Edgier external styling, a new 40-inch integral sleeper, and newly available safety products,...

Edgier external styling, a new 40-inch integral sleeper, and newly available safety products, including Wabco’s OnGuard collision mitigation and Bendix lane-departure warning systems, mark Western Star’s enhanced 4700, to be available this summer.

Photos: Western Star Trucks

Western Star says the 4700, its most popular truck model, has been updated to make it lighter, safer, more productive, and faster to upfit. Shown at World of Concrete 2019 in Las Vegas, the enhanced 4700 includes larger instruments, electrical advances, collision mitigation with active braking, and lane-departure warning systems.

Cummins’ lightweight X12 diesel is a new option for the 4700, and perhaps later for other Western Star models, Western Star executives said at a Jan. 22 press event at the trade show. The 4700 is a lower priced alternative to the larger 4800 and 4900 models, and has sold well to operators of vocational trucks, including dumpers and mixers, and to regional freight haulers.

“Since introducing the 4700 in 2011, customer acceptance has continued to exceed expectations,” said Samantha Parlier, vice president of marketing and product strategy. “We know customers already appreciate the truck’s versatility and dependability, and our newest features will deliver at an even higher level.”

Cummins X12 Engine

The new Cummins X12 diesel is compact and lightweight, said Peter Arrigoni, vice president of sales, at a Tuesday press event during the show. It weighs 2,050 pounds, which is up to 600 pounds less than other medium-bore engines in the 10 to 13-liter category. This increases payload capacity and productivity.

And, front- and rear-engine PTO offerings enable more upfitting options, a benefit to both customers and body builders. The X12 delivers up to 1,700 lb.-ft. of torque and 500 horsepower and boasts low-friction internal components that add to fuel efficiency.

The X12 is compatible with a broad range of fully automatic, automated manual and manual transmissions, and has oil drain, filter and fuel filter replacement intervals that rival comparable engines. It went into production in October, and Western Star and Freightliner, its corporate sister, are the first mainstream builders to offer it.  

Another new powertrain option for the Western Star 4700 is the Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission, Arigoni said. With features such as creep mode, hill start aid and a precise pneumatic shift and clutch control. Compared to a manual transmission, the DT12 provides more relaxed and safer operation and reduces driver fatigue.

Western Star currently offers Eaton Fuller automated manual transmissions as well as Allison automatics and Eaton manual gearboxes.

Enhanced Electrical Features

The enhanced 4700 also has additional upfit-friendly improvements, including updates to the electrical system, such as the addition of a third Power Distribution Module, and improved interface connections near the back floor of the cab, as well as four new options for trailer connections. Three connectors will be included, and a small pass-through door on the floor eliminates the need to drill into the cab to accommodate wiring that runs to truck bodies.

“The 4700 is a workhorse, and our customers want it to get on the job as fast as possible. That’s why we made the 4700 easier for body builders to upfit,” said Parlier. Western Star has updated its body builders book to include the new features, and is making extra efforts to educate upfitters and convince them to use the integrated connectors instead of cutting into wiring.

Larger, easier-to-read gauges and additional steering wheel mounted switches are among...

Larger, easier-to-read gauges and additional steering wheel mounted switches are among enhancements in the updated 4700’s interior.

Refreshed Interior, New Sleeper

Larger gauges on the instrument panel provide improved legibility for drivers, and a new LCD dash display deliver more information to the driver in an intuitive format, said Peter Arrigoni, vice president of sales. Four customizable LED indicators are available for body builders to keep the operator informed of various truck functions, data and alerts.

The truck’s multi-function steering wheel offers the driver easy-to-reach access to cruise control, radio functions, phone controls and dash display menus, so he can keep his hands on the wheel.

For the first time, the 4700 can now be spec’d with a 40-inch low or ultra-low-roof StarLight sleeper. This additional space can be used for extra storage or fitted with a comfortable mattress. It is an integral design, not a separate box, Arrigoni said. Add-on Back Pack storage and sleeper boxes introduced last year remain as options.

Safety Features

Several new features will keep drivers and others on the road safer. Wabco’s OnGuard collision mitigation system uses a bumper-mounted radar unit to track vehicles and objects in the truck’s path, and then automatically applies the brake if the driver doesn’t slow the truck in time. Bendix lane departure camera tracks the truck’s lane position and provides audible warnings to the driver.

Operators of highway trucks are more likely to order the electronic safety equipment, she said, but larger vocational customers are also interested, especially if they run in urban areas. The enhanced 4700 will go into production later this year and be at dealers in August.

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Tom Berg

Tom Berg

Former Senior Contributing Editor

Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978.

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