New Instrument Panel Now Available from Freightliner Trucks for the Heavy-Duty Columbia

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LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY…Freightliner Trucks announced today a new instrument panel for the Freightliner Columbia heavy-duty truck. The new instrument panel is designed to enhance reliability, increase serviceability and offer better gauge readability to the driver. It will be an optional upgrade on the Columbia beginning in the second quarter of 2004. The announcement was made at the Mid-America Trucking Show here.

“The Columbia’s new instrument panel features technologies which make the unit easy to service, even more reliable and longer-lasting,” said Mark Lampert, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Freightliner Trucks. “Truck operators will appreciate the long-life benefits as well as the simplified, low-maintenance design.”

The new instrument panel utilizes long-life LED backlighting, which is designed to last the life of the vehicle. Warning indicators for low oil pressure, high coolant temperature, low fuel level and high transmission temperature are included in the gauges for faster evaluation of system issues. These warning indicators also utilize the long-life LEDs for increased reliability.

For better visibility, all gauges in the instrument panel have 270-degree movement which displays gauge values with better resolution and accuracy when compared to a 90-degree movement. A mode switch has also been added which can select display screens that indicate trip miles, trip hours, diagnostic fault codes, total engine miles, total engine hours, and service intervals.

Each instrument gauge on the panel is individually removable, allowing for increased ease of service and decreased service costs. Additionally, the individual gauges can be specified in chrome or black bezels for maximum aesthetics.

The instrument panel also allows for easy interfacing with components connected and communicating on a standardized Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE) Datalink network. Datalink communication between the instrument panel and components such as the anti-lock brake systems, transmissions and engines reduces the amount of wires and minimizes system integration issues. Additionally, the new instrument panel is backward-compatible with existing vehicles, making it convenient for mounting in older-model trucks.

“The Columbia’s new instrument panel is an important new feature which will further enhance the efficiency and performance of this very popular heavy-duty truck,” 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 5-8 trucks and is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the world's largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.

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