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Freightliner strengthens commitment to vocational market

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - 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 announce...

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – 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.

“Freightliner Trucks has made significant investments in the brand’s vocational product line over the past few years,” said Mark Lampert, senior vice-president of Freightliner. “As our business in this market segment grows, we will continue to deliver efficient business solutions to this important customer group.”

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).

FLD SD production ramped up

Freightliner has announced it 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.

“For the past 15 years, Freightliner Trucks has offered our customers the best in severe-duty capabilities with the FLD SD truck model,” Lampert said.

“Due to strong market demand, we are increasing production of the FLD SD to keep up with our customers’ requests for this dependable and durable vehicle.”

Recent enhancements to the FLD SD have provided the model with improved maneuverability, ride quality and noise reduction, the company said.

“From stronger frame rails to raised fuel tanks, the FLD SD was redesigned and engineered to be the best on the road – or in the gravel pit,” Lampert added.

The FLD SD has 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.

“With the new improvements to the front suspension and the addition of sound dampening enhancements, the FLD SD is one of the best rides available for severe-duty applications,” Lampert claimed.

New options for M2 vocational models

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.

“Available later this year, this new group of options brings to our customers even more choices, demonstrating our continued dedication to serving the vocational market segment,” Lampert announced.

Jonathan Randall, director of product marketing with Freightliner Trucks, said the M2 vocational trucks will 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 especially 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.

“These additional options round out the already extensive standard features and options that have made our Business Class M2 product line such a success,” Lampert said, adding the company plans to continue to add more options and enhancements to the line.

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