Back Packs: Not Just for Hiking Anymore
Add-on for Western Star Trucks.
Sometimes you need more space to put your stuff when you’re on the road. Every Boy and Girl Scout learns how important it is to “be prepared,” and, as adults, the same principle applies to heavy duty truck drivers. For this reason Western Star is now offering the IronFeather™ over-the-road version of the trusty, trail-worthy back pack.
Unlike the traditional back pack, however, these storage compartments are designed to fit on the backs of Western Star cabs. These clever extensions, which are accessible through a cutaway opening in the rear of the cab, are available on all models, including those with Cummins ISX and big bore Detroit DD16 engines.
Tough as iron, light as a feather
Western Star partnered with North Side Industries (NSI) out of Kelowna, BC (Western Star’s home town) to build a series of extremely light weight storage units, known as Iron Feather to complement the company’s Iron Feather Crew Cab option. Back pack extensions are available in 12”, 24” and 36” configurations and are fully customizable. Even the interiors can be custom-fabricated.
Designed to hold lighter loads in the rear-of-cab position, the boxes can also be mounted on the rear chassis to hold heavy loads. The back packs have racks for mounting accessories or for adding shelves or cabinets. The 36” version can be outfitted as a rest cab sleeper, as a 3-person bench seat with certified seat belt mounts, or as a work table.
Leave it to Western Star to come up with an ingenious storage solution
John Tomlinson, the company’s XD and vocational sales manager, says arriving at this solution was “pretty easy” for Western Star. “We have an open-back cab,” he notes, “so all of our sleepers use a socket. We worked with NSI to develop this Back Pack system that uses our socket mounting. It snaps on right at the factory; we get CARCO to do the install.”
Where did they get the idea for the back packs? From customers. Tomlinson says the company was getting reports of vocational truck owners DIY’ing their own storage compartments to hold tools, extra clothing, paperwork, etc. – with less-than-ideal results.
Meanwhile Tomlinson himself had a chance to check out a utility truck working in his neighborhood that had a crew cab. What struck him most was that the crew wasn’t using that extra space to haul more people, but to store stuff that didn’t fit anywhere else in the cab. Western Star had invested in its new IronFeather Crew Cab models, but were customers really look for more storage instead? Turns out they were.
The company plans to continue innovating creative new solutions, something that has always been a hallmark of the Western Star brand.