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Freightliner attracted attention with this video explaining how truck upfitters can use the SmartPlex electrical system to save time and improve quality when making electrical connections on Freightliner chassis

Freightliner attracted attention with this video explaining how truck upfitters can use the SmartPlex electrical system to save time and improve quality when making electrical connections on Freightliner chassis.

NTEA Truck Product Conference: Freightliner: changes, but no impact on upfitters

ENGINE changes aren't expected to impact any part of body-to-chassis integration, according to Freightliner vocational product strategy manager Kris Hus.

As part of EPA14/GHG regulations, engines will be regulated separately from vehicles, including a 3% improvement in 2014 from the 2010 baseline and 5% in 2017.

Hus said Cummins and Detroit Diesel will be EPA14/GHG-certified in January 2013, one year in advance. All Freightliner truck models are currently certified.

For 2013, Cummins will discontinue the ISC8.3 and consolidate its ratings with the ISL9.

The ISL9 uses the XPI fuel system and shares the same electronic control module (ECM) with all other Cummins on-highway engines. It's been refined to deliver up to 2% better fuel economy versus the 2012 model. The addition of an air intake throttle makes the EGR system more efficient, while the VGT turbocharger has been modified for greater efficiency. The reduction in parasitic losses increases fuel economy and lowers operating costs. Maintenance intervals and related costs remain virtually unchanged.

On-board diagnostics are a new feature for 2013, monitoring performance of the aftertreatment system. The malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) on the instrument panel illuminates when it detects a malfunction related to the emissions control system, alerting the operator that the engine needs troubleshooting and possible repair. Joslyn Billings gave option updates for Freightliner:

Auxiliary power net distribution block (PNDB). Models: M2106, M2112, 108SD, 114SD. 

Available as an individual option, it distributes power from the battery to other devices. It reduces upfit time, prevents upfitters from having to run battery power in the cab, provides additional benefits when spec’d with a battery disconnect switch, and includes heavy-gage cable running from the battery to the inside of the cab, pass-through connector, and cover. Available: 1Q 2013. 

Chassis module relocation prep kit. Models: M2106, M2112, 108SD, 114SD. 

This is a prep kit for relocation of the chassis module from the frame rail to the inside of the cab. It requires a 2” hole to be punched into the cab floor and provides additional protection for the chassis module. Available: 1Q 2013. 

Bumper guide lights. Models: M2106, M2112, 108SD, 114SD. 

This is a factory-installed, pre-wire package for customer-supplied, lighted sight rods. Pre-wire includes a ground and marker light circuit to LH/RH front bumper. Blunt cut wire bundles will be located with headlight wiring. The package provides improved visibility and is beneficial for refuse and snowplow applications. Available: 1Q 2013. 

Dual PTO controls. Models: M2106, M2112, 108SD, 114SD.

Two dash-mounted PTO controls and wiring route power to the PTO, factory installed in-cab controls and wiring facilitate aftermarket PTO installation, and OEM-installed switches match current layout and design. Available: 1Q 2013.

PolarExtreme fan drive. Models: 108SD, 114SD. 

This two-speed fan drive for trucks operating in more extreme conditions provides greater temperature-range tolerance and is beneficial in stationary or slow-speed applications where the PTO is running. Available: now. 

Heated seats. Models: M2106, M2112, 108SD, 114SD. 

Heat functionality is controlled by a switch on the elite, high-back, air-suspension seat with multiple comfort options. Available: 1Q 2013. 

Heated auxiliary hood mirrors. Models: 108SD, 114SD. 

Heat functionality will be controlled by a switch in the dash, preventing ice build-up. Available: 1Q 2013. 

Headlight control. Models: 108SD, 114SD. 

New parameters control headlight functionality and snowplow package options are available. Available: Now.

ISL with UltraShift PLUS. Models: M2112, 114SD, Coronado SD. 

It includes an automated manual with shift decisions; Hill Start Aid (HSA) that eliminates roll when starting on a grade; Inclinometer, an “intelligent gear selection”; torque ranges of 1450 to 1850 lb-ft; and fuel savings with more efficient shifting. Available: January 2013. 

John Camelon provided an update on SmartPlex, which became available in the third quarter.

Unlike conventional point-to-point wiring systems where separate wires control each function, multiplex wiring lets multiple electronic messages travel back and forth through the same wire, reducing the number of wires by nearly 40%.

Over the past decade, Freightliner has worked on developing and refining its multiplex electrical wiring to provide truck equipment manufacturers an efficient and reliable solution to increase the ease of body integration and application programming.

The SmartPlex system provides a more robust, flexible, and simple-to-implement system for use in end-customer and truck equipment manufacturer trucks. Reduced wiring in the truck improves reliability and decreases maintenance.

It’s controlled by Freightliner’s proprietary control modules that relay data, sending and receiving commands. Electrical components such as switches and lights are connected to these modules, which monitor and control their operation.

The SmartPlex hub module has capacity for up to 24 switches or indicator lamps in the cab’s overhead console, all dedicated to the needs of truck equipment manufacturers. Freightliner offers custom downloadable programming parameters for the SmartPlex system, and will release them to body installers and upfitters so they can program their switches and indicator lamps and use it on other trucks in the future. All SmartPlex switches and lamps have unique IDs in the system, which allows them to be programmed and then later moved to any location where there is a free multiplex harness pigtail without the need for reprogramming.


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