Freightliner adds new configurations to product line (March 25, 2003)

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Freightliner has expanded its product lineup to include three new trucks the Columbia 112, the Business Class M2 100 and the Business Class M2 112.

The Columbia 112 is a 112-inch BBC (bumper-to-back-of-cab) version of the company’s traditional 120-inch BBC Columbia. The shorter length offers improved maneuverability, visibility, payload and ease of operation, says Mark Lampert, senior vice-president of sales and marketing with Freightliner.

Lampert says the new configuration is ideal for bulk haulers, LTL carriers and inner-city delivery applications. The truck features a set-back front axle, sloped hood and a full range of sleeper options. It’s also available as a daycab. The MBE4000 engine is standard on the Columbia 112, however a Caterpillar engine can also be spec’d.

"We think (the Columbia 112) will certainly make a difference to every company that operates it," says Lampert. Production of the Columbia 112 will begin in the third quarter of 2003.

The Business Class M2 100 is what the company is dubbing a "spec’-ready go-truck."

It comes standard with an MBE900 engine and a 2,500 sq. in. windshield for improved visibility. It also features a redesigned heating/cooling/ventilation system and a shorter wheelbase for a decreased turning radius.

"It’s built to deliver performance, productivity and efficiency," says Lampert.

The Business Class M2 100 is built for medium-duty and vocational applications and is available in gross vehicle weight ratings of 16,000 to 26,000 pounds.

"The Business Class M2 100 further expands the versatility of the new Freightliner medium-duty product line with a vehicle that suits a variety of urban and P&D applications," says Lampert.

Production of the M2 100 will begin in April.

The Business Class M2 112 was also unveiled at the Mid-America Trucking Show, featuring a slightly larger BBC of 112-inches, making it the largest of the Business Class M2 truck line.

"Safety, productivity and operational efficiency," were the top priorities when developing the M2 112, says Lampert.

The MBE4000 comes standard on the M2 112, but later this year, customer will be able to spec’ a Cat C9, C11 or C13 powerplant.

Several seating options are available on the M2 112, and the dash features LED backlit instruments. The new model is available in GVW ratings of up to 66,000 pounds. Freightliner Rear AirLiner suspensions and heavy-duty TufTrac suspensions are available as options on the M2 112.

Ease of entry and exit have been improved with a lower step-in height and wider cab doors. Slip-resistant interior and exterior grab handles also help in this area. The M2 112 is available in regular cab, extended cab or crew cab configurations. Production is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2003.

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