GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. – June 27, 2016 – Jon Osburn calls his bright blue 2016 Western Star 5700XE the “Cookie Monster,” but its appetite is considerably less than that of the voracious puppet.
“I’m consistently getting 7.7 to 8.2 mpg,” said Osburn, who crisscrosses the country hauling the “Spirit of the American Trucker” trailer for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). “The fuel economy has been amazing.”
Osburn has been driving the trailer to truck stops, dealerships and trucking events since 2012. It’s a mobile display and information center to promote truck driving and provide information about OOIDA.
A Western Star truck has been hauling the red, white and blue “Spirit” trailer since 2014, when the manufacturer donated the use of a new Western Star 4900EX, a truck Osburn dubbed “Miss Eleanor.” He returned that truck and got the keys to a new, donated 5700XE at last July’s Walcott Truckers Jamboree in Walcott, Iowa.
“I love this truck,” he said. “She’s light and nimble. It drives like a car. I can park the truck in places you wouldn’t believe. It’s beautiful.”
Osburn has put about 25,000 miles on the 5700XE since last summer. It has the integrated Detroit™ Powertrain, comprising a Detroit DD15® engine, Detroit DT12® automated manual transmission and Detroit tandem axles.
A professional driver for 28 years, Osburn said he appreciates the smoothness and lack of lag in the automated manual transmission. “You can tell the components were engineered to work together. It just works well,” he said.
People are drawn to the “Spirit” trailer wherever it’s parked, but Osburn said truckers also want to investigate the 5700XE, Western Star’s most aerodynamic truck.
“They get in the cab, check out the sleeper, look at the engine and they’re always surprised to find out how light it is (18,350 lbs). I tell them, ‘This puppy will move’,” Osburn said.
One place the truck has yet to visit is the travel plaza named for its driver. The TA® Travel Center at Exit 54 of I-84 in Idaho is now officially the J.D. “Doc” Osburn Travel Center. TravelCenters of America in April named him one of its 2016 Citizen Drivers, an award for outstanding professional drivers. As part of the prize package, Osburn got to pick a TA Travel Center to be renamed after himself and he chose one in his hometown of Boise.
Osburn said he’s not sure when he’ll get there, but he is more definite in his feelings about the 5700XE: “I would buy this truck tomorrow if I needed to buy a truck,” he said.