Freightliner has announced it’s determined to take a bigger chunk out of the vocational market and has already begun adding new options to its current vocational lineup.
The announcement was made at the CONEXPO/CON-AGG trade show in Las Vegas, Nev.
Alex Bernasconi, vice-president of sales with Freightliner, said the truck maker is already a significant player in the vocational market, but it plans on targeting that sector more aggressively – and for good reason.
Demand for vocational trucks in North America has increased to 175,000-180,000 units compared to 140,000 last year. And Bernasconi also pointed out the demand for vocational trucks tends to be far less cyclical than the on-highway market.
“The vocational presence we have is a substantial piece, but we’re going to continue to push that in a big way,” Bernasconi insisted.
The manufacturer immediately backed up that promise by making several simultaneous announcements regarding its vocational products (most notably, the Condor, the FLD SD and the Business Class M2 Vs).
Freightliner will be ramping up production of its FLD SD Class 8 truck.
The FLD SD is a severe-duty truck that is most often put to work tackling demanding jobs such as construction, logging and mixer applications.
The FLD SD includes an aluminum cab in a 120-inch BBC conventional configuration. It’s available in a set-forward front axle or a set-back front axle configuration. Several rear suspensions are available with ratings up to 52,000 lbs.
The vocational versions of Freightliner’s Business Class M2s (the 106 V and 112 V) were introduced in 2004 and so far the company says there has been a strong response. However, the company has announced it’s increasing the options available on this line of work trucks.
Jonathan Randall, director of product marketing with Freightliner Trucks, said the M2 vocational trucks would be available in all-wheel drive configurations later this year. Another option immediately available on the M2 Vs is a hood access hatch, which allows easy access to fluids and components without requiring the opening of the entire hood.
The company says the hood access hatch is useful for vehicles with front-end implement usage, such as snow plow applications.
A new one-piece heavy-duty bumper (1/4-inch thick solid steel) is now available on the vocational M2s, as well as an air intake pre-cleaner which filters out dust before it hits the primary air filter.