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ProStar® puts in the hard yards with Willaton Transport

Although orders are now being taken for the INTERNATIONAL® ProStar® at IVECO Dealerships around the country, there has been no let-up in the model’s ongoing testing regime, with one ProStar® having just completed a six month / 110,000 kilometre stint with Willaton Transport Group.

The prime mover was integrated into Willaton’s 70-strong fleet and assigned to 34-pallet B-Double work, operating from the company’s Morwell, Victoria, depot to Sydney return, via the Monaro Highway, a notoriously demanding stretch of road.

INTERNATIONAL® Engineering Manager, Adrian Wright, said the engineering team had sought to find a difficult route for the truck, to really test the vehicle’s capabilities.

“The trip north from Morwell to Sydney along the Monaro takes in a lot of undulating terrain, the trucks really have to work hard for a lot of the journey,” Adrian said.

“Data loggers were fitted to the ProStar® and periodically checked, providing us with a very accurate and thorough overall evaluation of the truck’s performance. Driver feedback from Willaton’s Transport was also recorded.

“The testing and feedback was extremely positive and prospective buyers of the ProStar® should know that all of our extensive pre-launch and ongoing local testing is confirming that the model will perform well in the most demanding of applications.”

Willaton Transport Director and Operations Manager, Bernie Willaton, said he was impressed with the ProStar’s performance.

“When you have a truck that can integrate into the broader fleet and you don’t hear about it for the whole evaluation period, you know it’s doing really well,” Bernie said.

“Ninety per cent of the time it was working as a B-Double, hauling a range of general freight at about 64 tonnes, it did what it had to do with no fuss – that’s what you want from a truck.”

According to Bernie, the truck was extremely well finished and totally reliable even to the smallest detail.

“There was not one rattle or squeak in the ProStar® and I couldn’t believe how good the electrics were – after six months not one cabin light, head light or instrument cluster light had gone.”

Running the familiar Cummins 550hp engine and Eaton Roadranger combination – an industry standard in many applications – Bernie was aware of the bulletproof nature of this specification, but what did surprise him was the ProStar’s remarkable fuel efficiency.

“The telematics data was indicating an average fuel performance of 1.9 litres per kilometre and we run our trucks at the 100 kilometres per hour speed limit, not under,” he said.

“I was very impressed with how little fuel it used, there’s a lot to be said about the ProStar’s aerodynamics.”

Bernie said he thought the ProStar® would gain good acceptance in the market.

“I can definitely see applications where the ProStar® would be a great fit – it’s a good, honest truck that will get the job done,” he said.

“My driver would have kept it.”

On this occasion, that was not an option for this particular truck as it’s slated to return to the engineering workshop to become the test bed for future driveline enhancements. It will be back on the highway before long though as part of INTERNATIONAL’s on-going test and development program.