X-Series wins Truck of the Year Australasia 2024

X-Series wins Truck of the Year Australasia 2024

The new Western Star X-Series is the 2024 Truck of the Year Australasia! It has emerged victorious after edging out competition from Scania and Volvo.

I know what you’re thinking: why am I writing about a competition in Australasia? Well, when it was launched last year, I was invited to judge this extremely prestigious contest. I accepted immediately for two reasons: I think it’s very interesting for South African transport operators because some of the trucks are sold here too. Secondly – and dare I say, equally importantly – my fellow judges are just such nice chaps. These fine chaps are PowerTorque editor Tim Giles (from Australia) and New Zealand Trucking Media editorial director Dave McCoid, who came up with the idea of the competition and, for some strange reason, invited me to join them. I was honoured!

The three of us were joined on the judging panel by long-time Australian trucking industry stalwart, Bob Woodward (who recently retired as the Australian Trucking Association’s chief engineer) and Randolph Covich, publisher of Deals on Wheels in New Zealand.

As I mentioned at the outset, the Western Star had some exceptionally tough competition from Scania and Volvo – in the form of the Super Series and FH Electric respectively. South Africans know the Volvo well; it was launched here almost a year ago. The Scania, meanwhile, may arrive in South Africa late in 2025 or early in 2026.

The Scania Super is a brilliant truck that proves the potential for the internal combustion engine. It does everything exceptionally well and prospective fuel savings are hugely appealing, which resonates with each and every transport operator.

Then there is the Volvo. The company has done an astounding job of bringing e-mobility to truckers around the world. The FH is sublime – in that a driver can just hop into it, drive the truck, and save the planet at the same time (yes, I know that’s a slight exaggeration).

As Giles notes: “When it comes to pure engineering, the way Scania took what was an excellent and frugal driveline and redesigned all of the components – taking them to another level – is very impressive. Volvo needed an electric alternative in the prime mover department and came up with a solution which turned a good-to-drive, well-designed truck into a good-to-drive, well-designed truck that also achieves zero emissions.”

But then there was the X-Series. With its powerful driveline, better-than-ever safety features, and comfortable and ergonomic cab, we all knew that the
X-Series had to be in with a shot: it’s a huge leap forward for the brand.

McCoid points out that the X-Series was able to tap into the Daimler Truck North America platform. “This catapulted the X-Series to the pointy end of the market. The truck not only increases choice in the marketplace for those whose customers have stringent safety requirements, but also raises the industry sector bar for the average level of capability. It also extends the challenge to competitors whose premium bonneted products might not match the X-Series in some core capabilities,” he explains.

“Finally, there’s also that component in it that I love: the acknowledgement of lineage – who they are, being proud and honouring it, and knowing there’s still an active market,” he adds. “Yes, I’m talking gauges, gear levers, and grain on the dash. The sun is most definitely setting on that era in the industry… but not just yet, if that’s what you want in your big, new, shiny Star.”

What a pity that it won’t come here!

Published by

Charleen Clarke

CHARLEEN CLARKE is editorial director of FOCUS. While she is based in Johannesburg, she spends a considerable amount of time overseas, attending international transport events – largely in her capacity as associate member of the International Truck of the Year Jury.
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