Western Star’s Multi-Body Transformer concept is designed to make swapping truck bodies as easy as 1-2-3: drop one body, add another, and send the same truck back to work as a different vehicle. That’s the theory.
And in reality, as demonstrated recently at Michelin’s Laurens (SC) Proving Grounds, transforming this 6900XD Offroad MBT-40 from a tanker to a dump truck is just about that easy:
- After taking a minute or two to disconnect the tanker’s hydraulics, the Palfinger G68 hooklift with a lifting capacity of 68,000lbs hoists the loaded tanker body. With the transmission in neutral, the action of lowering the tank, and the tank’s weight, edge the truck forward until the tank is securely on the ground.
- Attaching the dump body is just a matter of backing skills, and aligning the body’s hook with the lifting arm. The versatile hydraulics system allows body makers to tailor their connections for the MBT platform.
- Once at the job site, templates for the body controls give the vehicle operator the correct commands at his fingertips for each application.
For more photos, including close-up shots of the hydraulics and test track snaps of the MBT-40 getting down and dirty (in both bodies), visit the American Trucker gallery.