INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA…Freightliner Trucks today introduced its new Business Class® M2 to the fire and emergency services industry. The all-new line of medium-duty and vocational trucks is being exhibited at the annual Fire Department Instructors Conference here. Vehicles on display include two Business Class M2 pumpers and a Business Class M2 with ambulance body.
“With its leading performance and safety features, the new Freightliner Business Class M2 is an excellent choice for fire and emergency service applications,” said Mark Lampert, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Freightliner Trucks. “This vehicle’s many advances will provide numerous benefits for fire departments and rescue personnel.”
Freightliner is debuting the Business Class M2 in a 106-inch BBC (bumper-to-back-of-cab) configuration. The 106-BBC Business Class M2 will serve pumper, tanker and heavy rescue applications.
One-hundred-inch-BBC and 112-inch BBC Business Class M2 models will be available in 2003. The 100-inch BBC Business Class M2 is ideal for light rescue and ambulance work, while the 112-inch configuration is designed for heavy pumper and tanker service.
Crew cabs and extended cabs also will be offered and will be available in late 2002.
The Business Class M2 line of Class 5-8 trucks succeeds Freightliner’s original Business Class product, introduced in 1991. Freightliner Trucks dealers are now taking orders for the new truck line. Production of 106-inch BBC Business Class M2 models begins in June at Freightliner’s Mount Holly, N.C., Truck Manufacturing Plant.
Business Class M2 Advantages
According to Lampert, the Business Class M2 combines the cost-effectiveness of a commercial fire service chassis with distinctive styling and rugged durability to set new performance standards for the industry.
The Business Class M2 provides excellent maneuverability for handling roadside firefighting and rescue response. An up-to-55-degree wheel cut delivers a tight turning radius for great performance in closed quarters.
The Business Class M2 also provides superb visibility with a panoramic 2,500-square-inch windshield and sloped hood.
The cab is roomier, with increased cab height and width as well as more belly room, providing generous seating conditions and a more comfortable ride for firefighters in bulky turn-out gear. In addition, a completely redesigned heating/cooling/ventilation system keeps rescue workers comfortable and ready to respond once they are on the scene of an emergency.
For easy entry and exit at an emergency scene, the cab is mounted lower on the chassis. New cab and chassis suspensions also contribute to the improved ride.
Other new features include an advanced multiplexed wiring system that eliminates large wiring bundles and contributes to greater reliability and simple service diagnostics.
A new air manifold unit reduces the number of air lines in the cab, for simpler body installation and greater reliability and performance.
Engine and Option Flexibility
Business Class M2 models come standard with Freightliner’s proprietary Mercedes-Benz engines. MBE engines deliver outstanding durability, drivability and low cost of operation. Options include Caterpillar engines as well as a range of Allison automatic transmissions.
Engineered as a commercial chassis, the highly customizable Business Class M2 is available with a broad range of optional components for fire and rescue applications.
The Business Class M2 comes in a gross vehicle weight rating as low as 16,000 pounds for ambulance applications. For heavy fire and rescue applications, models are available with maximum GVWRs of 66,000 pounds. In addition, the Business Class M2 can be ordered with a clean back-of-cab frame, making it easier and more efficient for emergency bodybuilders to install their equipment.
“The new Freightliner Business Class M2 truck is designed to help emergency service personnel perform their all-important jobs with maximum safety, productivity and efficiency,” Lampert said.
Freightliner Trucks is a division of Freightliner LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Freightliner Trucks produces and markets Class 3-8 trucks and is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the world's largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.