ATLANTA. A wide-ranging “talk show” format press conference held by Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) at the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) show highlighted numerous product additions, upgrades and tweaks by the OEM.
Freightliner Trucks is now adding new mid-roof cab configurations to its Cascadia Class 8 tractor aimed at regional overnight haulers and segments such as bulk haul and flat beds. Those configurations include 48-, 60- and 72-in. mid-roof XT sleeper cabs in both 116- and 126-inch bumper-to-back-of-cab (BBC) platforms.
A “Driver Loft” option is available in the 72-in. mid-roof XT configuration, which also features a two-seat dinette/work table and opposing seating that can be folded flat to allow for a full “Murphy-style” bed to swing down in less than 15 seconds.
All three configurations offer two levels of aerodynamic packages, the Aero or AeroX, as well, and customers can place orders for the new sleepers for delivery in January of 2018.
Freightliner is also offering some new options for its severe-duty vocational truck models as well, which include:
- Availability of the Allison 4700 RDS automatic transmission for the Freightliner 114SD and 122SD models
- LifeGuard RollTek seats as an option, which come with side-impact airbags inflate, automatic seat belt tightening, and air-suspension compression to bring the seat the lowest position to provide additional protection to the driver.
- New standoff brackets and optimized routing and clipping of chassis electrical and plumbing harnesses to provide a cleaner installation and greater long-term durability.
- Freightliner M2 106 and M2 112 trucks can now be spec’d with modular LED headlights to improve night visibility and reduce maintenance costs.
- The Bendix Tire Pressure Monitoring System is now an option for Freightliner’s entire vocational product line
- A new Freightliner 122SD auto hauler package, made possible in collaboration with Fontaine Modification, Inc., which lowers the “laden roof” height to approximately 100-in. for applications that require a sleeper berth.
Freightliner added that Cascadia tractors spec’d with a Detroit engine can soon tap into full over-the-air functionality of Detroit Connect Remote Updates, including the ability to remotely and securely program select engine parameters as well as accept Detroit-initiated firmware updates.
Available in October, the parameter programming capability gives customers the flexibility to build their own parameter profiles using the Detroit Connect portal, which they can use to update one truck, a set of trucks, or their whole fleet at once, the OEM said.
Freightliner is going to offer a Hendrickson OPTIMAAX 6x2 liftable forward tandem axle exclusive to its Cascadia tractor starting in October, which is designed to help truckers improve fuel economy with “diminishing loads,” like bulk haulers and delivery vehicles that may have empty back hauls after carrying items such as groceries, livestock, beverages and fuel.
DTNA’s Western Star division is offering some new options on its line of trucks, including:
- Michelin X Multi D tires as a factory-installed option on Western Star 4700, 4800, 4900 and 5700XE models, ideally suited for regional applications such as dry van LTL, food & beverage, pick up & delivery, tankers, energy, and construction.
- New factory-direct H4 halogen headlight bulbs as an on Western Star 4700 models
- An expanded-capacity of its in-cab battery box to hold up to four batteries, available for Western Star 5700XE day cab models, with the batteries located under the passenger seat instead of the side of the chassis.
- New factory-installed LED headlights for Western Star 4800 and 4900 models
On the school bus side of the house, DTNA’s Thomas Built Buses subsidiary is soon going to be able to equip its Saf-T-Liner C2 school buses with the new Detroit DD5 medium-duty engine. The Detroit DD5 and its bigger brother, the Detroit DD8, will be available for order in 2018 from any Thomas Built Buses dealer, the OEM noted.
DTNA’s Detroit division is also rolling out a new offering: its Detroit Connect Analytics safety reporting feature will be included at no charge for five years with the purchase of the Detroit Assurance suite of safety systems on the new Freightliner Cascadia.
That safety reporting feature will be available beginning in October this year and will also be offered retroactively at no charge for all new Cascadia tractors spec’d with Detroit Assurance built before October, the company said.
The OEM is also introducing Express WriteUp, a new mobile application that allows service advisors to wirelessly create a complete repair order and then instantly load all warranty coverage, repair history and Detroit Connect Virtual Technicians details.
Finally, the company announced that it has tripled online parts orders through its e-commerce platform, Pinnacle Truck Parts, which streamlines the parts ordering process by providing online, real-time competitive pricing and parts availability for over 650,000 store keeping units (SKUs) from dealer and parts distribution center inventories.