According to my nephew, I am officially the envy of boys/men ages five and up. I spent my weekend (March 18-19) in not-so-sunny Las Vegas getting behind the wheel of Freightliner's new SD (Severe Duty) trucks.

Freightliner introduced its line of two new SD trucks designed to serve the Class 7 and 8 vocation markets, providing a set-back axle (SBA) position in both a 108-inch (108SD) and 114-inch (114SD) BBC configuration. In addition to the 108SD and 114SD, a Cummins ISLG natural gas engine will be offered in the 114SD SBA, available at the end of 2011. These trucks are ideal for heavy applications such as dumps, cranes, roll-offs, and mixers.

The company also introduced its new tagline: WorkSmart. According to the company, "Working hard gets you halfway there, working smart puts you over the top."

The lineup was impressive. Freightliner brought several models from the family of trucks to put to the test around a sea of orange cones. Models shown included:

  • 108SD Vocational Severe Duty Cab & Chassis
  • 114SD Vocational Severe Duty Mixer
  • 114SD Vocational Severe Duty Plow
  • 114SD Vocational Severe Duty Crane
  • Coronado Heavy Haul Tractor

An outside track allowed me to test the speed and response of these vehicles, and an inside track with hairpin turns put the turning radius to the test - I didn't hit a single cone, and I have to admit it was mostly due to the trucks turning radius than my superior driving skills I'm sure! The 114SD Crane and Plow feature a wheel-cut of up to 50 degrees (depending on wheel equipment) and up to 45 degrees on the mixer.

Also onsite was the 114SD Crane. I have always been fascinated by cranes, and had the opportunity to sit in the cab and operate the machine. My hat goes off to all crane operators out there. What looked simple at first turned out to be another matter entirely.

The 108SD features a 41-inch SBA position with axle ratings that range from 10,000-20,000-lbs for front axles, and single and tandem rear axles options from 21,000-46,000-lbs. The 108SD is offered with the Cummins ISB and ISC engine, providing a power range of 200-350 hp and 520-1,000 lb.-ft. of torque.

The 114 SD model features a set-forward axel (SFA) configuration with a standard 31-inch front axle position and optional 29.5-inch bridge formula configuration, and a SBA configuration with a standard 48-inch SBA setting. Front axle ratings are available up to 23,000 lbs., and heavy rear axle configurations for single axles are available up to 38,000 lbs., tandem axles up to 58,000 lbs., and tridem axles rated up to 69,000 lbs. 

All 114 SD models are powered by the DD13 with BlueTec SCR technology with a power range of 350-450 hp and torque ratings from 1,250-1,650 lb.-ft. Optional lightweight Cummins ISC and ISL engines will also be available and provide a power range from 260-380 hp, and 660-1,300 lb.-ft. of torque. A full offering of Eaton manual and automated transmissions and Allison automatic transmissions round out the SD family of powertrains, according to the company.

For additional information, view the news item on these trucks on Work Trucks website.

The SD family also incorporates SmartPlex, a TEM friendly multiplex electrical system for chassis to body electrical integration.

About the author
Lauren Fletcher

Lauren Fletcher

Executive Editor - Fleet, Trucking & Transportation

Lauren Fletcher is Executive Editor for the Fleet, Trucking & Transportation Group. She has covered the truck fleet industry since 2006. Her bright personality helps lead the team's content strategy and focuses on growth, education, and motivation.

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