The actual fact Freightliner’s M2 medium-duty and SD vocational fashions haven’t seen a critical revamp is a testomony to their recognition. However, mentioned officers when not too long ago unveiling their first main makeover, the time has come to alter that.
“A few of our suggestions has been, if it’s not broke, don’t repair it,” mentioned Aaron Scates, vice-president – vocational and medium-duty market growth. “However extra not too long ago we bought suggestions that we have to make a significant leap ahead by way of know-how and options.”
This comes as medium-duty and vocational truck consumers heat to lively security options. Options resembling lively braking help, aspect guard help, and lively cruise management at the moment are being rolled out to M2 and SD truck homeowners for the primary time by way of Detroit Assurance 5.0. The overhaul additionally marks the primary time Detroit Assurance has been made accessible with Cummins engines, an necessary growth since Freightliner has introduced Cummins will likely be its medium-duty engine provider going ahead.
However it can additionally supply the latest Gen 5 model of the Detroit DD13 within the M2 112 and 114SD, full with vocational-specific energy rankings and the DT12V vocational 12-speed automated transmission. The vocational automated handbook affords options for rugged job websites resembling off-road mode and rock-free mode, and will be spec’d with a side-mounted energy take-off.
Freightliner says physique builders can even recognize the updates, which introduce a quick-fit system that enables truck gear producers (TEMs) to extra shortly and effectively combine their our bodies, controls and associated software program.
“The best way they hook up with the automobile by way of software program and electrical connections are frequent between our merchandise,” provides Scates. “This can be a enormous enchancment in upfit effectivity…The potential to companion with TEMs, and create a plug-and-play setup with them can’t be overstated.”
For the drivers, those who’ll spend essentially the most time with the vehicles, there’s a totally new inside that includes higher supplies and an improved match and end.
“We targeted on the human-machine interface and operator expertise,” Scates defined. The top results of this work is the brand new Plus sequence of M2 and SD medium-duty and vocational vehicles.
Most M2 and SD drivers don’t consider themselves as truckers. They present as much as work of their F-150s and recognize some familiarity after they climb into their work truck for the day. That’s why Freightliner has relocated the door lock and window switches to the door, the place they’d be discovered on a pickup truck. It’s additionally why the truck maker up to date the inside supplies to supply a extra automotive really feel, and improved the insulation for a extra snug cab and quieter trip.
However Gret Treinen, head of vocational and medium-duty product advertising and marketing, added, “There are specific issues we haven’t modified; plenty of issues that made the M2 and SD product strains so fashionable during the last couple a long time.”
Examples embrace the two,500-square-inch windshield and sloped hood for optimum visibility, whether or not within the metropolis or on a development web site. The 55-degree wheel minimize maintains the turning radius drivers have come to count on. And the steel-reinforced aluminum cab with 26-inch prolonged and 48-inch crew cab choices stays. The low step top has additionally been retained.
A brand new grille and air consumption cowl take their cues from their Class 8 cousin, the Cascadia.
“Loads of clients run Cascadias, and field vehicles for final mile deliveries,” Treinen mentioned of the will to deliver some commonality to the outside design. Clever excessive beam headlights that mechanically revert to low beams when oncoming automobiles method are one other new function, as are automated windshield wipers and headlights.
Engineers moved the PDC module from the fender so it can expertise much less vibration. Different electrical parts together with the transmission management module have additionally been relocated for elevated safety.
The brand new inside supplies produce fewer squeaks and rattles, Treinen claimed, and the audio system have been moved from the sprint to the door for higher audio high quality. A brand new map pocket has been put in on the door and is rated as much as 300 lb., so most drivers can use it as a further seize deal with when hefting themselves up into the cab.
Three trim packages can be found, starting from the Skilled Package deal with vinyl seats for cost-sensitive clients, to the Rugged Package deal with leather-wrapped steering wheel and material seats. The Elite Package deal provides shiny end bezels, further seat choices, and trendy wooden trim.
LED lighting is commonplace all through the cab, and extra lighting is accessible within the footwell space. The seats now have extra journey back and front, and a better recline. They’re additionally made of recent supplies for better consolation.
Steering and switches
One other cue taken from the Cascadia is a extra purposeful steering wheel that offers drivers quick access to continuously used controls with out taking their palms off the wheel. A five-inch driver show feeds drivers the data they want with out diverting their eyes to the B panel. That show can present journey information, fault codes, Detroit Assurance security warnings, and extra.
Even the switches obtained some upgrades, made from a extra tactile materials with dividers between them to keep away from unintentional fat-finger deployments. They’re LED-backlit for higher nighttime visibility.
The transmission management stalk has been additionally been borrowed from the Cascadia and might now even be spec’d in vehicles geared up with Allison transmissions, releasing up area beforehand occupied by the push-button Allison management field. (The standard Allison push-button controls are nonetheless accessible, in the event you favor).
Drivers can get some assist with their pre-trips by activating an inspection button that can cycle by means of the lights. It may be reached from the bottom, due to its location beside the seat. And the steering wheel column is now infinitely adjustable.
The brand new Plus Sequence contains the M2 106, M2 112, 108SD, and 114SD, and Plus Sequence manufacturing will start within the third quarter of 2023.