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Western Star

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Western Star is a Canadian company that specializes in designing, manufacturing, and distributing custom made trucks, whether they are heavy-duty or for vocational applications. Its services are geared towards logging, mining, and oil fields.[1]

Since its foundation in 1967, Western Star has prided itself on its its distinctive line of trucks, and is founded on the belief that the most important component is the driver behind the wheel of the truck. It offers five different models and over 4000 options in right and left hand drivers. The models consist of three categories: highway, vocational and specialty/extreme.[2]

Western Star started off as a subsidiary of White Motor Co. in 1967, although both the production and engineering departments were based in Kelowna, Canada. It has been independent since 1981, and though 93 percent of its staff is Canadian, the company is popular all over North America and throughout the world.[3]


[edit] History

In 1859, Thomas Howard White, George Baker, and D'Arcy Porter joined forces to create White Manufacturing Co., a company specializing in making sewing machines. The subsequent success of this company led them to build bicycles and roller skates ten years after the company was founded. By the 1890s, White was building automobiles.[4]

It was renamed Western Star Incorporation|Western Star in 1981 after White Motor Co. was acquired by Volvo in Sweden and it was sold to two Canadian resource companies. Since then, it has been a largely independent company, with strong roots laid in Canada.[5]

After its incorporation in 1981, Western Star has been developing products with the driver firmly in mind. One of the first major products to be developed was a cab with extensive headroom with visibility improvements. This feature set Western Star trucks apart from others.

[edit] Other Developments

Other improvements have included a leading edge wrap-around dash specifically built for the highway tractor driver. Western Star secured its position as a premium highway tractor manufacturer in a competitive market by introducing products such as the Supertilt hood on its 1986 model trucks. Along with this, Western Star introduced one of the earliest versions of the sloped hood to the trucking industry. The Cornerstone Chassis platform enabled the company to reduce the costs, weight, and make-up of the products.[6]

In 1992, Western Star won contracts with the Canadian Military, which helped solidify its reputation in the industry. Other contracts such as the PT Freeport Mining contract in Indonesia and the highway maintenance contract for trucks in British Columbia helped establish them further as a worldwide company.

Western Star was responsible for developing a constellation cab and sleeper, which it produced in 1996. This feature was large in size and noted for its maximum comfort. It also introduced the Star Light Sleeper in 1998. It's contained an ultra lightweight polypropylene core that wedged between two sheets of high-grade aluminum.

In 2003, the company introduced the LowMax package, complete with stainless steel accessories. In the same year, it developed several other products, including an 82-inch (208-cm) stratosphere—the only walk-through sleeper that consisted of roof mounted air horns and maker lights; a 6900 EX Model complete with twin steering, devised to resolve some of the problems encountered in the extreme duty market; as well as a 68-inch (172-cm) stratosphere walk-through slope.

The Stratosphere Sleeper Line made 2006 another big year for Western Star in terms of production. It expanded the line to include 40- and 54-inch (101- and 137-cm) sizes, as well as an 82-inch (208-cm) ultra high model—the largest sleeper in the industry.[7]

The Canadian Light Support Vehicle (LSVU) truck was a joint venture between Western Star and Iveco. It included such features as 4WD, power: 86kW and a transmission: 4a, ZF 4HP22, two-speed transfer case, 4WD. A number of these were used by the United Nations.[8]

[edit] Sales

Canada is home to the majority of Western Star's sale sites, hosting 46 percent, while the U.S. owns 43 percent, and other countries own the remaining 11 percent. The company's typical applications are highway freight haulage, accounting for 43 percent; logging, mining, and oil fields, accounting for 31 percent; and construction, comprising 21 percent.Other applications make up 6 percent.[9]

[edit] The Company Today

The company still operates from its Canadian headquarters and delivers a range of sleeper, severe/heavy-duty, vocational, and highway trucks throughout North America.

[edit] Equipment List

[edit] Highway Trucks

  • Auto haul
  • Bulk haul
  • Expediter
  • Long haul

[edit] Severe/Extreme Duty Trucks

  • EMS
  • Export
  • Firetruck
  • Logging
  • Military
  • Mining
  • Oilfield
  • Towing/Recovery
  • Twin steer

[edit] Sleepers

  • Stratosphere

[edit] Vocational Trucks

[edit] References

  1. Western Star Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  2. History. Western Star Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  3. Holtzman, Stan. American Semi Trucks. MBI Publishing Company, 1995.
  4. Holtzman, Stan. American Semi Trucks. MBI Publishing Company, 1995.
  5. Holtzman, Stan. American Semi Trucks. MBI Publishing Company, 1995.
  6. History. Western Star Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  7. History. Western Star Trucks. 2008-09-09.
  8. Western Star. 4WD Online. 2008-09-09.
  9. Holtzman, Stan. American Semi Trucks. MBI Publishing Company, 1995.

[edit] External Links