The Freightliner Cascadia is now available in a 72-in. XT model, the second sleeper variation of the on-highway truck to be introduced. Designed for flatbed and tanker operations, it features a stand-up sleeper that boasts 78 in. from the base of the bunk to the ceiling, allowing drivers to comfortably stand at full height. The new sleeper has an optional upper bunk or storage cabinets against the back wall of the cab, providing additional storage and maximizing space. Freightliner will introduce more sleeper variations throughout 2008, including a 60-in. raised roof, 60-in. XT, and the 48-in. XT.

The Cascadia, incidentally, has been designated as SmartWay-certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Trucks that earn this distinction can be 10 to 20% more fuel-efficient and up to 90% cleaner than other models. Freightliner’s Columbia and Century Class S/T previously earned the certification.

In other Freightliner news, the company announced new factory-installed options for its class 8 vehicles: Meritor Wabco Electronic Stability Control and the Eaton Vorad Collision Warning System. They can be spec’d on the Cascadia, Coronado, Columbia, and Century Class S/T.

Meritor Wabco’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) provides stability assistance similar to that found in automobiles. Freightliner buyers have been able to spec Roll Stability Control for quite some time, but the new ESC combines RSC protection with directional stability control. It requires no activation by the driver.

The Eaton Vorad VS-400 Collision Warning system helps drivers identify traffic conditions in advance with in-cab alerts for slow-moving vehicles, stationary objects, short following distance warnings, and more. A key feature is SmartCruise, which automatically helps the truck maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of it.

In addition, Freightliner has added air-disc brakes to its factory-installed option list on Cascadia, Columbia, Coronado, and Century Class S/T trucks. The Bendix ADB22X-V air disc brake, designed specifically for 22.5-in. wheels, is claimed to be the only disc brake on the market compatible with all 22.5-in. wheel combinations without limitations and approved for all on-highway applications. The disc brakes are compatible with drum brake-equipped trailers, Freightliner says. The brakes can be spec’d without the common suspension and wheel restrictions, but only in combination with steer axles produced by Axle Alliance Corp. The air-disc brake system will be available for order in June.

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