Time-Tested Vehicle Maintains Strong Presence in Vocational Market
PORTLAND, OREGON…Freightliner Trucks today announced the increase in production of its celebrated FLD SD Class 8 truck model. Beginning in April of 2005, production numbers will increase substantially at the Truck Manufacturing Plant in Santiago, Mexico. The FLD SD is a severe-duty vehicle that has enjoyed a prestigious career as a vocational workhorse in the industry since 1990.
“For the past fifteen years, Freightliner Trucks has offered our customers the best in severe-duty capabilities with the FLD SD truck model,” said Mark Lampert, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Freightliner Trucks. “Due to strong market demand, we are increasing production of the FLD SD to keep up with our customers’ requests for this dependable and durable vehicle.”
Built for a variety of severe-duty and construction applications, the FLD SD was introduced in 1990 and given a series of enhancements over the past two years. The enhanced FLD SD now features an upgraded chassis that delivers marked improvements in maneuverability, quality of ride and noise reduction.
“The enhancements made to the FLD SD have incorporated several new ideas which boost the truck’s performance and increase driver productivity,” added Lampert. “From stronger frame rails to raised fuel tanks, the FLD SD was redesigned and engineered to be the best on the road...or in the gravel pit.”
Featuring a lightweight and durable aluminum cab in a 120-inch BBC conventional configuration, the FLD SD is specifically built for heavier-duty vocational applications. With many standard features and options to choose from, the FLD SD can be easily customized to fit the necessary requirements of severe-duty operation. The new chassis enhancements provide for increased maneuverability, a smooth and quiet ride, a stronger frame and better performance.
Available in either a set-forward front axle or a set-back front axle configuration, the truck’s enhanced chassis features a wider-track front axle and high-pressure steering gears which give the tires more room to turn, increasing overall maneuverability.
The FLD SD’s smoother, quieter ride is achieved due to several new components and design features that were incorporated into the chassis in 2003. Along with the 20,000-lb. rating, new taper-leaf front suspensions were added in the 16,000-lb. and 18,000-lb. range to provide a smooth ride whether the truck is loaded or unloaded. Plus, maintenance-free bushings are also available as an option.
In addition, several rear suspensions are available including the Freightliner AirLiner and the Freightliner TufTrac suspensions, as well as walking-beam suspensions, with ratings of 40,000-lbs., 46,000-lbs., and 52,000-lbs. Also, Meritor tridem rear axles with a Freightliner AirLiner tridem rear suspension are available with ratings ranging from 52,000- to 57,000-lbs., depending on axle ratio and tire size selection.
Along with the suspensions, several other improvements were made to provide levels of quiet and comfort not usually associated with severe-duty trucks. Exhaust system vibration and noise has been dampened with an improved isolation system for mounting the muffler using a new rubber-in-shear type isolator.
A new clutch linkage employs a dual isolator design utilizing one isolator on each end of the linkage to abate noise and rattle. In addition, the rear cab mounts feature a larger air spring to smooth out the ride.
Higher-strength frame rails were also added to the FLD SD. Rated at 120,000-lbs. per-square-inch (psi), the new steel frame rails are 10,000-psi higher than on the original chassis, providing a stronger, more durable frame. Options such as full-length rail inserts and clear back-of-cab can also be specified to simplify body installation.
The renowned FLD SD is available with an extensive choice of engines from Detroit Diesel and Caterpillar, with horsepower ratings up to 550-hp. When the truck’s chassis was reengineered, a larger radiator and an improved cooling system were incorporated for newer engine designs. Either a 1350-square-inch radiator for set-back front axles or a 1400-square-inch radiator for set-forward front axle configurations can be specified for optimum engine cooling.
The dash of the FLD SD is ergonomically organized and gauges, switches and other controls are easy to read and reach. In addition, a large, tinted windshield and lower dash offer good visibility, while easy entry/exit slip-resistant grab handles help prevent accidents for increased driver safety.
New upholstery materials and interior colors were introduced in 2004 for the FLD SD, along with a host of other optional components and features.
“With the new improvements to the front suspension and the addition of sound dampening enhancements, the FLD SD is one of the best rides available for severe-duty applications,” Lampert added. “It’s a tough truck that’s comfortable and easy to drive. We look forward to offering our customers continued service and successful applications with this esteemed product.”
Freightliner Trucks is a division of Freightliner LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Freightliner LLC produces and markets Class 3-8 trucks and is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the world's largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.