Two recalls hit 80k Freightliner, Western Star trucks

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Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, June 2, 2021:

Headlight, tie rod issues prompt recalls of more than 80,000 Daimler trucks
Daimler Trucks North America is recalling more than 80,000 trucks, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents. The largest of the recalls affects more than 72,000 trucks, while the other affects nearly 8,500 trucks.

The largest of the recalls affects approximately 75,508 model year 2017-2022 Freightliner Cascadia trucks equipped with halogen headlight assemblies. The halogen headlight bulb may dislodge during replacement and contact other vehicle components, possibly causing them to melt.

Dealers will install a foam grommet, cut a 4-inch access hole into the inner fender, and add a warning label on both fenders, free of charge. Owners can contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712 with recall number FL-887. NHTSA’s recall number is 21V-357.

The other recall affects a variety of Daimler models and was prompted by tie rod clamps that may be loose, which could result in loose tie rod ends that could break or detach, possibly causing a loss of steering.

Affected trucks include certain 2021-2022 Freightliner 114SD, 122SD, Business Class M2, Cascadia, 108SD; Western Star 4900, 4700, 5700; Custom Chassis RV Chassis, Custom Chassis S2 Chassis, Custom Chassis XC Chassis, Custom Chassis XB Chassis and Custom Chassis MT Chassis.

Dealers will replace the tie rod clamp bolts and nuts for free. Owners can contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712 with recall number FL-888. NHTSA’s recall number is 21V-369. 

Leonard’s Express adopts new green tech for fleet
Leonard’s Express (CCJ Top 250, No. 154) has adopted a new source of alternative energy for its national fleet of long-haul diesel trucks and has already begun installations, the company announced Tuesday.

The fleet is incorporating SPI.Systems’ SPI Exhaust Reaction System (SPIER), which alters the chemistry of combustion through reuse of the exhaust gases that are currently being wasted.  Its sustainability comes from reducing that waste while cutting emissions and boosting fuel economy.

“The chemical engineering has created an energy release in the engine that has a potential 300 times that of normal combustion, and it’s all free, and has always been there for us to employ,” said SPI CEO Jack Schickler.

Leonard’s has been loaning its trucks for testing to SPI for two years.

“Expanding the evaluation makes a lot of sense to us,” said Leonard’s CEO Ken Johnson. “We have been very impressed with the results in our initial pilot evaluation. Between the fuel savings and the maintenance reduction from the significant reduction in emissions, we fully expect to see the product pay for itself in under 18 months, and possibly under a year.”

Leonard’s operates over 650 long-haul trucks across the U.S. and Canada.