Western Star’s new niche truck

These days, it seems like construction equipment manufacturers are all trying to identify the last market niche and exploit if before their competitors. And if the word “niche” conjures up images of tiny, specialized pieces of equipment, truck OEM Western Star isn’t following your line of thought. The company’s new 6900 XD off-highway truck is certainly specialized. But given its 110,000 pound planetary drive axles, 40-ton payload capacity and Detroit Diesel Series 60 engine, no one can call the 6900 XD small.

Built in collaboration with Somerset, PA-based J&J Truck bodies, and based on Western Star’s commercial logging truck chassis, the 6900 XD is an off-highway truck built to compete in specialized applications that until now, contractors were turning to articulating dump trucks to fill. The 6900 XD features a top speed of 43 mph, reinforced Western Star cab with all the creature comforts found in the company’s on-highway models, 110,000 pound planetary drive axles, fully-automatic Allison 4500 RDS transmission and steel-reinforced, purpose-built dump box.

Company officials say the 6900 XD excels in off-highway, heavy-haul applications with runs longer than 1-1/2 miles and well-graded haul roads and note the truck is not designed for severe and muddy off-road conditions. But, according to Western Star, initial acquisition costs for the 6900 XD can be up to $100,000 less than for an ADT, and fuel and maintenance costs will be significantly cheaper over the life of the truck.

In fact, Western Star estimates the 6900 XD is up to 35 percent more fuel efficient than conventional off-highway haulers when haul distances exceed one mile and note that the truck’s stable, loaded top speed of 43 mph insures “unmatched” cycle time efficiency.

The 6900 XD is on display now at ConExpo-Con/Agg in the South hall (booth #S9412).