Off-highway transport trucks have strenuous lives and are expected to haul large loads in all conditions; therefore, strength and durability are paramount. In an effort to capture some of the mining and quarry market, Western Star has joined with J&J Truck Bodies to build a truck for all extremes.
Using the 6900XD platform, the Western Star offers the power to move up to 40 ton (36 t), provided by the 14-L turbocharged Detroit Diesel inline six-cylinder engine. The powerplant produces 1550 lb·ft (2102 N·m) at 1350 rpm and 475 hp (354 kW), and with the fully automatic Allison transmission with six forward gears, is capable of 43 mph (70 km/h) when fully loaded.
The truck rides on a 6x4 chassis with a 28,000-lb (12,701-kg) front axle and twin 110,000-lb (49,895-kg) heavy-duty rear axles with Chalmers suspension.
The 6900, produced since 1990, has proven itself at fulfilling heavy-duty obligations.
Off-highway trucks are not known for their fuel-efficiency, but the Western Star incorporates features that the company says enables it to average 7.13 gal/h (27 L/h) on long hauls. The brakes are dry drums, not wet discs that use more fuel due to the drag, and the tires are high pressure and have less rolling resistance than flotation tires.
The truck is built in Portland, OR, where the only robots in the plant are in the paint booths. The remainder of the truck is built by hand to meet individual customer orders. Once the cab and chassis are completed, the trucks are sent to Somerset, PA, to J&J Truck Bodies and Trailers, where the dump body and truck are united.
The Hardox 400 steel dump box is designed for mining work and comes with an auto lift tailgate and wide cab overhangs to protect the operator from debris. It has a single front-mounted hoist, as opposed to a more traditional two-cylinder setup.
The cab is equipped with air ride and a full HVAC system to make the operator as comfortable as possible no matter what the terrain. With 6900XDs operating around the world, the truck is also available with right-hand drive and in export specifications.