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Freightliner, part of the Daimler Group, celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2017.Freightliner Trucks manufactures Class 5-8 models, servinga wide range of commercial vehicle applications. The company's headquarters is in Fort Mill, S.C., and was founded in 1942.
Freightliner makes on-highway trucks, medium-duty trucks, severe-duty trucks, natural gas trucks and the Cascadia truck - a class 8 on-highway truck that sports a 350-600 horsepower engine with up to 2,050-lb.-ft. of torque.
Other Freightliner on-highway trucks include the M2 112 and the 122SD. Freightliner manufactures the M2 106 medium-duty truck; the 108SD, 114SD and 122SD severe-duty trucks; and the Cascadia, M2 112 and 114SD natural gas trucks.
Freightliner History at a Glance
Consolidated Freightways began producing its own truck line from reconstructed Fageol Motors trucks (a now defunct United States-based manufacturer of trucks, buses and farm tractors) in the 1930s. What spurred this was that Consolidated Freightways determined that most heavy trucks of the time lacked the power to ascend the steep mountain grades of the western United States.
The first units of what were branded 'Freightliners' were manufactured at Consolidated Freightways' maintenance facility in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1942. After World War II, manufacturing of these trucks moved to Portland, Ore., where Consolidated Freightways was based. The first truck sold outside of Consolidated Freightways in 1949 was to Hyster, a forklift manufacturer, which also was based in Portland.That truck now resides at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
In 1951, Consolidated Freightways began selling its trucks through the White Motor Company.Which was based in Cleveland, Ohio. This spawned what would become known as the White Freightliner.
In the 1970s, White Motor Company had begun experiencing trouble and the distribution equipment between it and Consolidated Freightways was terminated and Freightliner Corp. began operating as its own manufacturer and distributor.
In the early 1980s, Consolidated Freightways began experiencing trouble of its own and sold the Freightliner brand to Daimler-Benz.
In 1991, Daimler ended its sales of Mercedes-Benz medium-duty trucks in North America and Freightliner took its place. Over the years since, Freightliner has made a series of acquisitions.
Today, Freightliner operates under the umbrella of Daimler Trucks North America. Attempting to capitalize on the abundant natural gas supply, Freightliner began manufacturing natural gas trucks in 2009.