There are several main things to consider when deciding what truck to buy.  Things like purchase price, return on investment (ROI), dependability, and total cost of ownership (TCO) usually take precedence in the decision making process.  There is one factor that often remains on the back burner, but should be more on the forefront of things to consider during the decision making process on buying a truck...Safety!  With Freightliner’s dedication to producing the safest trucks out there, it gives me “peace of mind” to be behind the wheel of one myself.  Their research into comfortable living and working spaces, as well as their optional safety features make sure that when you buy a Freightliner you are getting the safest truck on the road!
Believe it or not, driver safety goes hand-in-hand with driver comfort.  If you are not sleeping, working, or driving comfortably, you will experience a higher level of fatigue in your daily routine.  Freightliner happens to take this into consideration when building their trucks as well.  Several features of their flagship model, the Cascadia, are built to do just that…make the driver more comfortable.  Taking into consideration that not all drivers are sized alike, they incorporated seats that are two inches wider, taller and longer than most in the industry.  I know from personal experience that the insulated cab of the Cascadia can’t be beat for sound dampening.  The quiet ride and inside the cab is something I was unadjusted to in previous trucks I had driven and I would be lying if I said it was kind of unsettling at first.  Once adjusted though, I prefer the quietness as apposed to not being able to hear myself think while I’m going down the road!  Quality sleep is also an important part of driver safety, which has not been overlooked in the design of these trucks.  Not only does the insulated cab dampen the surrounding outside noise to help you sleep, but also the curved cab walls actually have been designed to reduce vibration noise.  When not driving, the ample amount of interior lighting and spacious accommodations within, make it a virtual home away from home!

Moving from the inside of the cab to the outside, Freightliner has you covered there as well.  With the launch of Detroit Assurance on their Cascadia and Cascadia Evolution, they have integrated a suite of safety systems that offers a new level of protection and control that is unsurpassed.  Designed enhance the truck as a tool between the driver and the road, Detroit Assurance helps to improve safety through advanced collision mitigation and an optional lane departure system.  The collision mitigation includes a bumper-mounted radar to detect objects ahead of the truck and a Video Radar Detection Unit (VRDU), which commands the ABS, transmission and other engine computers to help you better avoid a collision.  The addition of the optional windshield-mounted camera system for lane-departure warning helps alert the driver if he/she begins to drift out of their lane at speeds above 37mph, unless the driver disables the switch in areas where lane crossings are anticipated to be more frequent.

What about safety when something has already gone wrong?  Driving trucks, you and I both know, it is not as much a matter of “if” but more a matter of “when” something might happen.  As drivers, we make certain to limit the threat of unplanned downtime with precautions such as preventative maintenance and proper pre-trip and post-trip inspections, but the chances are in you favor as a driver that something might happen to your truck.  In this scenario, Detroit Connect has you covered!  Utilizing Virtual Technician, Visibility Fleet Software, and the Zonar On-Board Tablet, you are well armed to maximize your fleet’s uptime capabilities!  Should you be going down the road and a code appears on your dash, Virtual Technician can go to work for you, letting you know if it is a critical issue or if it is something that can be repaired later on down the road.  Working ahead of you, it will notify you of the problem, what caused the problem, when it needs to be fixed, as well as where to go for service straight to your email.  The Detroit Visibility software helps to keep you safe by using wireless communication and GPS to monitor your equipment.  A fleet owner, or designated representative can create detailed reports such as truck location, truck path, trip costs, idle time, truck activity, and fuel consumption data.  The On-Board Tablet incorporates apps for HOS tracking, two-way messaging, turn-by-turn truck navigation, and RFID pre-/post-trip inspections to help improve truck and driver safety.
As much information as this is to take in, it barely scratches the surface when it comes to Freightliner’s dedication to building the safest trucks on the road!  As their parent company (Daimler Trucks North America) strives to improve truck safety, many of their efforts go unnoticed by the general consumer of their end product.  The fact that they were the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to offer safety options such as their Lane Guidance Warning System is only one of many ways they are aiming to improve driver safety in the trucks they build.  Other options such as Enhanced Stability Control (ESC) and adaptive cruise control are also important parts of the safety equation that have been proven to help reduce the number of accidents in their customer’s fleets.  They are also active participants in the development and implementation of industry-wide safety regulations, where they provide expertise, test vehicles, and validation results, which help shape the industry into a safer place to do business as a whole.  With more than 30 safety options offered in their trucks, Daimler Trucks North America and Freightliner Trucks make me proud to be behind the wheel of what I feel is the safest truck available!

Comments (5)

Jimmy Nevarez

Jimmy Nevarez is the Owner/President of Angus Transportation, Inc., based in Chino, California.  Jimmy pulls a 53' dry van hauling general dry freight for his own small fleet, operating on its own authority throughout all of Southern California and Southern Nevada.

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First of all, thanks to all of you for taking the time to read and comment.

I can only address the concerns over the longevity of these systems from a driver's perspective, as engineering is slightly more technical than I am used to. The launch of all of these new systems is very similar in many ways to the introduction of the electronics involved in the Series 60. Many thought it would never work, while others downright hoped electronic engines would fail. The fact of the matter is that after decades of real world use, they have had their bugs as all electronics are capable of, but have succeeded in proving that the ability for long-term, dependable use was there.

That being said, electronics are electronics! Only so much can be done with accelerated time testing and these systems are built under stringent quality control and to last the lifetime of the truck. The only cases I have seen were those where sensitivity needed to be adjusted, or a simple realignment needed to be done. Nothing is foolproof, but being that the cameras and radars are mounted to solid portions of the truck not typical of distortion, I am confident that the maintenance would be anything but minimal.

Remember, the best safety system is one you don't know is there until you need it! Use it as a tool to keep you safe, rather than a constant crutch.

March 20, 2015 21:35:35 PM

Now you know I have to agree with every word you said. Because it's true and I love my new 2015 cascadia 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟👤

March 20, 2015 18:32:01 PM

Thank you for describing the safety and cost-reducing factors of Freightliner Cascadia.

I have a question about maintenance of all the lane-shift, auto-braking technology which seems great. Seems to me that in the course of time radars and sensors or the frame they are attached to will be bent and pushed out of effective position. How is this handled?

March 20, 2015 11:11:27 AM

The safest combination is a professional driver and enhanced equipment. This new "stuff" works. The professional driver learns to work with it.

March 19, 2015 3:53:18 AM

The safest combination is a professional driver and enhanced equipment. This new "stuff" works. The professional driver learns to work with it.

March 19, 2015 3:53:12 AM