Updated The Freightliner Plus line of medium-duty trucks due in 2023, borrows a few styling cues from its full-size sibling, the Cascadia. But the biggest changes are happening inside.

The all-new electrical architecture makes it easier for installers to connect wires to bodies and professional equipment. Routing changes also allowed the radio speakers to move from the dashboard to the doors – just like in passenger cars – for better sound quality.

The M2 106 and 112 Plus, as well as the 108SD Plus and 114SD Plus from Daimler Truck North America, are not brand new vehicles. But the changes are significant, they bring them closer to the market-leading Cascadia not only in appearance.

Freightliner reveals an updated family of medium-duty trucks

The Detroit Assurance 5.0 safety system, which debuted on the 2020 Cascadia, is making its way to the midsize vehicle lineup.

Active Brake Assist and Lane Departure Warning are standard. Side Guard Assist alerts the driver if an object or pedestrian is not visible on the right side of the truck. This is optional.

Adaptive cruise control, which automatically adjusts cruising speed to maintain a safe distance, will be available when production in Mount Holly, North Carolina, begins in the third quarter of 2023.

“We have customers that have both the M2 and the Cascadia,” Mary Aufdemberg, DTNA’s general manager of product strategy and market development, told FreightWaves during a July media event at the American Mobility Center outside Detroit. “They said, ‘Hey, we want the same performance in our mid-tier product.’

Freightliner Plus tracks saFeta performance

Fleets that ship Plus Series trucks will receive key information through the Detroit Connect suite of connectivity systems. This can help reduce downtime.

  • The Virtual Technician remote diagnostics service informs the fleet of the time, location and severity of the fault. And it shows where and how best to solve the problem.
  • Remote Update uses secure radio programming to update engine parameters and more.
  • Detroit Connect Analytics automatically analyzes and identifies driver behavior and trends. It provides information on fuel economy and safety data.
  • The Safety Event Viewer informs fleets of how safely drivers are performing. It marks collision mitigation events by time, date, and location of the event. It records the speed of the vehicle at the time of the event and the duration of the event. Safety Event Viewer comes standard with Detroit Assurance with Active Brake Assist 5.

Choice of engines for Freightliner Plus trucks

The Plus Series offers heavy-duty engines to meet your on-the-go or professional work needs.

The 114SD Plus is powered by a high-torque DD13 Gen 5 diesel engine for fast payload movement. ThermoCoasting prevents post-treatment cooling during running post-treatment regeneration to maintain the best possible temperature while reducing the need for regeneration during parking.

The Detroit DT12-V transmission is built for professional performance, durability and low-speed maneuverability on the jobsite. Its Off-Road mode features aggressive gear shifting for sustained momentum. Hill start assist prevents rollback on steep slopes.

Technology in its sister Western Star 47X and 49X professional trucks includes a Rock-Free Mode to reduce downtime caused by wheel jams. Paver mode allows the dump truck to shift from neutral to drive without pressing the brake pedal to ensure a steady flow to the paver.

The Plus Series lineup also includes Cummins B6.7, L9 and X12 diesel engine options, as well as L9N and ISX12N natural gas engines, available for the first time with Detroit Assurance safety features. Cummins will take over global production of medium-duty engines for Daimler Truck in the coming years.

Eaton manual transmissions and the joint venture Eaton-Cummins Endurant are available along with Allison automatic transmissions.

“For me, first and foremost is the Detroit Assurance on the Plus Series, and the placement of the Detroit Assurance behind the Cummins engine,” Aufdemberg said.

Automotive luxury complements the ruggedness of the new Western Star 57X

Daimler Truck, Cummins retrofit Freightliner Cascadias to run on hydrogen

Cummins will build mid-level engines for Daimler Truck

Click to see Alan Adler’s other articles on FreightWaves.


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