The International ProStar is a working class truck. Its arrival in Australia and marks yet another return to the Australian truck market for the iconic brand. This time around the International brand is based back at its historic home in Dandenong in Victoria. Diesel News, went along there to try out the brand’s latest offerings.
It has been a long time coming, but the International ProStar is now on the street in Australia. As the pioneer of the return of International brand to the trucking market, the ProStar model keeps it simple, with only a few specification variations and a no-nonsense set-up.
In many ways, the new ProStar embodies a lot of the traditional virtues associated with the International brand over its many decades of history in Australia. The ‘Inter’ has always been a truck that is designed to do the job without any issues and often without much sophistication.
Trucks like the Acco and the S line became models that were successful because they did the job in a simple way and kept on doing it consistently. This was at the heart of what the Aussie truck buyer liked about International.
It would be harsh to say the ProStar lacks sophistication. It does have state-of-the-art electrical infrastructure and is powered by the Cummins X15 which certainly doesn’t lack in that department. The bonnet and cabin design are also well designed to provide good aerodynamic performance, a major pillar behind the model’s success in the US truck market.
When Iveco signed up to reintroduce the International brand here it was a matter of harking back to the historic association between the brands, but also looking for a practical and pragmatic truck to fulfil a need in the Australian truck market. A 6×4 truck with a Cummins engine, Eaton transmission, well-known driveline and a robust chassis will always find a home here. This is the kind of truck the Australian truck industry grew up on.
For the purposes of this test drive, Diesel took a ProStar tipper and quad dog out for a trip around Melbourne and out into Gippsland to get a feel for an Inter in its natural environment. There was enough city, highway and hilly driving to get a real idea of where this new model is at.
The ProStar is not a dumbed down truck but it does come with a pretty slim options list. There is only one engine. Luckily, that one option is the Cummins X15, normally rated at 550hp (410kW) and pumping out 2508Nm (1850 ft lb) of torque, but it can be optioned up to 600hp and down to 485 and 525hp.
In the gearbox stakes it’s a very similar situation, Eaton or Eaton. That’s the classic 18 speed Roadranger or its automated manual brother, the Ultrashift Plus. What would a North American driveline be without an 18 speed Eaton in one form or another?
Meritor axles front and back join with a Dana driveshaft and Hendrickson Primaax air suspension to give the model a consistent feel beneath the bonnet and under the chassis. This is a familiar layout to anyone who has looked up from the pit in an Australian truck workshop.
On the outside this truck is not quite so familiar, even though this basic cab design was used on the limited number of Cat trucks, which came into the country for the relatively short lifespan of the that particular truck brand.
The truck on test is the day cab. Ideal for this kind of tipper application. There is an extended cabin available which takes the BBC out to 3510mm, as opposed to the 2850mm (112 inch) tested here. There is also a larger full sleeper option waiting in the wings with a 3585 bumper-to-back-of-cab (BBC) and a higher roof line. There are some here already with more on their way later this year.