Truck Product Conference 2019

Western Star highlights new switches, electrical systems

Dec. 10, 2019
NTEA Truck Product Conference 2019 coverage

Western Star’s John Tomlinson provided his company’s fall update during the 2019 Truck Product Conference. 

The manufacturer said common enhancements for its vehicles include improved in-cab, back-wall connections; remote start/stop prewiring; separate air and electrical frame brackets; new switch options; remote throttle control; new gauges with ICU4 message center; new door panels with grab handle and third-party telematics pre-wiring.

Remote throttle control, available in several locations for flexibility, allows a body builder to increase or decrease the standard RPMs.

The company also recently added a new section, 3.2 1A, to its body builder book. Visit for more information.

Western Star now offers custom switch ordering designed to help eliminate extra switch slots. A new 10-switch bank and customer ordering process provide a clean dash panel and opens space for truck equipment manufacturers (TEMs) customization, the company said. High amperage switches are available, and up to six three-way switches. 

Switch codes changed for 4700 and 5700 models. With the new system, there will be no extra switch covers unless they are ordered using the 329 sales code. Each additional switch can be individually spec’d with face and type. Western Star also boasts many new custom switch and switch face options.

An in-dash body power distribution module (PDM) features additional switches and power for TEMs, up to 40 relays and 42 fuse positions (up from 14 and 28, respectively) and high 325 amp power capacity (up from 150). Western Star says benefits include added capacity and reliability for body builders, clear space between seats, separate switch and relay power for the body, and in-dash location for better protection and access.

With the manufacturer’s new customer interface connections (CIC), electrical connections to each PDM are routed to standardized connectors behind the driver’s seat. Advantages include convenient install location, standardized interface, connector-based, reduced upfit time, and optional blunt cut-wire ordering.

A new front wall-mounted power and ground stud provides added interface points throughout the vehicle for ground interfacing, making for an easier upfit for body builders, Western Star said.

The separate air and electrical routing and clipping brackets provide cleaner rail routings, helping minimize chaffing of hoses and harness against the rail flange.

Under the hood, new Western Star trucks boast the Cummins X12 12-liter engine and Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission. The X12 is 600 pounds lighter, increasing payload capacity, and physically smaller than the ISX12. Power ranges from 350 to 550 horsepower and 1,250 to 1,700 pound-feet of torque. The DT12 transmission features high-speed, computer-controlled shift and clutch actuators that automatically select the best gear and shift pattern through precise clutch engagement for fuel economy and driving conditions. 

The optional DT12 rear-mounted power take-off (PTO) is intended for the bulk haul tractor/trailer market and is for stationary operation only. A prep kit for future installation is available. 

Safety systems include WABCO OnGuard Active Collision Mitigation and Bendix 5G Lane Departure Warning and Video Recording.