REDFORD, MICH. – Jan. 08, 2009 – Seven years ago, Western Star partnered with South African-based Liebherr Africa – a European mining and earthmoving manufacturer – to introduce Western Star trucks to the South African market. Today, the Western Star 6900XD is widely recognized as a highly efficient and durable off-highway 40-ton dump truck in the region.
The tough South African mining industry requires a rugged hauler that also provides power, performance and durability. Specially designed to maximize cost-per-ton hauled, the Western Star 6900XD features lower acquisition and maintenance costs, in addition to increased hauling performance and productivity. The end result is an efficient and specially made hauler that allows for speed and stability while providing outstanding fuel efficiency.
“Our partnership with Liebherr was formed to fill this unique niche in the mining industry,” said Duncan Prince, product manager for Western Star, South Africa. “Western Star’s satisfied customers in South Africa are testament to this.”
When running comparatively long distances from pit-to-crusher – conditions typical of the opencast mines in South Africa – the Western Star 6900XD particularly excels
For example, on maintained haul roads that exceed one half of a mile (.8 km) the Western Star 6900XD is up to 30 percent more fuel efficient than competitive articulated dump trucks (ADT) and rigid dumps in the same payload class. On hauls as long as 12 miles (20 km), the 6900XD uses as little as 7 gallons an hour (27 liter/hour), which is significantly lower than other conventional mining haulers.
The truck’s 6x4 drive train construction and high pressure tires also enhance fuel efficiency. Designed with earthmoving tread, these tires provide maximum stability, allowing the 6900XD to travel up to 43 mph (70kph).
In addition, the tires are designed to stay cooler over long distances – ideal for the hot and dry conditions in South Africa – and have a reduced rolling resistance that also provides superior fuel efficiency and cycle speed.
“We’ve had fantastic fuel efficiency results with the 6900XD,” said Prince. “Our customers are experiencing higher revenue as a direct result of the increased productivity and reliability of their Western Star trucks.”
The South African Western Star 6900XD trucks are equipped with a 15L Cummins ISX engine with an output of 500hp (373kw) and feature a six-speed, fully-automated Allison RDS 4500 transmission. In addition, these trucks are outfitted with a 28,000 pound capacity front axle, and 110,000 pound tandem rear axle.
Using a torque converter that locks up shortly after the vehicle starts moving, the transmission provides similar mechanical efficiency to a conventional manual transmission – resulting in less power loss and heat generation in the transmission. Plus, the transmission makes uninterrupted shifts into higher gears when on steep inclines and soft underfoot conditions, producing acceleration and speed unachievable with any other type of transmission. This all adds up to faster trips in higher gears which help reduce fuel consumption.
For braking and down hill retardation, the South Africa trucks feature Interbrake – a Cummins engine compression brake – and dry drum brakes on all six wheels. Highly efficient and simple to maintain, these brakes enhance fuel efficiency eliminating any drag when they are not engaged.
And although the 6900XD is built for rugged work, the cab is also designed for maximum comfort. Featuring an air-ride cab, premium insulation package, adjustable air-ride seats with active air lumbar, and an expansive dash, the 6900XD offers the best in operator amenities – ultimately increasing productivity during the long hours in the pit.
“The partnership between Western Star and Liebherr is successful due to the commitment of both companies,” said Prince. “From engineering to maintenance, we have developed the best solutions for our mining customers.”
Western Star Trucks Sales, Inc., headquartered in Redford, Mich., produces heavy-duty custom trucks for long-haul and vocational applications. Western Star is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets Class 3-8 vehicles and is a Daimler company, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.