Giti Tyres Big Test: A Cummins Comeback
Variety is the spice, as they say....but for kiwi western Star buyers, for a couple of years, there just wasn't any of it.
Well not, at least, when it came to engine choice. In the style of Henry Ford's "you can have it in any color you want...as long as it's black" approach with the Model T, the classic North American owner/driver brand offered any engine you wanted - as long as it was a Detroit.
Now, that's changed - with the addition of the Cummins X15 engine, rated up to 620-horsepower, as an alternative to the DD15 for Western Star 4800 and 4900 models.
It is, Western Star importer Penske Commercial Vehicles believes, just what the make needs for its trucks to again find favour in the new Zealand logging sector.
There has been, says Penske's national sales manager - trucks, Dean Hoverd, "a lot of interest around a Cummins e5 Western Star logger."
There are, he adds, "lots of operators that, for many and varied reasons, like the option of a Cummins engine.
"It may be they have a long history with the product and it's performed reliably, been well supported and it fits in with the rest of their fleet."
Pirelli Trevor Test
As I climb up into the Western Star's cab, my first experience with the truck is less than favourable. Many readers will know I'm not as athletic as I used to be, but this cab entry is a real challenge for anybody.
The door doesn't open to anywhere near 90 degrees, the steps bring you up under the door, the spacing between the steps is far from ideal and I can't find a forward grabhandle other than one on the upper door pillar....and you can't reach that until you get onto the top step.
Owner Robert Kingi later points out that there IS a small forward grabhandle almost hidden from view...so I was making things harder for myself than I needed to. And writer Mike Stock discovers by accident - by slipping back against it - that the door does open wider. That would have helped too.