Freightliner LLC Introduces Mercedes-Benz Manual Transmissions for Medium-Duty Trucks

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Freightliner LLC today unveiled a line of manual transmissions built by Mercedes-Benz and designed for Sterling Acterra and Freightliner Business Class medium-duty trucks. The announcement was made today at the Mid-America Trucking Show.



The six-speed Mercedes-Benz manual transmissions feature hydraulically-actuated clutch systems and are offered in two versions - the direct-drive MBT520S-6D for trucks up to 40,000 pounds GCW and the over-drive MBT660S-6O for trucks up to 60,000 pounds GCW. The transmissions are available for the Class 5-8 Sterling Acterra M5500, M6500, M7500 and M8500 models and Freightliner's FL 50, FL 60, FL 70 and FL 80 Business Class trucks working in beverage hauling, towing, pick-up and delivery, utility service, construction and other applications.



"The durable design of these Mercedes-Benz manual transmissions will help our Acterra and Business Class customers reduce operating costs while improving the working environment for their drivers," said Freightliner LLC President and CEO James L. Hebe.



The MBT520 is an efficient direct-drive transmission with an overall gear ratio of 9.20, for engines that produce peak torque up to 520 pound-feet. The MBT660 is an overdrive transmission for engines up to 660 pound-feet peak torque, with an overall gear ratio of 9.18. Incorporating the latest materials and manufacturing technology, the Mercedes-Benz transmissions are compatible with medium-duty diesel engines built by Caterpillar, Cummins and Mercedes-Benz.



"Fleet managers who think driveability and fuel economy are of paramount importance should consider these transmissions," said Bill Nicholson, Freightliner LLC Marketing Strategy Director with responsibility for Mercedes-Benz engines and transmissions. "And customers with trucks on the lighter end of the medium-duty scale who are using automatic transmissions should look at these transmissions as a real alternative."



According to Nicholson, the intuitive shift pattern of the MB transmissions simplifies operation. "This makes operation much easier for drivers," he said. Both transmission options offer fully synchronized gear shifting and reduced clutch pedal effort.



The transmissions also offer a maintenance-free clutch actuation system and can run 160,000 miles between oil change intervals for reduced service costs. Precision-machined gear faces also contribute to less transmission noise and long operating life.



Both Mercedes-Benz transmissions feature a standard SAE 6-bolt PTO port on their right side for easy installation of a power take-off device. The port is mounted at the 5 o'clock position. The transmission can work with a variety of PTOs in several torque and horsepower levels.



The transmissions carry a warranty of three years or 150,000 miles, covering parts and labor.



Mercedes-Benz manual transmissions will be available beginning in the second quarter of 2001 in Freightliner Business Class trucks and in September in the Sterling Acterra.



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