Western Star Trucks designs, manufactures, and distributes heavy-duty custom trucks for long haul and vocational applications. Western Star is known for its high quality and distinctive line of premium trucks.
The company was founded on the belief that the driver is the most valuable asset in trucking – whether it's a mining truck operator in West Virginia or an over-the-road owner-operator in British Columbia. Always keeping the driver in mind, the company has introduced many products and innovations to the marketplace, including a series of unique sleeper options, the sleek LowMax profile, and a powerful extreme-duty vehicle, all the while continuing to enhance existing products.
Tracing its roots back to 1967, Western Star Trucks began with engineering and operations located at company headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio and production in Canada. To meet its customers’ growing demands for mining, logging, and oil field heavy-duty trucks, the small Western Star plant would eventually become 250,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 50,000 square feet of just-in-time warehousing. During the company’s growth in the coming years, improvements were made in efficiency and engineering as it manufactured custom-built Class 8 trucks for vocational applications.
Throughout the 1980s, Western Star Trucks continued to grow its product line and market share, all the while evolving its manufacturing process and its reputation for durable and reliable custom trucks. One of the first major product development initiatives undertaken by the fledgling company was increasing headroom in the cab and improving driver visibility, which set Western Star trucks apart from other models in the industry. Additionally, a state-of-the-art wrap-around dash catered an individualistic look to a new customer: the highway tractor driver.
Western Star’s position as a premium highway tractor in the owner-operator custom truck market continued with the introduction of the Supertilt hood on 1986 model year trucks. This innovation revamped the product line and introduced one of the earliest versions of the sloped hood to the ultra-conservative heavy truck industry. These traditional lines are maintained even today. A year later, Western Star launched the Cornerstone chassis: a new platform that reduced cost, weight and complexity.
By 1990, the extreme duty 6900 XD model was in production for the most rugged applications. In 1992, Western Star won significant contracts with the Canadian military, PT Freeport mining in Indonesia, and highway maintenance trucks for the province of British Columbia.
Western Star developed and launched the Constellation cab and sleeper in 1996. The cab featured a large size and superior comfort to the owner-operator market and maintained Western Star’s tradition of welded steel cab construction. In 1998, the Star Light Sleeper was introduced with a revolutionary new design and an ultra-lightweight polypropylene honeycomb core, sandwiched between two sheets of high-grade aluminum. This was a major weight reduction achievement for Western Star and the industry.
In 2002, Western Star moved production to Portland, Oregon. The new plant offered distinct advantages for Western Star from both a production and engineering standpoint, including the plant employees’ significant experience in building a wide range of custom trucks and the close proximity to state-of-the-art development and testing facilities. That same year, Western Star introduced the LowMax package. Available on several models, the LowMax features a sleek lower-profile stance and lots of custom stainless steel accessories.