Freightliner Trucks has launched the Cascadia, a 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,
featuring new styling, a quieter and more comfortable cab and ergonomic controls.
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 full-scale wind tunnel - went into its development.
"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 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."
With EPA 2010 right around the corner, the Cascadia was designed to easily accept EPA '07 emission engines and adapt with little change to the new EPA '10 standards. Its expandable DaimlerChrysler-engineered electronic platform can easily accommodate the technology. Plus, the Cascadia was built to be optimized with the all-new EPA '10-ready Detroit Diesel heavy-duty engine family, the first of which will debut later this year. Known within DaimlerChrysler as the Heavy-duty Engine Platform, this engine family will be used in Truck Group vehicles worldwide, following its launch in Freightliner LLC vehicles.
"Our wind tunnel was constructed expressly for this kind of new model development," Patterson said. "Tiny tweaks in the design made possible by our unlimited use of our own facility can save owners hundreds of dollars in fuel consumption over the life of their truck."
Other fuel-saving features on the Cascadia include a fully integrated, battery-powered auxiliary HVAC system and an engine cooling system that minimizes engine fan and air-conditioning compressor on-time.
Fuel economy isn't the Cascadia's only productivity attribute - 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.
Plus, 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 ease-of-maintenance features include a roped-in windshield that can be changed in minutes, extended life headlamp bulbs, and easy access to the engine and accessory components mounted to it.
With its bold and innovative styling, durable side fairings and extenders, corrosion protection for fasteners, and easy daycab conversion, the Cascadia will boast a high resale value.
The Cascadia doesn't just boost profits. Freightliner's customer research shows that operators want to go to work every day in a good-looking truck that has a comfortable, quiet cab with better visibility.
"Recruiting drivers is challenging, so many of our customers wanted to add more style and comfort features to their fleets without breaking the bank," said Patterson. "The Cascadia offers these amenities without compromise."
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.
The Cascadia also provides a more peaceful work environment. With double door and window seals, improved engine and cab mounts, additional insulation and a hydraulic clutch, the cab offers reduced vibration and significantly less road noise.
The Cascadia's enhanced ergonomics are another result of customer feedback. With larger seats, larger door openings, more head and belly room and easier-to-use switches and climate controls, the Cascadia offers drivers the comfort and control they deserve. Steering wheel controls, including the compression brake activation, allow drivers to be more comfortable and improve safety as they drive down the highway.
Maneuverability and handling are two more driver-friendly features. Freightliner's innovative rack and pinion steering system - the first system of its kind installed on Class 8 trucks - is available as an option on the Cascadia. Rack and pinion improves durability through lower system pressure and temperature, provides quicker steering response and reduces steering effort. It eliminates bump steer, and roll steer is significantly reduced, which reduces driver fatigue. Rack and pinion also offers a 45-pound weight savings.
Upgraded visibility is another safety benefit found on the Cascadia. Redesigned mirrors, mounted on both the doors and the fender, offer aerodynamic benefits as well as improved visibility. A larger windshield also provides better upward sight lines.
Some popular specs include:

• GVWRs of 35,000 to 71,000 pounds with a GCWR of 92,000 pounds
• Detroit Diesel Series 60 engine, 455 horsepower is standard; an MBE 4000 with ratings of 370 to 450 horsepower and Caterpillar C15 with ratings from 435 to 550 horsepower are available options
• EatonFuller manual transmission is standard; UltraShift and AutoShift transmissions are available options
• Standard front taperleaf suspension rated at 12,000 pounds; optional spring suspension rated at 14,600 pounds.
• Standard rear AirLiner suspension rated at 40,000 pounds; optional AirLiner suspension rated at 21,000 pounds.

The Cascadia is available for order mid-month, with trucks rolling off production lines in August. For more information, visit or call 800-FTL-HELP.