SmartPlex to revolutionize building, spec'ing
Nov 1, 2011 12:00 PM, By Rick Weber
The Freightliner 114SD is designed for a variety of vocational markets. Production of the 114SD SBA (set-back front axle) is scheduled to begin in December. The 114SD SFA (set-forward front axle) has been in production since April.
FREIGHTLINER product manager Mike Good didn't mince words when talking about the SmartPlex vocational electrical system.
“SmartPlex is going to revolutionize the way we build and spec trucks,” he said. “Everybody's going, ‘Oh no, this is a new electrical system.’ That's not what this is. This is an expansion of our current multiplex system. We've upgraded our modules and added an additional module we've used on our school bus model for eight years.”
The expansion targets the SmartPlex hub module, and the upgrades target the Bulkhead Module (BHM) and Chassis Module (CHM).
“We added a lot of new features,” he said. “Because of the way we're going to expand this system, our hardware had to be increased for programming capabilities.”
The SmartPlex hub module is installed in the overhead console. There are 24 multiplexed switches, with six digital inputs and 22 HSD outputs (10 6.7-amp outputs and 12 20-amp outputs). Flex-Switches and indicator lamps can be installed in the overhead console with click-in, laser-etched plastic indicators featuring snowplow-specific icons. These switches and lamps are easily programmed to each customer's requirements through Freightliner's ServiceLink software.
The power distribution module (PDM) is located inside of the cab to protect it from the elements.
New vocational trucks
Freightliner will start production on the 114SD SBA (set-back front axle) and 108SD in December at the plants in Mount Holly, North Carolina, and Santiago, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The 114SD SFA (set-forward front axle) started production in April.
The new line of SD trucks is designed to serve the Class 7 and 8 vocational markets, featuring options such as front-frame extensions and radiator-mounted grilles for body attachment installations, front and rear engine power take-offs, and body-specific chassis layouts that will allow vocational customers to “Work Smart” in any application. With the addition of the SD models, the M2 106 and M2 112V have been discontinued.
Manager of product safety Ivan Neblett said the cab sets it apart.
“We built this cab not only from SAE tests, but also European tests,” he said. “The main goal is to maintain occupant space. That is the key. So we have a strong cab that will keep the operator and occupants safe in the unfortunate event of a mishap. You also gain a lot of operational benefits.”
The SD cab design consists of corrosion-resistant aluminum reinforced with steel that is assembled to precise manufacturing tolerances with Henrob rivets and welded construction, producing a cab that meets stringent A-pillar impact, rollover, and back wall impact tests. Plus, the SD includes a complete offering of single and double channel frame rails that feature a tensile strength of up to 120,000 PSI and an RBM rating up to 4.4 million inch-pounds per rail.
The 108SD features a 42-inch set-back axle position with axle ratings that range from 10,000 to 20,000 pounds for front axles, and single and tandem rear axles options from 21,000 to 46,000 pounds. The 108SD is offered with the Cummins ISB and ISC engine, providing a power range of 200 to 350 hp and 520 to 1,000 lb/ft of torque.
The 114SD model includes a set-forward axle (SFA) configuration with a standard 31-inch front axle position and optional 29.5-inch bridge formula configuration, and a set-back axle (SBA) configuration with a standard 48-inch SBA setting for maximum maneuverability. Front-axle ratings on the 114SD are available up to 23,000 pounds, and heavy rear-axle configurations for single axles are available up to 38,000 pounds, tandem axles up to 58,000 pounds and tridem axles rated up to 69,000 pounds.
All 114SD models are powered by the Detroit Diesel DD13 with a power range of 350 to 450 hp and torque ratings from 1,250 to 1,650 ft-lbs. The optional lightweight Cummins ISC and ISL engines will also be available, and provide a power range from 260 to 380 hp, and 660 to 1,300 ft-lbs of torque. A full offering of Eaton manual and automated transmissions along with Allison automatic transmissions round out the SD family powertrain to provide coverage for all vocational applications.
Ideal for the construction market, the SD family is designed for heavy applications such as dumps, cranes, roll offs, and mixers.
For the municipal market, the flexibility of the SD product line can accommodate a wide range of specialized applications from sewer vacs, to snow plows and refuse vehicles.
The mid-chassis packaging capabilities include a variety of fuel and DEF tank configurations combined with under-cab after treatment systems and battery boxes. The SD family also incorporates SmartPlex.
Neblett said Freightliner paid particular attention to creating a clear back-of-cab, with a special fuel tank and battery location under the cab to make it easier for body builders to upfit. Then Freightliner ran the truck on a test track to be sure the installation was solid enough to stand up on the job site.
In the concrete mixer market, there was particular concern about the high center of gravity of mixer barrels, so engineers built Enhanced Stability Control (ESC) into that model.
He said Freightliner product strategy managers define the intended uses of each vehicle, and then break them down to specific applications and environment: construction, dump, snow plow or crane. Components, systems and entire vehicles are subjected to an array of virtual and physical tests to ensure the product delivers the expected function, performance and reliability, he said.
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