READY TO RUMBLE: No stone has been left unturned in developing a right-hand drive (RHD) Cascadia and to ensure it was engineered for tough Australian conditions.
READY TO RUMBLE: No stone has been left unturned in developing a right-hand drive (RHD) Cascadia and to ensure it was engineered for tough Australian conditions. COVENTRY STUDIOS

Daimler spends $100 million to customise Cascadia

THE CASCADIA, known for its legendary low cost of ownership, is the best-selling heavy-duty truck in the United States.

However, Daimler made a $100 million investment to develop the right-hand drive (RHD) Cascadia and to ensure it was engineered for tough Australian conditions and operator requirements.

As part of this commitment to the region, an unprecedented international market testing program was held on both sides of the Pacific, with six test trucks operating in the U.S. and three test trucks running up miles in Australia on challenging routes.

"There is no such thing as a world truck," said Chairman of the Board of Management, Daimler Truck AG, Martin Daum, who launched the Australian Cascadia along with CEO of Daimler Trucks North America, Roger Nielsen, at a special customer event in Sydney.

"We listened to our customers in Australia and New Zealand and developed this great truck specifically for them."

Freightliner Australia Pacific Director, Stephen Downes, said the team had worked tirelessly to ensure this is the right truck for Australian operators and is ready for uniquely tough local conditions.

"We run our trucks hotter, harder and longer so we needed to make sure the Australian Cascadia would be up to the task," he said.

"We made some changes and are extremely confident this truck is ready to start saving money for our customers and delivering an on-road experience we know drivers will love.

Daimler Truck and Bus Australia Pacific President and CEO, Daniel Whitehead, said the introduction of the Cascadia represents a new chapter for conventional trucks in Australia.

"This is quite simply the best conventional truck available in Australia and raises the bar to a new level," said Mr Whitehead.

"Whichever way you look at it, from its remarkable fuel efficiency to its advanced safety features, connectivity and driver comfort, the Cascadia is way out in front of its 'competitors'."

New safety features for Cascadia include the Sideguard Assist system that warns the driver if the truck's turning trailer could hit objects such as power poles when turning left and also alerts the driver if they are about to merge left into an occupied lane.

There is also a radar/camera system that can even detect a pedestrian and quickly bring the truck to a complete stop with no input from the driver.

The Cascadia will be available with a head-protecting airbag from launch and the cab meets ECE29 crash test standards.

The Australian Cascadia will be available with two new-generation Detroit engines that exceed Euro 6 emission standards by meeting U.S. GHG 17 standards using an enhanced SCR system and upgraded common rail injection.

Engine choices include the new 16-litre DD16 with up to 600hp and 2050lb/ft and a new 13-litre DD13 with up to 505hp and 1850lb/ft. Transmissions include the smart DT12 Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) and an 18-speed Eaton manual.

GPS-based and road-reading Intelligent Powertrain Management will also help drive down fuel use, along with Cascadia's ultra-aerodynamic shape, its built-in air deflectors, integrated antennas and 12-inch and 20-inch cab side extenders.

  • Make sure you grab a copy of the last Big Rigs print edition for 2019 (out on December 13), for an in-depth report from our man at the Cascadia launch, David Meredith.
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