As the next step in bringing a fully integrated powertrain to market since announcing the rebranding of its Detroit brand – formerly Detroit Diesel – Daimler Trucks North America on Wednesday, Jan. 11, introduced a full line of Detroit axles for on-highway and vocational applications. The axle lineup – including steer, single rear and tandem rear axles – now are available to order for Freightliner Trucks, Western Star, Thomas Built Bus and Freightliner Custom Chassis vehicles.
Steer axles are available with ratings from 6,000 to 20,000 pounds and use needle bearings rather than bushings that the company says allows for better maneuverability and less maintenance. “With 12 ratings, we’re able to better match the customer’s needs,” says Brad Williamson, manager, engine and component marketing for DTNA. “A new 12,500-pound rating allows customers that might be between the 12,000- and 13,000-pound rating to narrow the trailer gap by putting a little more weight on the front axle.”
Detroit’s rear tandem axles feature a Topoid offset design and are available from 34,000 to 46,000 pounds, including a 40,000-pound option that allows fleets to switch between wide-based single and standard dual-tire configurations. Single rear axles are available from 13,000 to 23,000 pounds.
On its vehicle integration strategy, “The primary driver is to create a competitive advantage for customers to see payback and give them an advantage over their competition and better total cost of operation,” says David Hames, general manager, marketing and strategy for DTNA.
To complete its vehicle integration strategy, DTNA also is evaluating bringing an automated mechanical transmission to the North American market under the Detroit brand. “Against existing AMTs in the market, we think we can deliver a product that generates more uptime and fuel economy improvements for the customer,” says Hames.
“We’re working toward providing differentiated value for our customers,” says Mark Lampert, senior vice president of sales for DTNA. “If we can do that with Detroit engines, axles and transmissions, then we can differentiate ourselves in the market.”
DTNA also announced that its Virtual Technician diagnostic system has joined the Detroit brand family, which now includes an optional Detroit Visibility package that provides fleets the ability to track critical driver performance data such as idle time, speed, location, fuel consumption and stop time.
“Detroit Visibility allows all trucking companies to have access to the tools of the most advanced fleets in the world,” says Tim Tindall, director of component sales. “With Visibility, Virtual Technician can capture both the needs of the fleet and the maintenance department.”