Diesel Magazine’s editor Steve Brooks inspected the first unit in Australia, which has joined the diverse Cleary Bros operation on the NSW south coast.
Denis Cleary, the last remaining original founding brother, pushed to have the new Western Star 4700 model in the fleet because of the performance and reliability of the Stars already in the Cleary Bros fleet.
“We needed a new agitator and I’d heard this new model was coming, so we asked the question and ended up with one of the first brought into the country,” Denis explained.
In fact, such is the confidence in the brand that an eight-wheeler version has also been ordered.
From the maintenance perspective, CB maintenance manager Les Lipinski likes what he sees in the 4700 with its bumper to back-of-cab dimension of 110 inches (2795 mm).
“There’s plenty of space around the engine and transmission so service won’t be an issue. The undercarriage and running gear all look strong,” he said.
“You don’t have to look too close to see it’s a stronger truck than a Metro-Liner.”
Reports suggested a bare bones cab/chassis tare weight of 6990 kg however Les said the 4700 in full agitator form is heavier than an equivalently specified Metro-Liner, with the Star weighing 9700 kg with 150 litres of fuel and approximately 80 litres of AdBlue on board, compared to a similarly equipped Metro-Liner scaling in around 9300 kg.
An inspection of the new Western Star model shows it includes a dual steering gear system and an engine – rather than chassis – mounted radiator.
The performance of this 8.9 litre Cummins ISLe5 engine coupled to a six-speed Allison auto is reportedly extremely responsive.
The 4700 Western Star is targeted squarely at the conventional competitors such as Mack, Kenworth and corporate stablemate Freightliner for a healthy slice of the concrete agitator business or almost any application suiting a 6×4 or 8×4 rigid conventional.
Company director Brett Cleary maintains the Stars have a good track record for reliability.
“Other than normal service, they’re a truck we just don’t see in the workshop,” he asserts.
“For agitator work, I really can’t see any reason why this truck won’t be just as good as any of the Stars we already run. No reason at all.”