Freightliner highlights emission changes

Nov. 1, 2009
Freightliner has moved the body builder lighting interface Power Distribution Module (PDM) and trailer lighting PDM to accommodate changes necessitated

FREIGHTLINER has moved the body builder lighting interface Power Distribution Module (PDM) and trailer lighting PDM to accommodate changes necessitated by the 2010 emissions requirements, according to vocational electrical salesman Bryan Howard.

Currently located on the chassis — the body builder PDM is just back of cab on the left-hand chassis rail, and the trailer PDM is on the rear cross member — they have been relocated to an interior inside-cab location behind the seat. The cover slides over the rear extrusion and fastens to the bracket at the top, with two reusable push-pin fasteners for tool free installation and removal. Howard says the new location does not impede clearance to the back of driver's seat.

He said Freightliner is moving away from a megafuse junction block, which currently mounts across the batteries and is used to distribute high-amperage power cables to different areas of the truck. It will be replaced by a powernet distribution block, which allows Freightliner to offer a low-voltage, positive-battery disconnect. In the past, the only thing Freightliner had to offer was a negative-battery disconnect, a switch typically mounted on the chassis frame rail. The new block can be accessed by the driver while sitting.

The PowerTrain PDM (PTPDM) has been improved to allow for the higher amperage requirements of the 2010 electrical systems and expanded to accept a greater number of relay and fuse requirements.

Vocational applications now utilize the PTPDM. This improvement relocates the relays previously scattered around the vehicle into the PTPDM and at the same time provides a previously absent label for vocational relays.

The hybrid harnesses now utilize the PTPDM. This improvement relocates the relays and fuses associated with the hybrid system into the PTPDM, eliminating the entire 36 circuit hybrid-specific PDM.

The multiplex module redesign for the M2 is scheduled for an April/May production changeover and is backwards compatible. Bulkhead module upgrades include doubling of the available rungs of M-Logic and a pre-flight system with configurability. On the chassis module, the marker lamp driver will be increased from 10 amps to 25 amps, with a minimum 20 amps dedicated for body and trailer marker lamps. Howard said it should reduce the need for a body builder PDM.

New multiplexing options available:

  • Automated headlamps with wipers (311-019, headlights with wipers, with daytime running lights; and 311-021, headlights with wipers, no daytime running lights).

  • Exterior regen notifications (J1939, messaging to actuate existing outputs such as lights and horns to notify operator of regen warning when vehicle is in stationary position; and 275-063, two-stage electric horn and hazard lamp alert controlled by particulate filter regeneration required status).

  • Factory wig wag functions (27D-004, alternating flashing headlamp system with body builder controlled engagement; and 27D-012, alternating flashing headlamp system with dash switch).

  • Remote start/stop (157-004, manual remote engine start/stop; and 157-007, manual remote engine start/stop with PTO re-engage).

Wired Rite pre-wire provides factory installed wiring for Wired Rite panels, including the power supply. The power output connector is on the chassis, with switch inputs in the dash and overhead console.

He said the emergency data recorder (VDR) harness prep is standard with seatbelt sensors.

High-output optional switches are available: Module 329 can be ordered via price quote for December/January builds and later. It supplies either six, eight, or 10 switches, all ignition-interlocked, with 20-amp outputs and a junction box located under the passenger seat for body builder connections.

Engine options

Describing the engine choices, Dave Bryant said the heavy-duty side features the Detroit Diesel DD13, DD15, and DD16, and the medium-duty side features the Cummins ISB and ISC.

“The good news for medium-duty trucks is, if you're looking at the M2 106 or M2 112, we do have exhaust offerings that give you clean back of cab, just like we have today. Contrary to what our competitors are saying, we're not shoving exhaust systems six feet behind cab and painting them yellow.”

Freightliner's EPA10 Reference Guide, available at, offers information about cooling charts, exhaust configurations, DEF tank configurations, DEF gauges and indicator, launch groups, and cab heights.

“We're hoping upfitters will look through this information, and when they work with a customer or Freightliner dealer, they will say, ‘For our body application, we need this exhaust system code and this tailpipe configuration,’ and they can put together a list of sales codes specifically to that body application,” he said. “For example, we did one for Mickey Body for a beverage truck. There are about 10 different sales codes that go into spec'ing a drop-frame beverage chassis. We called that the Mickey Body Drop-frame Beverage Chassis Option Code. Our dealers or a guy selling Mickey bodies on a Freightliner chassis just has to specify that one body builder code, and he gets all the rest of the stuff. So when a truck ends up in your shop and you start your upfit, you're not fighting a misspec'd truck.”

He said the DEF tank comes in configurations of 6, 13, and 23 gallons. Fill necks do not allow insertion of the diesel nozzle into the DEF tank. They are set up for cold-weather operation: Tanks are engine-coolant-heated and DEF delivery lines are electrically heated and purged.

“We know that there are going to be body configurations we didn't accommodate in the design, and some upfitters are going to want to relocate these tanks, so Freightliner is going to provide the option to have extra link lines and a tank you can relocate in a custom application,” he said.

The medium-duty DEF tank is located aft of the rectangular fuel tanks, and all DEF tank sizes are available.

The standard configuration for heavy duty: Urea tanks are located on the left side, and the standard DEF tank location is aft of the battery box. An optional DEF tank location is forward of the fuel tanks for a day cab.

“These trucks will not shut down if you run out of DEF, contrary to what's been stated,” Bryant said. “You can always limp off and refuel.”

He said the M2 112 has a 305mm cab height, which went up 25mm to accommodate the new engine platform. All V models have a 390mm cab height.

“We didn't have to go out and reinvent the wheel,” he said. “With Daimler Trucks, we have a great opportunity. Because of our North America and European operations, we have an opportunity to borrow technology from each other. We feel like it puts us ahead of the competition.”

New reference book

John Tomlinson said the all-new 2010 body builder book, available at, has detailed information to help body builders find what they need quickly to make designs work on the shop floor. It has easy-to-navigate color-coded indexing links and an online calculator for determining frame height, jounce, and turning radius based on the specs of any given model in the body builder guide.

2010 drivetrain information shows which components will go together and where connection points will be located. Clearance and drive angles will also be shown to help body engineers make accurate designs before a torch is put to metal on the floor.

He said engine-mounted radiators isolates the radiator from the frame to improve driver comfort, reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). A tighter fan/shroud tip clearance improves cooling capability (“we don't have to allow the engine to torque in that tip clearance because it's all connected”) and reduces fan on time for better fuel economy, “so if you're sitting there, the fan will actually cool the engine all the time.” A two-piece shroud design provides easier maintenance and improved durability.

“We had to move the washer bottle from the current back-of-cab position to the front frame on the right-hand side,” he said. “New exhaust systems take up too much room in that area. We've come up with a good solution in the under-hood area.”

He said the M-2 cabs meet new NFPA 1901 requirements. Solutions are available in all M2 cab configurations, speed is maximized at 60 or 68 mph, there are extra-length seat belts and seat and seatbelt sensors with factory-installed harnesses for VDR units. Minimum head room requirements are met for all cabs.

Tomlinson said Freightliner is working to establish better body builder communication.

“We're focusing on areas that improve body builders' bottom line,” he said. “We're simplifying the multiplexing interface. We realize every time you have to take something apart on our trucks, that costs you money. And every time you do that, you stand the chance of damaging something, which also costs you money. We're working hard on simplifying instructions for how to hook up to the truck correctly, the easiest way.”

About the Author

Rick Weber | Associate Editor

Rick Weber has been an associate editor for Trailer/Body Builders since February 2000. A national award-winning sportswriter, he covered the Miami Dolphins for the Fort Myers News-Press following service with publications in California and Australia. He is a graduate of Penn State University.