Freightliner to offer front-drive axles on Business Class M2 models

Freightliner Trucks announced that factory-installed Meritor front-drive axles, which allow for an All Wheel Drive (AWD) option, are now available for immediate delivery on Business Class M2 106 and 106V truck models.

The front drive axle option is a part-time system ideal for use in fire and rescue, utility, snowplow and municipal service applications. The system can be activated by the operator when AWD is needed during traction-poor conditions. The AWD option can be engaged at or below 10 mph or while the vehicle is coasting on a level grade.

"Our Business Class M2 product line was specifically designed to tackle tough vocational jobs," said Alex Bernasconi, Vice President of Sales, Freightliner Trucks. "When paired with our quality vehicles, this new front-drive axle option meets our customers' needs for increased traction and mobility during off-road and slippery conditions."

These axles utilize straight front-to-back frame rails, eliminating the need for a step frame for optimized cab height. The transfer case of the front-drive axle is mounted between the transmission and rear axle. Additionally, the axle bowl is offset by 11-inches to the passenger side, matching the driveline angles and eliminating the need for a lift kit.

The front-drive axles are available in a 4x4 or a 6x6 configuration on Business Class M2 106 or 106V truck models running MBE900 or Caterpillar C7 engines.

The Business Class M2 106 and 106V AWD option is offered at 12,000-, 14,000- and 16,000-pound ratings and is available in combination with a variety of single and tandem rear suspensions including flat-leaf, spring and Freightliner's proprietary AirLiner(r) suspensions.

The new front-drive steer axle requires taper-leaf front suspensions rated at 12,000-, 14,600- and 16,000-pounds. The AWD option is available on vehicles spec'ed with Allison 3000-series or Eaton Fuller manual transmissions.

Engine and transmission power take-off (PTO) operation is not affected by the engagement of the front-drive axle.

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