Freightliner revises M2

Nov. 1, 2006
FOR the 2007 MODEL YEAR, Freightliner has introduced an M2 revision of the sit-down dual drive, featuring a new center console with enhanced switch locations and dual cup holders that provide better ergonomics in the cab.

FOR the 2007 MODEL YEAR, Freightliner has introduced an M2 revision of the sit-down dual drive, featuring a new center console with enhanced switch locations and dual cup holders that provide better ergonomics in the cab.

Also included is a new stylized dash and dual instrument cluster.

The sit-down dual drive option was introduced for the Business Class M2 106 and 106V truck models last year. The dual drive feature, installed by Fontaine Modification, is an ideal option for refuse and municipal applications requiring right-side driving and controls.

The sit-down dual drive option is an easy-to-use feature that allows for smooth transitions from left- to right-hand drive operations. The right-hand drive option is optimal for use in refuse collection, road striping, and street sweeping, among other applications.

Components of the sit-down dual drive option are: left- and right-hand throttle and brake pedals; a right-hand gauge package; a four-spoke right-hand steering wheel with a self-canceling turn signal switch, headlight dimmer, and wiper, washer, and hazard controls; center console including ignition switch, transmission shift control, panel light dimmer control, and cruise control switches; and a “toggle-to-work” switch that allows for easy engagement of right-hand drive operation. The toggle switch is located on the center console.

For 2007, Freightliner also is bringing in the stand-up right-hand drive (SURHD) as a factory-warranted option for Business Class M2 106 and 106V truck models. It is an option designed for refuse, recycling, and other specialized medium-duty applications requiring curbside entry and exit. The option comes with a two-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

To enable SURHD, the right side of the cab is replaced by an upright unit containing a steering wheel, gauges, and fuel and brake pedals, allowing the driver to operate the vehicle from a standing position, improving ease and efficiency on the job. The seated, left-hand portion of the cab is maintained for longer commutes, providing operational flexibility and maximum maneuverability.

SURHD is currently offered through Freightliner Trucks dealers as a conversion and is executed by third-party body builders.

Prototype utility truck

Freightliner also has introduced a proof-of-concept prototype utility truck, a Class 7 Business Class M2 106. It is a full-parallel hybrid, similar to hybrid electric cars, with regenerative braking that recharges the batteries and electric launch functionality. It has an integrated electric motor in line with the engine and transmission, enabling operation with electric or diesel power, either separately or in combination. The truck launches with electric power and the diesel engine provides additional torque as required.

The prototype is a Business Class M2 106 model with a 33,000-lb GVWR chassis powered by a 230-horsepower MBE 900 engine that offers 660 lb-ft of torque. By incorporating a 44-kilowatt, 59-horsepower electric motor, the engine can achieve 290 horsepower and 860 lb-ft torque when the electric and diesel motors are paired. Simulations and testing have shown significant fuel economy improvements over conventional diesel engines and promises to greatly reduce vehicle operating costs for customers.

Of special interest to utility customers, the prototype vehicle integrates the Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) system with hydraulics for electric power takeoff (ePTO) operation. On a job site, the engine remains off for the majority of the operation with the hydraulics being run by batteries. When the batteries get low, the engine automatically turns on to recharge them. This takes approximately five minutes and, when the batteries are fully recharged, the engine automatically turns itself off. Work is not interrupted during this process.

Freightliner LLC is considering implementing the hybrid system in a variety of medium-duty trucking segments, including beverage, school bus, and pick-up and delivery applications.

Resource CD

Earlier this year, Freightliner rolled out its latest version of body builder information, the Business Class M2 Resource CD, Version 3.0. This interactive tool is designed to help bodybuilders, dealers, and customers construct the right truck for their business needs by engaging them in vehicle dimension design before a truck is physically built.

“The new M2 Resource CD is outstanding, innovative technology which offers huge time-savings for users when spec'ing out one of our vehicles for body installation,” said Jonathan Randall, director of product marketing. “This software offers exceptional advantages and options for our customers and dealers.”

The M2 Resource CD, Version 3.0 offers digital spec'ing abilities for the complete Business Class M2 product line which includes the 100, 106, 112, 106V, and 112V truck models. Users can pick from a multitude of vehicle views including exterior, interior, axle, engine, and component dimensions. The user is able to construct important dimensions of the vehicle, from the cab configuration down to the exhaust system, while utilizing this inventive program.

First introduced in July 2002, the Business Class M2 Body Builder Resource CD has been upgraded in Version 3.0 to include improved graphics and an expanded viewing area, making dimensions and drawings easier to read and print. The extra room achieved by expanding the viewing area has also improved navigation. Scrolling through multiple pages has been minimized and it is no longer necessary to return to the main menu to start new dimensional designs on a different area of the vehicle. Additionally, a user can select a new base model through the top navigation bar.

Additional features of the new CD include the ability to save configurations and recall them later, eliminating repetition, and the ability to capture data codes in print mode for convenient reference. Chassis and body relevant dimensions are also consolidated in the new version.

The M2 Resource CD, Version 3.0 is obtainable at:

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.