NZ Truck & Driver News

 
New Freightliner era not far away

New Freightliner era not far away

NZ Truck & Driver News

 June 2019   
The leadup to next February's launch of the new Freightliner Cascadia in New Zealand and Australia has been ramped-up, with the first public unveiling of the big-selling American conventional.

Three pre-production tractor units were temporarily taken out of an extensive Aussie test programme to be revealed (albeit in camouflage imaging), at the Brisbane Truck Show.

One of the test trio represents a milestone in the $AUS100million programme to develop a RHD version of the Cascadia, which is America's biggest-selling heavy-duty truck…a conventional, which is replacing the popular Argosy cabover.

A sleeper cab 126 Cascadia with a 36-inch XT sleeper – a recent addition to the Australian test programme – is the first RHD truck on the international programme, which sees the validation work also going on in the United States.

It has a 600 horsepower Detroit DD16 engine and a Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission, giving the Cascadia an all-Daimler driveline.


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The leadup to next February's launch of the new Freightliner Cascadia in New Zealand and Australia has been ramped-up, with the first public unveiling of the big-selling American conventional.
Three pre-production tractor units were temporarily taken out of an extensive Aussie test programme to be revealed (albeit in camouflage imaging), at the Brisbane Truck Show.
One of the test trio represents a milestone in the $AUS100million programme to develop a RHD version of the Cascadia, which is America's biggest-selling heavy-duty truck…a conventional, which is replacing the popular Argosy cabover.
A sleeper cab 126 Cascadia with a 36-inch XT sleeper – a recent addition to the Australian test programme – is the first RHD truck on the international programme, which sees the validation work also going on in the United States.
It has a 600 horsepower Detroit DD16 engine and a Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission, giving the Cascadia an all-Daimler driveline.
It's been working as a B-double tanker unit, delivering fuel to farms throughout southwestern Queensland and northwestern New South Wales, running at 68.5 tonnes…on a daily route that includes an 8% gradient.
The two other trucks on show – a day cab 116 tractor unit with a Detroit DD13 engine and a day cab 126 with a DD16 – have been on test duty in Australia since mid-2018.
The test trucks are equipped with cameras and monitors that deliver pictures and data to Freightliner engineers in Portland, Oregon, in real time.
The test programme, which also involves 50 drivers in Oregon carrying out around-the-clock reliability and durability testing, follows several million kilometres of testing before the new-generation Freightliner was launched in the US in 2017.
Freightliner Australia Pacific director Stephen Downes explains the exhaustive test schedule: "We are absolutely committed to ensuring the Cascadia arrives in showrooms next year, ready for Australia's unforgiving conditions…"
The Cascadia will, he says, "set new standards across the board when it comes to bonneted trucks in Australia – whether it be for fuel efficiency, safety or the driving experience. Whatever the measure, Cascadia will set the benchmark when it goes on sale."
In a market first for an American truck, he says, "Cascadia will offer a complete range of active and passive safety systems – from SRS and curtain airbags to autonomous emergency braking. From electronic stability control, to front and rear-facing driver cameras. From pedestrian recognition to Sideguard Assist – Cascadia will bring it all."
Daimler Truck & Bus NZ sales manager Pieter Theron says that the transition from the Argosy to the Cascadia will see the conventional "pretty much turn a new page – rewrite the future for us. Wipe the slate clean.
"It's a totally new approach for selling Freightliner. It's not the old 'we've got the lightest truck' thing. Now we've got the full suite of safety systems…so we'll also promote it to new customers who traditionally maybe had a European-type vehicle.
"And we can offer fuel savings that are equal to the Benz….potentially even better in some aerodynamic situations that favour the bonneted vehicle.
"So we can offer a totally different vehicle – it's not the old Freightliner. It's really advanced technologically."
Daimler Truck & Bus NZ already has "some pretty positive indications from key fleets that they are very keen to have it."
And it has had success in encouraging Argosy customers who still need a cabover to instead try the Mercedes-Benz Actros.
It will also "find new customers for the Cascadia – because it's going to offer benchmark fuel consumption, benchmark safety…it may even offset the loss of maybe a pallet…"  


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