Western Star Unveils New 49X Vocational Truck

By Mike Brezonick30 September 2020

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has launched its all-new Western Star 49X truck for vocational applications. While DTNA claims market leadership in the long haul truck segment, the North American affiliate of Daimler Trucks considers the vocational segment as an area of further growth.

To tap into this growth potential, DTNA said it designed the Western Star 49X from the ground up to meet the needs of vocational customers by being tougher, safer and lighter in weight. In addition, DTNA incorporated feedback from the leading truck equipment manufacturers to ensure this truck would meet their needs for a quicker, more efficient conversion. The all-new Western Star 49X is available for order this winter and first deliveries begin in early 2021.

Purpose-built for the vocational segment

Western Star 49X
The new Western Star 49X targets a range of vocational applications, such as construction, logging, heavy haul and crane carriers.

Daimler Trucks North America and its Western Star brand said they started with a clean sheet design with the sole intent to deliver a heavy-duty-vocational truck. The new Western Star 49X delivers a total weight savings of more than 350 lb. in like-for-like spec’ing versus the current Western Star 4900 and that weight savings starts with an all-new vocational frame. Single channel frame rail options are available in a variety of thicknesses and feature what DTNA called a best-in-class RBM (Resisting Bending Moment) strength rating, resulting in greater durability and weight savings.

A new lighter cab constructed of steel-reinforced aluminum is designed to deliver greater strength and durability while offering an 8% lighter cab than the current 4900, enabling more payload. The Western Star 49X will be instantly recognizable as a vocational truck when looking at the trench style low roof designed to accommodate overhead equipment while maintaining overall vehicle height.

Powertrain Specs

DTNA said the Western Star 49X benefits from Daimler’s global engineering expertise through its Detroit brand components. The all-new DD15 Gen 5 heavy-duty engine is standard, rated 400 to 505 hp with 1550 to 1850 lb.ft. of torque. The other Detroit engine option is the DD16 rated 500 to 600 hp with 1850 to 2050 lb.ft. of torque. Also available are two Cummins options, the X12 rated 350 to 500 hp with torques of 1450 to 1700 lb.ft., or the Cummins flagship X15 rated 400 to 605 hp with 1450 to 2050 lb.ft. of torque.

Both the Detroit and Cummins engines incorporate selective catalytic reduction (SCR) aftertreatment, with 8.0, 13 and or 23 gal. DEF tanks available. The tanks are forward mounted as standard, but right or left side aft mounting is also available, the company said.

DT12-V transmission
The Western Star 49X has the DT12-V or DT12 -VX transmissions as standard.

Detroit DT12-V and –VX transmissions are standard, building on the established DT-12 and receiving $100 million dollars of investment and over 35 million miles of validation testing to ensure they are ready for the toughest jobs, the company said. Other transmission options include Allison 4000, 4500 or 4700 series automatics, Eaton Fuller manual transmissions in 10, 13 and 18 speeds and the Eaton Ultrashift Plus and Eaton-Cummins Endurant automated manual transmission.

The rest of the powertrain consists of Detroit (12,000 to 23,000 lb.) or Meritor (12,000 to 22,000 lb.) single axles in front and Detroit single (12,000 to 23,000 lb.) or tandem (40,000 to 44,000 lb.), Dana tandem (52,000 to 60,000 lb.) or Meritor single (21,000 to 30,000 lb.), tandem (40,000 to 58,000 lb.) or tridem (69,000 to 78,000 lb.) tridem axles in the rear. Stopping is through a Wabco 4S/4M or 6S/6M anti-lock braking system (ABS) with or without traction enhancement.

In terms of vehicle safety the new Western Star 49X now brings Detroit Assurance safety equipment to the vocational segment, including active brake assist, side guard assist, adaptive cruise control and more to keep operators, workers at the job site, pedestrians, and fellow motorists safe.

Vocational customers work in the most challenging environments in the world; places where durability and uptime are crucial. So, consequently DTNA has put the next Western Star through its paces to ensure this truck exceeds customer expectations. Western Star’s all-new vocational truck is set to be the toughest Western Star yet after being subjected to the extreme and grueling testing conditions designed by DTNA’s Product Validation Engineering (PVE) team. When it arrives, the next Western Star will have the undisputed honor of being the most tested truck in Western Star’s history. DTNA said it spent six years designing and validating the truck and employed testing and validation methodology never used before. In that testing process the PVE team crushed the cab with 20 metric tons, performed 10.000 frame twists to replicate a lifetime of the truck or spent over 400 hours of testing on full-vehicle and component shakers, the testing equivalent of over 800,000 miles of use.

For a video walkaround of the new vehicle, click here.

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