch (3,580 mm) BBC and can be recognized both by its size as well as by its flat, squared front fenders.
Western Star sold a lightly altered version of the White High Cabover as the Western Star Cabover in the 1980s and early 1990s. They also produced a licensed version of the Iveco VM 90 for the Canadian Forces during the 1990s, called the LSVW.
In popular media
Multiple Western Star trucks have been featured in films, including: A Western Star 5700 Phantom Custom is used as the new disguise for Optimus Prime in Transformers: Age of Extinction and Transformers: The Last Knight as well as a Western Star 4900SF tow truck is used as the Decepticon in Transformers: The Last Knight. A Western Star 4800 is used as the Happy Toyz (Green Goblin) truck in Maximum Overdrive. A Western Star 4964 is used as the Westway Refrigerated truck in Trucks. A 1989 Western Star 4964 was used as the antagonist vehicle in the 2015 Canadian horror film Wrecker, which is largely a remake of the film Duel.
- Western Star Australia buys Western Star Canada Truck & Bus Transportation April 1991 page 9
- Star Still Shnes Bright Australasian Transport News June 2013 pages 60-63
- An empire built to last New Zealand Herald March 1, 2015
- ERF snapped up by Western Star Commercial Motor May 23, 1996
- Western Star boss Terry Peabody's first foray into truck manufacturing Commercial Motor January 16, 1997
- MAN snaps up ERF Commercial Motor February 3, 2000
- DaimlerChrysler buys Western Star Trucks, Orion Bus Metro Magazine August 7, 2000
- DC swallows Detroit and Western Star Truck & Bus Transportation September 2000 page 10
- Western Star production shifts to Portland Truck News December 1, 2002
- Cleveland, NC Truck Manufacturing Plant Daimler
- Models Western Star