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Western Star Debuts Extreme Duty Off-Road 'Transformer'

May 12, 2016, by Jim Park

Western Start Trucks' new Extreme Duty MBT-40 configured as a 70-metric-ton tractor. Photo by Jim Park
Western Start Trucks' new Extreme Duty MBT-40 configured as a 70-metric-ton tractor. Photo by Jim Park

MOUNTVILLE, S.C. – One way to look at Western Star's new Extreme Duty Offroad chassis is three trucks for the price of one. At the Michelin Proving Grounds in Laurens, S.C., Western Star Truck Sales showed what a lot of ingenuity can accomplish with the launch of its Extreme Duty (XD) MBT-40 Transformer chassis.

The MBT-40, dubbed the Multi-Body Transformer for its ability to quickly change from one fully functional in-cab controlled body application to another, is the first XD Offroad series offering from Western Star and a new concept for off-road equipment markets.

"The MBT-40 package is a game changer in construction applications for its ability to be multiple pieces of equipment in one chassis," said John Tomlinson, Western Star's XD and vocational sales manager. "The development of this platform was all about finding better economic ways of filling needs for our customers. Offroad chassis equipment can be expensive to buy and maintain and new emissions levels are making the investment even more costly."

The MBT-40 package allows customers to change bodies very quickly. You could, for example, go from a 70-ton tip tractor to a 35-ton dump body to an 8,000-gallon water tank in sometimes as little as five minutes.

Using a Palfinger G68 hooklift, which has a lifting capacity of 68,000 pounds and a new transformer package, the MBT-40 gives customers greater utilization of their chassis. It is designed to replace the need for multiple pieces of dedicated off-road equipment on a job site that sit for long periods of time when they are not needed.

The unit is equipped with a generic in-cab control system and a self-adapting hydraulic system that also allows the operators to quickly and easily swap the controls of multiple body applications as well. The MBT-40 features multiple hydraulic air and electrical connections that allow it to connect and power a variety of body needs from powerful flow-controlled hydraulic motors and pumps to heavy high-flow tip cylinders.

"This is very versatile equipment," Tomlinson said. "This is our solution for maximizing the utility of your vehicles."

The Western Star XD Offroad package is engineered specifically for extremely rugged environments and is available in both the 4900 and 6900 models. Vehicles spec’ed with the XD Offroad package deliver maximum driver safety and comfort while providing customers with a low cost-per-ton product for off-road applications.

Western Star had four 6900 XD model trucks at the Michelin Proving Grounds for the launch. They included one configured as a heavy-haul tractor with a 70-metric-ton capacity, another with an 8,000-gallon water tank sprayer, and the other was a 40-ton Ground Force dump truck.

Available vehicle specs include:

  • 14-liter, 500 hp Series 60 engine in Tier III emissions configuration.
  • DD 15 or 16 in 500 or 600 hp US EPA 17 emissions configuration.
  • Allison RDS 4700 7-speed automatic transmission.
  • Axle Tech or Sisu 28,000-pound planetary steer axles.
  • Axle Tech or SPRC 110,000-pound planetary tandem rear axles.
  • Palfinger Hooklift Model G68, 68,000-pound capacity.

 Western Star plans to open the XD Offroad package up to other models in the future.

“By maximizing the operation time, customers can always have the equipment they need when it is required," Tomlinson notes. "Mining, quarry, and off-road construction industries are looking for better solutions right now and we have the answers for them with this new product.”

Western Star Truck's Extreme Duty Offroad models are like getting three trucks for the price of one. Photo by Jim Park
Western Star Truck's Extreme Duty Offroad models are like getting three trucks for the price of one. Photo by Jim Park

The engineering side of the product brought together engineers from several truck body manufacturers to design and test their equipment on the XD chassis, including Carco Industries, Klein Products, Ground Force, SmithCo, and Palfinger. All had to make some design changes to their typical configurations to accommodate the quick hookup chassis electrical and hydraulic connections, and to accommodate the Palfinger lift mechanism.

"Carco Industries is very experienced in mining and off-road fuel and service products along with carrying the Palfinger crane lines,” said Charlie Schimmels, sales manager, Carco Industries. “This combination of experience and product along with the rugged design and carrying capacity of the XD -off-road chassis offered by Western Star makes the MBT-40 package a \unique product. With commodity prices down and budget cuts becoming commonplace we need to think smarter about how we do business and the MBT-40 does that.”

The 6900XD is available in both 6x4 and 6x6 configurations.

For more information, go to


  1. 1. doug [ May 23, 2016 @ 09:48AM ]

    good-bye navistar


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