Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hot off the grille

The folks at Daimler always have plenty to talk about. They're No. 1 in market share in Class 8 trucks with almost 40 percent of the market. They've earned that spot by consistently meeting or exceeding their goals to improve the customer experience.

They've also spent $80 million over a 5-year period to design a Super Truck: $40 million from the Department of Energy and $40 million out of their own coffers to design a truck that is the most freight-efficient truck ever.

According to Diane Hames, General Manager Marketing & Strategy, it has been a long-term project based on innovation through global collaboration.  With an integrated Detroit powertrain and some incredible aerodynamics, including an articulating grille to manage the need for under the hood heating and cooling, this truck achieved 115 percent freight-efficiency improvement.

So what is freight efficiency?  It is a combination of fuel economy (they achieved 12.2 mpg) and reduced weight of the truck and trailer, allowing for a greater payload in the box.

Many of the features are already making their way onto trucks currently in production. The Freightliner Cascadia Evolution is their current standout, with consistently improving performance numbers  gaining another 5 percent fuel economy improvement.

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