Western Star Trucks, a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America, has released the all-new 49X truck. Five years in redesign, the 49X was planned and engineered to incorporate state-of-the-art technology for improved driver safety and comfort, durability, upfit adaptability, and maximum uptime.
“The truck cab has moved from steel to aluminum so it is lighter in weight. There has been a big increase in safety measures and features,” says Mark Gibson, Sales Manager, Johnson Truck Center. “It’s a very smooth and quiet ride.”
The truck features the QuickFit Interface System, which gives the truck options and flexibility when it comes to connecting installed equipment to the electrical system. “Equipment installed on the truck can connect to the electrical system in an easy, convenient way. With QuickFit connection points, there is uncomplicated access to power,” says Greg Treinen, Product Marketing Manager, Heavy Vocational, Daimler Trucks North America. “This is a great feature for truck body builders. It provides a lot of flexibility, and is easy for customers to understand.”
New to the 49X is the Detroit® DT12®-V and DT12®-VX vocational automated manual transmissions, which are extremely effective on the job site allowing the truck to hold on to gear and retain momentum. “As an example, in rock-free mode, the DT12 holds gear in loose materials such as sand and gravel, making it easier to move. There’s no switching back and forth between drive and reverse to get free,” says Treinen. “Also part of the design is the hill-start aid, if you’re starting out on an incline the truck won’t roll back, there is greater torque for heavy hauling, all of this provides a much more robust vocational experience.”
All of the transmissions available in the 49X include the new PTO control architecture designed to simplify PTO control logic programming. The driver can view the preset engine speeds in the Driver Command Center and use the steering wheel’s control button to change engine speeds and divert power when needed.
The driver’s comfort has also been improved with a larger, more comfortable cab with new seating, better visibility provided by a larger windshield and strategically placed mirrors, as well as better ingress and egress.
Safety is a large part of the 49X redesign. Treinen has received positive feedback from customers who appreciate the driver protection in the truck. The braking system features braking assist using the cab camera to quickly react to people or vehicles in the roadway. There is lane departure warning and sideguard assist that uses radar to detect a vehicle in the truck’s blind spot.
“The truck has the Detroit Assurance® Suite of Safety Systems, the most advanced active safety systems in the vocational market. These features are now built in to the truck. With other trucks on the market, an aftermarket system would need to be installed,” says Gibson. “There is a distance warning if the driver gets too close to the vehicle in front of them, and the truck will brake for you. It also has the Detroit side-guard assistance, if there is a vehicle to the side of the truck it lets you know. If someone is in the crosswalk in front of you, the system safely stops the truck.”