Freightliner plans to make improvements to its M2 and SD trucks, designing new driver-pleasing interiors and advanced electrical systems, and making Detroit Assurance safety systems newly optional on medium and medium/heavy-duty business models. The changes, collectively called “Plus”, affect the M2 106, M2 112, 108SD and 114SD, which will enter production in the third quarter of 2023.
The early introduction of the Plus series gives customers time to choose between new or current models, said Mary Aufdemberg, general manager of product planning and strategic marketing at parent company Daimler Truck North America (DTNA). of Freightliner. Truck production is now very extensive and customers need to order quickly to get reasonable delivery times.
“The Plus Series offers Freightliner customers the same reliable workhorses they’ve relied on to add money to their bottom line for years, now with added features to further benefit their operators and increase their productivity even further. “said David Carson, senior vice president, sales and marketing.
Existing aluminum-on-steel cabins will continue in the Plus series, but will feature new, more comfortable and safer interiors, including improved ergonomics and increased storage, Freightliner executives said in a press introduction more early this summer. Improvements include:
- New trim levels with improved insulation that dampens exterior noise and provides greater thermal efficiency;
- Driver-centric instrument panel with an easy-to-read driver information center;
- Fully customizable switch layout;
- Comfortable steering wheel with integrated controls;
- Easy-to-use transmission control that enables automated manual and automatic shifting and engine braking functions close to the steering wheel;
- Configurable dashboard with 2.5x more space for OEMs and upfitters.
- Ergonomic seats with precise adjustment for better driver comfort and reduced fatigue.
Freightliner Plus Series Technology
The Detroit Assurance 5.0 suite of safety and connectivity systems, which were hallmarks of Class 8 Freightliners, will be available across the automaker’s full line of professional and medium-duty trucks. Already optional with Detroit engines, safety systems will also be available with Cummins engines, executives said.
Selected standard safety features, including Active Brake Assist, Lane Departure Warning and optional Side Guard Assist, provide added safety on the road or on the jobsite. Adaptive cruise control, which automatically adjusts cruising speed to maintain a safe following distance, will be available when the Plus series goes into production.
Equipped with Detroit Connect connectivity systems, Plus Series fleets will receive key vehicle performance information that enables better decision-making and reduces downtime. For instance:
- Within minutes of an outage event, Virtual Technician’s remote diagnostics service notifies fleets of the severity of the outage, and when, where and how best to resolve the issue.
- Remote updates use secure, wireless programming capabilities to perform engine parameter updates and other updates.
- Detroit Connect Analytics provides users with automated on-demand analysis, identifying behaviors and trends, and providing actionable insights into fuel consumption and safety performance data.
- Safety Event Viewer enables visibility into driver safety performance, notifying fleets of collision mitigation events. It will display the time, date and location of an event, as well as the speed of the vehicle at the time of the event and the duration of the event. This record keeping allows Detroit Connect users to monitor and track all critical events and take action to increase truck safety on the road and on the jobsite (standard with Detroit Assurance with Active Brake Assist 5).
Freightliner Plus Series Specifications
The Plus series will include Detroit Gen 5 engines, with Detroit’s own DT12 automated manual transmissions, and Cummins diesels with Eaton automated gearboxes. Manual transmissions will also be available. The 114SD Plus can be ordered with the DD13 Gen 5 with new professional power ratings, as well as improved performance, availability and reliability. Its quick torque feature allows payloads to move quickly.
Additionally, the DD13 Gen 5’s ThermoCoasting prevents aftertreatment cooling during a drive regeneration to keep the system at its optimum temperature and greatly reduces the need for parked regenerations.
Designed for professional performance, durability and low-speed handling, the DT12-V transmission is an alternative to more expensive fully automatic transmissions. The DT12-V features an off-road mode with aggressive shifting for sustained momentum and superior performance in any terrain; Hill Start Aid to prevent a truck from rolling backwards on steep hills; and Rock-Free mode to blast off a truck. Paver mode allows the driver of a dump truck to shift from neutral to drive without pressing the brake pedal, allowing continuous motion of a paver.
Several Plus Series models will also offer Cummins B6.7, L9 and X12 diesel engine options as well as L9N and ISX12N natural gas engines. Eaton manual and automated transmissions and Allison automatic transmissions are also available in Plus series trucks.
A QuickFit electrical system using a new multiplexed architecture, combined with a CHEC Tool interface, integrates truck-to-vehicle equipment quickly and easily, executives said. QuickFit provides easy access to critical connection points, additional power sources, programmable switches, customizable settings and locking features, making layouts more flexible, more reliable and more durable, all in less time, Freightliner representatives said. Major electrical components will be located inside Plus Series cabs to provide better isolation from external variables and road debris.
The Plus M2 and SD series vehicles will be assembled at DTNA’s Mount Holly (NC) and Santiago Tianguistenco (Mexico) truck manufacturing plants.
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Side radar, part of Detroit Assurance’s safety equipment that will be available on SD (severe duty) Plus Professional and mid-duty M2 Plus models, helps drivers avoid blind collisions with other vehicles . The current steel-reinforced and aluminum-clad cabins will feature upgraded interiors in the Plus series, due out in the third quarter of next year.
Additionally, interiors include new designs for the dashboard, instruments and electrical systems, as well as improved seats for driver comfort and insulation for quietness and exclusion from harsh ambient conditions.