Western Star Trucks
|Founded||Cleveland, Ohio, USA (1967)|
|Headquarters||Portland, Oregon, USA|
|Key people||Martin Daum, President, CEO
Juergen Kritschgau, CFO, Finance and Control
Roger M. Nielsen, COO
|Parent||Daimler Trucks North America LLC|
Western Star Trucks Sales, Inc., commonly designated Western Star, is an American truck manufacturer headquartered in Portland, Oregon, USA and a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of the German Daimler AG.
In 1967 White Trucks started the Western Star division as White Western Star with a new plant at Kelowna, British Columbia, sharing headquarters with White in Cleveland, Ohio. By 1980, White was insolvent, despite importing Semon E. "Bunkie" Knudsen, son of General Motors legend Semon Knudsen, and President of Ford Motor Company in 1969–70. Volvo AB acquired the U.S. assets of the company, while two energy-related companies based in Calgary, Alberta, Bow Valley Resource Services and Nova, an Alberta Corp., purchased the Canadian assets, including the Kelowna, British Columbia, plant, and the Western Star nameplate and product range.
In 1990 Western Star Trucks was purchased by Australian businessman Terry Peabody, who turned around the company's fortunes over the next 10 years, and in 2000 the company was purchased by the Daimler AG North American truck division.
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. Several cab and sleeper box sizes are available, interiors can be trimmed to spec, and engines, transmissions, axles, suspensions, and brakes are available in a number of configurations. Engines used include Cummins, and Detroit Diesel. As a result of this, very few identical Western Star trucks have been produced. 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 has four model families:
- The 4700 Series (internally designated "Zodiac") is a vocational model that reduces upfitting time and costs for body builders. It is aimed at towing and recovery, construction, and municipal purposes.
- The 4800 Series is larger and more powerful than the 4700, and is commonly used in twin-steer applications since its shorter BBC length allows customers to maximize the payloads they carry. Western Star provides the truck as a bare chassis and cab, which can be fitted with a tank, crane, box, or other structure by a bodybuilding company as desired by the customer. Tractor versions are also available and are a favorite among Australian drivers.
- The 4900 Series, the most common Western Star model, 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 6900 Series, is the largest model designed for logging, mining, use in Australian Road Trains, as a heavy wrecker or in other similar applications. Though the 6900 shares cabs with the 4900 series, it can be recognized both by its size as well as by its flat, squared front fenders.
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