The Allison 4700 Rugged Duty Series (RDS) series automatic transmission is now available as an option for the Western Star 4700 model; a transmission designed for rugged off-road and vocational applications such as construction, dump and oil field operations.

“When paired with the Allison 4700 RDS, the Western Star 4700 is a cost-efficient yet powerful solution for the most demanding of jobs,” said Peter Schimunek, marketing segment manager for Western Star. “This new offering further broadens our ability to provide a wider range of options for our vocational customers.”

One feature of the 4700 RDS transmission highlighted by Allison is its “second reverse” gear, designed as a “deep reverse” mode in addition to the standard reverse to provide greater control and engine braking during operation on steep grades.

Western Star noted that its 4700 model can now be equipped with several other Allison automatics, such as the 3000, 4000, and 4500 RDS models, as well as several engine options, including the Detroit DD13, Cummins ISC or Cummins ISL engines.

Allison also recently participated in the “Serious Trucks” driver challenge organized by Western Star at the World of Concrete (WOC) show in Las Vegas, as more than 180 competitors with commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) participated on a closed course designed to gauge their skills and the performance of their vehicles on two Western Star 4700 series trucks, one equipped with an Allison 4500 RDS, the other with a 10-speed automated manual transmission.

“We appreciate Allison helping us organize the challenge,” Western Star’s Schimunek noted. “It’s a fun experience, and of course it’s also a great opportunity to give customers – and potential customers – an up-close look at our trucks.”

[To view more photos of the "Serious Trucks" challenge event, please click here.]

Those who accepted the “Serious Truck” challenge navigated a course featuring a parallel park exercise, serpentine and blind side backing, straight backing coupled with a slight incline, and backing up a 15% grade, being evaluated on a point system with 50 as a perfect score.

Drivers started with 50 points and received deductions for knocking over pylons positioned around the course, unnecessary changes in direction, and how far they stopped from a ‘finish line’ they sought to hit precisely while backing up, noted Lou Gilbert, Allison’s director of North American marketing, adding that only one driver – at the wheel of an Allison-equipped truck – managed a perfect score of 50.

“The ‘Serious Truck’ challenge showed how we deliver long-term value and the immediate satisfaction of superior performance,” he said.  “We appreciate Western Star allowing us to participate.”