• May 9, 2007
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It may not look like anything revolutionary to the untrained eye, but to hear DaimlerChrysler tell it, the all-new Freightliner Cascadia is very much a big deal. It's built on a new platform that readily accepts EPA '07-compliant engines and is ready to play home to powerplants built off DCX's Global Heavy Duty Engine Platform, the first of which are set to arrive later this year from Detroit Diesel. It also incorporates a new, common Electric/Electronic Architecture, and many features and systems were designed from the outset to be easily accessible, repairable, and/or replaceable to ensure that the rig's able to maximize its on-road time.

It's lighter than other competitors due in large part to its aluminum cab, and boasts a 3% increase in fuel efficiency over its predecessors thanks to a design that was perfected using Freightliner's wind tunnel, which is the only one designed for vehicles of this class. Driver and passenger are not ignored either. The cab features car-inspired ergonomics, an improved HVAC system, copious sound-deadening measures, larger seats that sit on their own shock absorbers tuned to the trucks suspension settings, improved lighting, and more. You can get additional details via the Cascadia website and DCX's press release, which is pasted after the jump.

[Source: DaimlerChrysler]

PRESS RELEASE:

Freightliner Trucks Introduces Ground-Breaking New On-Highway Truck
  • Freightliner Cascadia™ Optimized for Fuel Efficiency, Cab Comfort and Drivability
  • Andreas Renschler, DaimlerChrysler Board of Management Member responsible for the Truck Group: "First truck equipped with new global Heavy-Duty Engine Platform and common Electric/Electronic Architecture"

Stuttgart/Charlotte, N.C., May 03, 2007
Freightliner Trucks today launched the Cascadia™ – a revolutionary new Class 8 truck for on-highway applications. Built from an entirely new platform, the Cascadia delivers significant fuel savings and is designed based on the Run Smart™ philosophy to be the most productive, efficient, and drivable truck on the market. Plus, with its new styling, a quieter and more comfortable cab, ergonomic controls, and exceptional handling, the Cascadia was specifically constructed with driver comfort and improved operating ratios in mind.

Andreas Renschler, Member of the DaimlerChrysler Board of Management responsible for the Truck Group, said at the official presentation of the new truck in Charlotte, North Carolina: "With our five truck brands Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star, Mercedes-Benz and Mitsubishi Fuso ensuring our world-wide presence, we are able to leverage the global resources and expertise of the Truck Group for the benefit of each brand." Renschler continued: "The Cascadia profits in many ways from our global experience: It is the first truck that will be equipped with our new global Heavy-Duty Engine Platform as well as the new common Electric/ Electronic architecture. Freightliner's new flagship truck will be manufactured using our high level DaimlerChrysler production system."

The Cascadia was designed to easily accept EPA '07 emission engines. Its expandable electronic platform can easily accommodate the technology. Plus, the Cascadia was built to be paired with the all-new global Heavy-Duty Engine Platform, the first of which will debut later this year under the Detroit Diesel engine brand.

The Cascadia offers a 3 percent improvement in fuel economy over previous models. To achieve this, more than one million engineering hours, including 2,500 hours in Freightliner's state-of-the-art full scale wind tunnel, went into its development. It is the first truck built and engineered using Freightliner LLC's wind tunnel – the only testing facility in the world built specifically for Class 8 vehicles.

"Our customers are faced with the consequences of ever-tightening emissions standards, higher fuel prices, rapidly escalating wages and benefits, and a dire shortage of maintenance technicians," said Chris Patterson, president and CEO of Freightliner LLC. "Freightliner was built on solving our customers' most pressing concerns, and only Freightliner has the resources and the know-how to bring a completely new model to market at this difficult time for the trucking and truck-building industries."

Freightliner initiated an extensive study of its key customers' needs and issues to evaluate product improvements that could alleviate these stresses. Numerous fleet owners and owner-operators provided detailed feedback about everything from cost-saving features to comfort options and aesthetic attributes.

Thus the truck also was designed to maximize payload. The aluminum cab boasts a significant weight savings over steel, and the hood, bumper and quarter fenders are lighter than comparable models. All of these improvements enable operators to haul more freight.

Features such as improved diagnostics, an HVAC system designed to reduce repair frequency, and breakaway side extenders ensure that the Cascadia stays on the road and out of the shop. Other maintenance upgrades include an easy-to-replace roped-in windshield, extended life headlamp bulbs, and easy access to the engine and accessory components mounted to it.


When developing the Cascadia, Freightliner engineers studied the needs of drivers and how they operate their vehicles. This feedback was the basis for design features like a wider cab with automotive styling, ergonomic controls, and extensive lighting and storage space to make the cab more comfortable and livable. With all these features, the Cascadia will also boast a high resale value.

The Cascadia is available for order in mid-May, with trucks rolling off production lines in August 2007.


Freightliner Trucks is a division of Freightliner LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Freightliner LLC produces and markets Class 3-8 trucks and is a part of the DaimlerChrysler Truck Group, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      re: #10 10. "

      Truckers don't care all that much for fuel economy "

      You have to be kidding. I am an Own/op and have considerable concern over fuel costs. That is our biggest expenditure and we don't make more just because fuel costs more. I make less now then I had years ago and I don't see how you think an owner/operator would not consider fuel costs a concern. The trouble is that we can't afford a truck like this. By the time the present truck is worn out, there is no money in the bank to buy another. The cycle continues and very few own/ops can afford to buy another new one. We are business people as well and don't get wages along with the keys to a shiny new rig.
      • 7 Years Ago
      When it comes to looks though, Volvo still owns this.

      Nice improvements though.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "When it comes to looks though, Volvo still owns this."

      You're on crack, right? Peterbilt has the beauty segement nailed with the 379 and 393 trucks. I drove a Volvo truck and it was the biggest POS I'd ever had the dispriviliage of driving. I've driven some shitty trucks, too.

      Of the big trucks I've driven, Freightliner easily had the nicest one of the bunch.

      I got 6.6MPG out of both my Volvo and Freightliners. Those numbers never changed. It didn't matter if I had an empty trailer or a 45,000lb load.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I actually work for Detroit Diesel. I'm proud to see our name is out there!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Only 3% increase in fuel economy. Try harder.
      • 7 Years Ago
      #7. Point taken. I was wondering if this wasn't the case, and you've put me straigt. Thanks.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Truckers don't care all that much for fuel economy - especially owner/operators who should know better. Outside of fleet sales, the aerodynamic trucks don't sell very well, and Western Star still sells a crapload of flat-nose, steel-cab rigs (everyone else, even Peterbilt, uses aluminum for the bodywork). Truckers still buy trucks on looks, rather than economy or reliability. Only Kenworth has had any success with their aero-styling, mostly because they made it look like a retro design. (Meanwhile, Volvo is generally popular with businessmen who can do math, sadly a minority among the small and independent players in the shipping industry)

      So, anytime you hear an owner/operator crying about how hard it is to make a living, bear in mind that he's more than likely burning away his profit margin with an inefficient, unreliable rig.
      • 7 Years Ago
      How come it isn't using those new wider wheels/tires in back that are supposed to replace two paired wheels? The idea is that you have the same amount of tread on the road, but less weight and less parts to save fuel. I've seen them once in a while on the freeway but I'm surprised they aren't going to be standard on this new high-tech model.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Consistently I averaged 3000 miles per week for the 4 years I drove long-haul. Even now as a local driver (linehaul for a courier operation) I am doing about 2000 miles per 5 day work week, home every night.

      I do believe that fuel efficiency could also be better than 3%, with wider tires in the back as standard, the frame could be widened a bit more, allowing the engine to sit lower, as well as the cab. Also the driver seat area could be built more like a car where the driver can recline with legs/feet more horizontal. A shallower rake could then be achieved with the hood/windshield area.

      But if we're really looking for better fuel economy - the focus should start at the back and sides of the trailer where all the drag is.

      But after looking at the Freightliner website that has alot of info on the truck, and looks aside (also prefer the binder ProStar) I'd love to drive a daycab version of this.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Colin (#5): "Only 3% increase in fuel economy. Try harder."

      Colin, this isn't a passenger car we're talking about here. Doubling the mileage in most passenger cars would be a piece of cake, because fuel economy has not been the focus. It hasn't been the focus, because it's not what people want to buy. Instead they want luxury, performance, convenience, and style, so that's what the passenger car industry builds.

      The trucking industry is a totally different ballgame. Here we're talking about customers that really do care about fuel economy. As far as fleet owners costs go, fuel is second only to driver salaries. Fuel economy is what they want, so manufacturers have been trying to give it to them for decades. It's not so easy to just go grab another 5%. A 3% improvement is a big improvement, and considering the amount of fuel one of these things goes through in a year, it can mean some pretty significant cost savings.
      far jr
      • 7 Years Ago
      Jaymez... OTR (Over The Road) drivers run differently than delivery trucks. 100k is not a high estimate. I've known some that do 500 miles per day, for five to six days per week, 50 weeks a year. That is 125k to 150k per year.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @far jr
        Try 640mi a day five days a week 48 to 50 weeks a year.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "The avg full time OTR driver is going to do 100,000 miles over the a years time. Getting 5 miles to the gallon will cost 56,000.00 in fuel. (Your cost per Mile will be about 0.56"

      Maybe if you're running teams, you'll run that kind of mileage. A solo driver will average just over 50,000 miles in a year.
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