Our test vehicle is one of six new Western Star FXC prime movers destined for Penske Truck Rental, a venture between Brisbane-based Penske Commercial Vehicles and US sister company, Penske Truck Leasing, that kicked off in August.
As a result, the test drive has more than one purpose. Next to providing an opportunity for Prime Mover to experience the Pacific Highway from behind the wheel of a brand new FXC, the main reason is the delivery of a brand-new Vawdrey trailer set from Melbourne to Brisbane.
Such is the efficiency of the Penske Group that the trailers are loaded with components from Western Star’s Melbourne-based suppliers instead of the old concrete ballast that is usually used for test drives.
The assorted diff, transmission and brake components on board bring the weight up to around 52 tonnes, which is light work for the Detroit DD15, which produces 560hp at 1800 rpm and 1850 lb-ft (2510Nm) of torque at 1100 rpm. The impressive torque band only starts to drop away above 1,500 and is still pumping 1635 lb-ft (2217Nm) at around 1800 rpm.
Since the Penske Group recently acquired MTU Detroit Diesel’s Australian operations, it is no surprise that the engines in the leasing fleet are from the same family, but Cummins ISX and Signature engines are also available in this model, in varying specification and outputs.
Read the full feature in the latest edition of Prime Mover – out now!