If you have been a regular visitor of Daily Diesel Dose you know by now that snow plows are a constant part of the site during the colder months of the year…..and pretty much any other time. With all the attention they gather on this site (and Flickr account) maybe you have noticed the developing trend of Western Stars becoming the new truck of choice for plowing. Based purely on anecdotal evidence I am ready to proclaim Western Star trucks as the official plow of various villages, towns and cities throughout the Upstate New York region. I wouldn’t be surprised if this a trend taking place across the snow belt of the United States. As you know, I swing by my local heavy truck dealers (Mack/Volvo, Freightliner, Western Star, Kenworth, International) on a regular basis to see what new rigs are on the lot. Out of this esteemed group, the local Western Star dealer, Tracey Road Equipment, never fails to have a new Star Car waiting for upfit or customer delivery. Regardless of the season this appears to be the case. No other brand comes close. For example, this nice looking 4700SF for the Town of Mexico that appears to be nearing completion.
Also on site, but not pictured, were two twin 4700s wearing a shade of red for the Village of Minoa, NY. I know that three trucks do not make a convincing argument so here is a comprehensive list from the past year of new Western Stars that most likely replaced a truck from one of the manufacturers previously mentioned.
- Onondaga County 6×6 – 4800
- Town of Pompey 6×6 – 4800
- Unknown – 4800SF
- NYS Thruway Authority – 4700SF (Over 20 units)
- Town of Cazenovia – 4800SF
- Unknown – 4700SF
- Town of Harford – 4700SF
- Town of Cuyler – 4700SF
And many more! I only swing by dealers on the weekends a few times each month. Plenty of trucks come and go that I never know about. Keeping in mind that each of these plows will be expected to last at least ten years the decade of Western Star is well under way. Looking back I would classify the previous generation (2002-2012) as a mix between Sterlings, Internationals and Volvos. The generation before that (1992-2002) was solidly International we more S-Series and 2574’s models on the road than you could shake a stick at. Going back even further a deep run was made with Autocar/Volvo ACL units as the truck of choice for departments east and west, north and south.
*Please note the above was authored by someone sitting in an armchair with no direct connection to anyone in the position of knowledge or experience relating to the purchase of snow plows or other snow related equipment.*
I would agree Western Stars are becoming more popular for plow trucks. While I am not a fan of the look of the 4700 (mainly due to Western Star’s departure from the classic round fenders, to those ugly, squarish, cardboard cut outs they stuck over the front wheels), I do love the rugged good looks and quality workmanship that goes into them. You have posted some beautiful 4800 and 4900 plows over the past few years, that would clearly be the pride of any government fleet. Hopefully, we will see more of them and less of the 4700’s in the future.