Freightliner Trucks today unveiled a DX (Deluxe) edition of its Columbia heavy-duty truck model. Combining high styling with luxury and performance features, the truck is designed for truckers who desire a traditional look in a high value, aerodynamic Class 8 truck. Freightliner Trucks unveiled the Columbia DX at the 2001 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY.
"The Columbia has enjoyed great success since its introduction in the Fall of 1999," said James L. Hebe, Freightliner LLC President and CEO. "Customers appreciate its combination of aerodynamics, style, reliability, efficiency and functionality. Now, we are introducing a version tailored to North American owner-operators and style-minded fleets, so they can realize all the Columbia's value and efficiency while enjoying a traditional look and premium content."
According to Hebe, the Columbia DX comes as a package of exterior treatments, interior additions and ride and performance enhancements.
For traditional appeal, the truck incorporates dual external cab-mounted stacks, chromed engine compartment air vents on the hood, a chrome sun visor inset with styled clearance lights, and aerodynamic, chrome-backed mirrors. The brightwork extends to the front of the truck, where a chrome bumper is accented by styled headlamps with chrome bezels. LED marker lights run along the chassis side fairings and down the length of the cab and sleeper and are styled into the chrome sun visor. An attractive ornament crowns the hood.
"The Columbia was already quite distinctive in its styling," Hebe said. "These new features complement the truck's existing aesthetics with all the chrome and brightwork that are the hallmarks of the North American trucker."
Inside, the Columbia DX features an upgraded interior trim package with premium, padded coverings on the seats, sleeper wall panel and door panel. The interior hard trim is gray with gloss black trim accenting the dash, doors, cabinets and edge of the sleeper. Available colors for the interior trim include Pacific Blue, Bonneville Beige, Cascade Crimson and Harbor Gray. Customers also can choose from a wide range of sleeper cabinet and shelving options
"We've put together a handsomely appointed and comfortable interior for the Columbia DX," Hebe said. "This truck will be a great home and office for the discriminating trucker."
Further enhancing on-road comfort are noise reduction and ride improvement packages -- standard on the Columbia DX.
The noise reduction package adds insulation to the cab floor, bunk floor, sleeper walls, firewall and storage bins to dampen exterior noise. Other noise reduction measures include a double barrier forward deck, shift lever knob skirt plug, full hoodliner, doghouse noise liner, foam tape in the A-pillar and baffles in the B-pillar. The result is a noise reduction of approximately 3 decibels.
The Columbia DX also receives Freightliner's ride enhancement package. The truck is engineered with a unique leaf-and-half front suspension, high dampened front cab mount and low rate rear cab mount, as well as optimized valving on the cab shock absorbers. The combined package minimizes vibration and flattens out rough roads.
"With its combination of noise insulation and advanced ride engineering, this truck will deliver one of the quietest and smoothest rides on the road," Hebe said
In addition to the distinctive features of the Columbia DX, owners of the new truck will garner all the advantages of the Columbia product line. These include:
Leading edge aerodynamics for achieving excellent fuel efficiency.
120-Inch BBC cab with a set back front axle for excellent maneuverability.
A durable aluminum cab engineered to meet worldwide crashworthiness standards.
A range of innovative safety features, including an optional driver's side airbag.
Weight-saving componentry including a lightweight aluminum cab and lightweight chassis and suspension components.
The industry's most powerful engines with ratings up to 600 hp.
A 1,350-square-inch aluminum radiator (optional).
Highly reliable systems, including an optimized electrical infrastructure with simplified wiring harnesses and connections and long-life gauges.
An inntegrated electronics package that manages vehicle operation and links to Freightliner's off-board ServiceLink software.
Proprietary Freightliner technologies, like the EzyRider seat. Designed by Freightliner engineers, the EzyRider seat offers a wide adjustment range to accommodate drivers of all shapes and sizes. Taller and wider than the current standard seat offering, EzyRider is ergonomically designed to increase comfort, reduce fatigue and promote spinal health.
Space-enhancing options like the Driver's Lounge, a fold-down table and seating arrangement which converts the sleeper area into an office or dinette, and the BackPack, a supplemental storage space on the back wall of the SleeperCab.
High tech options like the Truck Productivity Computer -- an ingenious device that combines a mobile computer with a radio. Developed by Freightliner, the Truck Productivity Computer — when combined with the appropriate hardware and software -- will let drivers send and receive messages from dispatch, connect to the Internet and access driving directions, among many other tasks.
"The Columbia DX is designed for that savvy operator who desires a traditional look in a high value, high content highway truck," Hebe said. "With its combination of style, substance and value, we expect this truck to be very popular among independents and fleets."
Production of the Columbia DX begins in the first quarter of 2002.
Available cab and sleeper configurations include a 70-Inch Raised Roof SleeperCab, 70-Inch Mid-Roof XT, 58-Inch Raised Roof, 70-Inch Mid-Roof, 58-Inch Mid-Roof, 48-Inch Mid-Roof and a Day Cab.
Owners will be supported by the Freightliner Trucks network of North American dealers, many with 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week service hours; the Freightliner Customer Assistance Center, a 24-hour-a-day, in-house call center and ServicePoint locations at TravelCenters of America locations. Columbia owners also are eligible for Security Connection, Freightliner's exclusive owner-operator program.