PORTLAND, Ore. About 20 Freightliner customers are now taking delivery of new trucks equipped with the 2007 MBE 900 and MBE 4000 engines, as Freightliner moves into the customer demonstration stage of testing.
The trucks will rack up real-world miles for customers as part of Freightliners Customer Demonstration Program. Dozens of trucks are involved in the program.
The new Mercedes-Benz engines have already accumulated more than 10.4 million reliability growth test miles, the company reports. So far, testing has gone well with fuel economy and performance up to par, Freightliner officials have announced.
By the time the new engines are rolled out en masse, Freightliner officials say the MBE 900 will have racked up 8.5 million test miles and the MBE 4000 will have accumulated 6 million.
“We continue to gather a tremendous amount of input from our engineering trucks and look forward to gaining more insight into how the engines are performing with the customer demonstration units for the MBE products,” said Dave Skupien, program manager for MBE Engines in NAFTA. “The overall program for the MBE engines is strong. We began the 2007 engine development program earlier than previous engine launches, dedicated more engineering resources, and drove more miles to validate the MBE 4000’s and MBE 900’s engine design. The result is industry-leading performance and reliability for 2007. We are proud to begin releasing these vehicles into the hands of our customers for trials. Once our customers test the products, we know they will be back to buy more in 2007.”
Larry Dutko, EPA 07 program manager for Freightliner, says the truck makers close relationship with Detroit Diesel has been beneficial in preparing the 2007 trucks and engines for launch.
“Similar to the success of the Series 60 Customer Demo Program, we’re really looking forward to the feedback we will receive from our customers, who will be relying on MBE 4000 and MBE 900 engines in their trucks. This type of feedback enables us to continually refine the engines and chassis so that service downtime for our customers is minimized. The close collaboration with Dave and the team at Detroit Diesel while we were running the Reliability Growth trucks provided us with some critical insight into where we could improve the total performance of these two engines. By securing this performance data early, we had time to implement changes and then validate that the expected improvements were achieved. We are now at the point where customer input is needed and we feel confident that our customers will also be pleased with the performance and reliability of our products,” said Dutko.
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