WESTMINSTER, Vt. – (2016) – Western Star Truck Sales surprised the industry in 2014 when it released the 5700XE, an all-new truck built specifically for on-highway travel from a company known for rugged vocational trucks.
Could Western Star bring the same excellent performance to over-the-road trucking as it does to plowing snow and hauling logs?
Absolutely, said Doug Gay, co-owner of BDR Transport, Inc., a long-haul LTL carrier in Westminster, Vt. His four 5700XEs regularly run back and forth between New England and company terminals in Santa Fe Springs and Lathrop, Ca., averaging 220,000 to 240,000 miles a year. Team driving allows the fast pace and quick turnarounds.
Gay said the trucks, which typically are at a GCWR of 65,000 to 75,000 pounds going westbound and 75,000 pounds eastbound, get MPG in “the high 6s and low 7s.” That’s better than BDR was getting with the trucks the Western Star 5700XEs replaced.
Since its founding in 1970, BDR had run another OEM’s trucks almost exclusively until they bought their first Western Stars in 2013. Gay’s satisfaction with those Western Stars led to his interest in the 5700XEs.
“We’d had a great experience with Western Star and we always liked the Detroit™ engines, so we saw the new truck as an opportunity to get back to those engines,” he said.
Another draw was Detroit Connect’s Virtual Technician™, an onboard remote diagnostic system that provides real-time diagnostics, letting drivers and fleet managers quickly and accurately evaluate events.
“That’s important since we do so many cross-country runs,” Gay said. “Fortunately, we’ve only had one or two red lights go on.”
The 5700XEs are spec’d with the Detroit™ Integrated Powertrain — Detroit DD15® engines, DT12® automated manual transmissions and Detroit axles — as well as double-insulated cabs and 82-inch Stratosphere sleepers with bunk beds.
“We’re chasing fuel economy but we also make sure to have trucks that our drivers are proud to drive,” Gay said. “A few of them were hesitant to try the automated transmission, but everyone who’s driven it says they love it.”
BDR will continue to add Western Star 5700XEs to its 22-truck fleet, Gay said.
Western Star Trucks Sales, Inc., headquartered in Fort Mill, S.C., produces tough custom trucks for highway and vocational applications. Western Star is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets Class 5-8 vehicles and is a Daimler company, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.
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