A History of Innovation in Commercial Trucking

Freightliner Trucks Leads the Way in Reducing Real Cost of Ownership

Freightliner Trucks is recognized for breakthrough innovations in commercial vehicle technology that help reduce our customers’ Real Cost of Ownership. Fleet managers and owner-operators count on Freightliner for efficient, dependable vehicles with some of the smartest technology on the market.

Here are some key milestones from Freightliner’s history that showcase our commitment to innovation.

Top view of truck

1942

 

1942

Freightliner is founded and the Model 600 "Shovelnose" features the industry’s first all-aluminum cab.

1950

 

1950

Freightliner sells its first transcontinental cab-over-engine sleeper capable of hauling a 35-foot trailer.

1958

 

1958

Freightliner revolutionizes vehicle servicing with the first 90-degree tilt cab, giving mechanics easy access for engine maintenance.

1965

 

1965

Powered by a Boeing model 553 gas turbine, the Freightliner Turboliner weighs 2,400 pounds less than a similar truck with a diesel engine.

1973

 

1973

Freightliner introduces its flagship Powerliner, a truck with a massive 2,000-square-inch radiator and 600-horsepower engine.

1987

 

1987

The FLD is introduced and is Freightliner’s first aerodynamic conventional tractor.

1989

 

1989

Freightliner’s proprietary AirLiner® suspension gives drivers a new level of comfort.

1995

 

1995

The Freightliner Century Class® offers technological breakthroughs that improve fuel economy, increase payload, enhance driver safety and increase productivity.

1999

 

1999

Freightliner Trucks introduces the Century Class S/T (Safety/Technology) vehicle, a major product upgrade, adding numerous standard safety and technology features.

2000

 

2000

The aerodynamic Columbia® reduces wind resistance and provides excellent fuel economy, along with a lightweight design.

2004

 

2004

Freightliner builds the first, and still the only, full-scale wind tunnel owned and operated by a North American truck manufacturer.

2007

 

2007

The Freightliner Cascadia® debuts, incorporating a range of new aerodynamic, lightweight and maintenance-reducing features.

2007

 

2007

The Detroit DD15® engine, a lighter-weight engine that reduces parasitic loss to boost fuel efficiency, is introduced.

2011

 

2011

Detroit Virtual Technician onboard diagnostic system is launched and made standard in all Freightliner Cascadia® truck models.

2012

 

2012

The Freightliner Cascadia® Evolution truck is introduced, setting a new standard for reducing Real Cost of Ownership.

2013

 

2013

Detroit Connect is introduced giving fleets a suite of telematics offerings.

2014

 

2014

The Detroit Assurance suite of safety systems, linking the engine, transmission and braking systems to radar and camera sensors, is introduced.

2014

 

2014

The integrated Detroit Powertrain is introduced offering engine, transmission and axles engineered and designed to work together.

2015

 

2015

The Freightliner SuperTruck is unveiled at the Mid-America Trucking Show, smashing a goal set by the U.S. Department of Energy by increasing freight hauling efficiency by 115 percent.

2015

 

2015

The Freightliner Inspiration Truck becomes the first licensed commercial truck to operate in autonomous vehicle mode on open public highways in the United States.

See the full history of Freightliner through 70 years of innovation.

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70 Years of Innovation - Freightliner