BTS 19: Penske Parade

By: Steve Brooks, Photography by: Steve Brooks and Nathan Duff

The return of Penske to BTS felt like the final piece of the puzzle

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Given the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds on Penske’s MAN and Western Star stand, surely there must have been moments when some insiders wondered why on earth the company chose to miss the 2017 show.

Whatever, 2019 was a huge success for both brands as visitors crammed onto the Penske stand.

Indeed, such was the attraction of Star’s new 5800FE model and a classic 6900 big banger set to start roadtrain work with well-known Queensland operator Neil Mansell, it left you wondering why Western Star sales are so low.

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Then again, maybe things are on the move.

The Detroit-powered 5800FE, for instance, is a smart spec obviously aimed at cracking better numbers in the B-double business while the 6900 with a 600hp Cummins is perhaps the only conventional to give Kenworth’s T909 a run for its money in the truly tough end of the roadtrain world.

Read about Western Star's double delight at BTS, here

Meanwhile, MAN’s attraction was obvious, headed by the flagship 640hp TGX 26.640 ‘Performance Line’ model with a roomy XXL (not to be confused with Volvo’s latest shed) cab.

The German brand has been a reasonably good performer for Penske over the past few years and judging by the strong interest in Brisbane, MAN’s future in Australia is perhaps more certain than any time in its modern history.

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