The severe duty trucks are a breed of their own. These trucks are built to endure the most arduous working conditions and to get the toughest jobs done without whining. To be able to perform at this level, the vehicles need a strongest chassis, capable suspensions and powerful and reliable engines.
The International Workstar is part of this family and it was designed as a versatile line of severe work trucks, from medium duty to heavy duty applications (class 7 and 8). The truck is available with multiple chassis and suspensions configurations in which make it suited for a wide range of applications including construction, refuse or municipal activities. The International WorkStar is available in five versions namely the 7300, 7400, 7500, 7600 and 7700. All versions use the same platform, but they have different engine outputs, axles and suspension setups.
As most trucks in the segment, the International Workstar features a rugged and imposing apearance. Its robust shape however, is combined with fluid aerodynamic lines which give it a dose of dynamism.
At the front of the long bonnet sits an imposing radiator grille which received a tasty chromed treatment to make it stand out from the crowd. The grill was also built to be highly functional, hence it can be easy removed to offer access to key service points. For an enhanced functionality, the hood tilts open providing convenient access to the engine and other technical parts.
For enhanced rust protection the bumper, mirror housings and mirror C loops feature a standard powder coating, which help them last longer. The front frame features an integrated bolt pin for heavy duty towing, and can also be extended with 20 or 25 inch for extra versatility.
Our favorite exterior details are the petal shaped light clusters which come with chrome surroundings and are fitted with round headlights.
The aerodynamic hood is made of a composite material which is lighter and more resistant than the conventional fiber glass hoods. The huge windshield is also aerodynamically shaped and was design to cut the air with ease in order to keep the drag coefficient to a relatively low level.
For those who want to make their truck sparkle even more, the company offers a Platinum package which adds even more chromed elements to the exterior.
Access inside is made pretty easy and except for the relatively limited door opening, we don’t have any complains about the steps and grab handles location. As with most of the materials in this segment, the WorkStar is also fitted rudimentary plastics that were chose especially for their rock-hard nature which makes them more durable in severe duty conditions. The cabin has also ample shoulder, head and belly room with a 56.8 inch height, 54.1 lenght and 70.6 inch width. The space is also enhanced by the fact that the dashboard comes without the typical wraparound design which can be usually seen in this segment.
The instrument cluster is fitted with big, easy to read gauges and also a rectangular display which keeps the driver informed about different engine and vehicle stats.
The multifunctional steering wheel looks a bit dated judging by today’s standards, but it can be adjusted for both reach and rake. Combine that with the fully adjustable seats and a commanding view of the road and you’ll get a pretty comfortable driving position which is at par with its competitors. As it was expected, we don’t have any complains about the all-round visibility either, as thanks to the huge windshield, the generous door windows and the plate sized exterior mirrors you have a great view of the road.
To offer proper comfort, the cabin is also offered with numerous storage places. Among them there is a storage box mounted in the center of the dash, overhead consoles and door pockets. The door pockets however, are too small to be considered useful.
The International WorkStar is also equipped with the Diamond Logic electrical system that offers a series of programmable features that can be customized to the vehicle’s specific application. Moreover, the system allows for the option of automation of tasks and interlocks to protect the equipment from damage in case of an error.
Engines and transmissions
The International WorkStar is available with a long list of MaxxForce engines including the MaxxForce DT, MaxxForce 9, MaxxForce 10, MaxxForce 11, MaxxForce 13 units. The engines can be mated on various manual, automated or automatic gearboxes including Eaton-Fuller, UltraShift and Allison units.
The Maxxforce DT engine was designed to perform under the toughest conditions and it can be also entirely rebuilt in-frame. The DT is available with a maximum output of 300 hp and 860 lb. ft. of torque achieved form as low as 1300 rpm.
The MaxxFroce 9 unit features shares the same in-line six cylinders configuration with the DT engine, but boosts higher performances developing up to 330 hp and 950 lb-ft of torque.
With a host of new technologies and components like premium plateau-honed cylinder design, reinforced bearing-cap ladder and durable roller cam followers, the MaxxForce 10 engines offers 330 hp and a generous 1150 lb ft of torque, being able to deal with the toughest jobs without backing down.
The MaxxForce 11 units are built on a high-strength, lightweight CGI engine block, and comes with a smooth and quiet ride being able to develop up to 390 hp and 1450 lb ft of torque.
The strongest unit in the MaxForce lineup is the 13 model which comes with a maximum power of 500 hp and 1700 lb ft of torque, being able to deal with almost every task you’ll throw at it.
The engines are also available with an integrated Jacobs engine brake, programmable electronic engine parameters for increased fluid economy, a front-end PTO for plow and integral rear PTO for mixer and other applications.
The International WorkStar is available with both set-forward and set-back wide-track axle configurations which give it the needed versatility to be able to cope with a wide range of vocational applications.
Tanks to the standard, well isolated air suspension cab the ride is pretty comfortable while the noise and vibrations are kept outside the cabin. The steering is at par with its competitors and you’ll also like the 50 degree wheel cut, which offers a good maneuverability even in congested situations.
For an adequate stopping power, the WorkStar comes with standard air drum brakes with ABS, while for additional safety you can choose the optional Traction Control and Electronic Stability Program.
The International WorkStar has an attractive and modern design, a solid steel cab and a capable and versatile chassis. We also like the wide range of engines available which are able to deal even with the biggest payloads without any problems. The cabin has an uncluttered design and is among the most spacious units in the segment. But while the overall ergonomy is good, the build quality is a bit poor compared with other heavy duty trucks. The International WorkStar truck may not be the most reliable truck in its class, but is pretty easy and cheap to maintain and also has a competitive price tag.