Western Star announced several product enhancements for on-highway and vocational applications at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., last week. Updates include the availability of air disc brakes, a new larger radiator, LowMax updates, and new fifth wheel options.

For premium on-highway and extreme hauling applications, new proprietary air disc brakes can accommodate weight ratings up to 120,000 pounds GCW. It is compatible with all 22.5-inch wheel combinations without any limitations, and is available with all drive axle brands and only in combination with AAC proprietary steer axles.

"With a better response rate and shorter stopping distance, this system supplies the premium performance our customers demand," said Richard Shearing, manager of product strategy for Western Star. "Spec'ing air disc brakes on all wheels eliminates the fade imbalance that results from mixing air disc and standard drum brakes." The system will be available in the fourth quarter of 2008.

At 1,875 square inches, the copper brass radiator from Western Star is the largest on-highway radiator in the industry, according to the company. Its robust size is designed for extreme-duty applications such as stationary pumping for oil field service

Available on 4900 SA day cab and sleeper cab models, the radiator's enhanced size was designed to accommodate added heat generated by EPA '07 engines. It can be packaged into existing hood envelopes without grille and hood modifications.

The Western Star LowMax configuration has been updated with design enhancements and is now ready for EPA '07. Almost a foot lower than standard trucks, the 4900 EX and 4900 FA LowMax offer a customized look and premium image and performance. The LowMax is also now available as either a day cab or sleeper.

The updated design includes an improved cooling package featuring a 1,625-square-inch, light-weight aluminum radiator with optimized fan technology for improved fuel economy. Changes made to the front suspension and steering system have resulted in improvements for better handling. An asymmetric front spring provides enhanced roll stiffness, plus the lower ride heights improve handling and cornering.

Featuring dual chrome 6-inch vertical tailpipes, any LowMax truck can be personalized with Western Star's custom chrome and stainless steel accessories.

Western Star also offers new products from SAF-Holland. The lightweight Holland Aluminum Fifth Wheel Top Plate is 100 pounds lighter than previous configurations. Its aluminum top plate incorporates a "no-lube" surface, eliminating the need for constant greasing. SAF-Holland has also consolidated its Holland Hitch Sliding wheel with its new Integrated Low-Weight Slider system (ILS), saving up to 85 pounds. Both the Holland Fifth Wheel and the ILS are now available on all sliding fifth wheel applications for Western Star's on-highway tractors.

More info: www.WesternStar.com