Western Star has announced the  introduction of an all new vocational truck platform in the US overnight unveiling the all-new 49X, which the Daimler owned brand describes as its next-generation vocational truck.

Daimler says the new Western Star 49X is underpinned by a stronger, lighter chassis and is equipped with an all-new X-series cab, adding that it delivers maximum versatility in a purpose-built package. Truck and Bus understands that  the new 49X shares many common underpinnings with its corporate sibling, Freightliner’s Cascadia.

The new truck  will feature the new Detroit DT12 vocational series of transmissions along with the same suite of Daimler safety systems being adopted in other new models across the group offering strong safety and improved productivity according to the company.

Local Western Star distributor, Penske Australia and New Zealand says a local launch of the new truck is still two years away with local Penske boss, Randall Seymore indicating the 49X will not be here until either late 2022 or early 2023.

“We will be rolling out a testing program next year ensuring the new trucks are a perfect fit for our local conditions and applications, ,” said Randall Seymore.

“We will continue to support our current Western Star truck portfolio which has been proven to thrive in our tough and unique conditions, and Penske is committed to continuing to provide our customers with the service excellence they have come to expect,” he added.

“Our launch plans for the new trucks will be revealed in due course, however we expect to see the trucks enter our local markets in late 2022 or early 2023,”  he said.

Daimler says the clean-sheet design of the Western Star 49X has enabled total weight savings of more than 160kg. in like-for-like speccing against the current Western Star 4900 as a result of an all-new vocational frame.

The new X-series cab has been and development work on the cab is claimed to have been the most extensive in Western Star history including  multiple cab crush tests to ensure cab integrity in case of a rollover.

Daimler says It is the segment’s largest cab and offers 10-13 per cent greater space than its competitors.

The hood of the 49X uses high-strength, lightweight moulded composite for better impact resistance and durability, meanwhile under the hood, the 49X receives the new Detroit DT12 Vocational series automated manuals, with either the DT12-V or the DT12-VX rated up to a GCWR of 150 tonnes (330,000lbs), and can be mated to the Detroit DD15 Gen 5 engine or workhorse Detroit DD16.

“Our bottom-line intent was to deliver a truck that benefits our customers’ bottom lines,” said David Carson, senior vice president, Vocational segment, Daimler Trucks North America.

While Daimler has unveiled the new 49X it will not hit American roads until early 2021 with Daimler opening its order books from December