Western Star 47X Strengthens Bid for Vocational Sales

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Trucking

Western Star 47X.
Western Star 47X Class8 truck features a larger but lighter aluminum-skinned cab, redesigned main frame, and a new electrical system that’s easy for body builders to plug into.

Western Star Trucks has extensively updated its popular 4700 Class 8 heavy truck with a larger cab, redesigned mainframe and new electrical system, and renamed it 47X. It joins the longer and heavier duty 49X, itself a serious reworking of the long-nose 4900 announced last year, to form the builder’s  X Series. The new 47X will be available in truck and tractor versions, as a daycab and a short sleeper, and with a wide range of standard and optional components when it goes into production in early 2022.

Read our evaluation of the Western Star 49X.

The new cab, shared with the 49X, is steel framed and aluminum skinned, replacing the current all-steel cab. It provides 11 percent more room for drivers and helpers and weighs 8 percent less than the current cab, said Samantha “Sam” Parlier, vice president, vocational market development. She briefed reporters in a Zoom conference in advance of the new model’s public unveiling September 23. Additional width allows space for a two-person bench seat next to the driver’s air-ride seat.

A standard 111.6-inch bumper-to-back of cab dimension, short hood and wheel cut up to 50 degrees make the 47X relatively compact and highly maneuverable in congested cities and tight job sites. An available 110.8-inch BBC, accomplished with a set-back bumper mount, is designed specifically for bridge-formula states, where multi-axle super dumps and “bridger” mixer chassis are used. Set-forward and set-back steer axles, along with varied wheelbases and axle configurations, are available to suit hauling applications and weight laws.  

Shorter hoods and frames compared to the 49X’s cut weight, making a 47X about 200 pounds lighter, all other specifications being similar, and cost “slightly less,” Parlier said. New 9.5-mm (0.37-inch) frame rails can be used without insert reinforcements and still deliver exceptional stiffness. Standard aluminum crossmembers further cut mass, as does an optional two-battery setup replacing more common complements of three and four batteries for Class 8 trucks. 

Western Star partnered with leading truck equipment manufacturers and body builders to ensure the 47X supports fast and efficient upfits. The 47X’s mid-chassis packaging has clear back-of-cab configurations while unobstructed frame rails provide efficient body integration. The redesigned electrical system includes a QuickFit interface system that body builders can plug into. Body operations can be controlled with programmable switches in the dashboard B panel, eliminating control boxes commonly bolted to floors. A special tool allows upfitters to view and modify electrical configurations, allowing the quick customizing of inputs and outputs and changing of parameters.

Also on the B side of the dash, a flex panel can be prepped for mounting a tablet or configured for an additional 12 switches or 10 gauges, or a Ram mount for some types of body controls. The truck’s interior also includes upscale appointments such as metal accents. As on the 49X, the 47X’s grille is stainless steel, and exterior metal brightwork is distinctive as well as durable. Headlamps are dual-stage LEDs with heating grids to melt snow and ice.

The 47X is standard with Detroit’s DD13 Gen 5 diesel, while Cummins L9 and X12 diesels are optional. Front-engine power take-off is available on all engines for applications like snow plowing. Rectangular fuel tanks and a raised mounting for the aftertreatment system are offered with Cummins engines for added clearance for belly plows. Rear-engine and transmission-mounted PTOs are also available.   

Allison’s 4500 RDS torque-converter automatic transmission -- increasingly popular in construction trucks -- is standard with larger diesels on the 47X, and 3000 series Allisons can be used with the L9, Parlier said. Also offered is the recently introduced DT12-V automated manual transmission, which is built on the highway version of the DT12 and claims more than 35 million miles of vocational-specific testing. Eaton UltraShift Plus AMTs can be had with Cummins diesels, and Eaton Fuller 10-, 13- and 18-speed dual range manual transmissions, as well as 8LL and 9LL vocational gearboxes, are optional.

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