Semi-trucks are a staple of American industries. In fact, every single item in your home was at one point on the back of a truck, driving down the highway. But because of high fuel economy and low operation costs, the Freightliner brand is more popular than the rest, becoming a true highway star.
Freightliner sells over 190,000 trucks every year, making it America’s best selling semi-truck
According to Statista, Freightliner’s best year was 2019, when they managed to sell 100,000 trucks in America. Obviously, that number dropped in 2020 due to Covid-19, only selling 71,000. But that low number is better than Kenworth and Peterbilt’s best sales, each managing just 42,000 trucks sold in 2019.
In fact, the brand has such a stranglehold over the American interstate system, that they make up 40% of the trucks on the road. Much of Freightliner’s success has to do with their parent company, Daimler. Yes, the same Daimler that owns Mercedes-Benz, which means that every Freightliner you see is a distant cousin of the luxury German brand.
With Daimler at their back, Freightliner has access to global technologies, allowing them to produce trucks that are more fuel-efficient, without raising costs.
The trucks are known for being fuel-efficient and cheaper than others
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For those who know nothing about the semi-truck world, Freightliner is a budget, fuel-efficient brand, similar to Honda. Meanwhile, trucks like Peterbilt and Kenworth (both owned by the same parent company) have a higher build quality and a higher price tag. The best comparison I could make is that Peterbilt and Kenworth are like Volvos, only more American.
But in terms of fuel efficiency, no other brand comes close to Freightliner. Their concept Freightliner Supertruck was built using a government grant that all major semi-truck manufacturers received. And yet, Freightliner dominated the other brands, creating a truck and trailer combo that managed 12 mpg. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but in the semi-truck world, those are impressive numbers. Especially considering most trucks get an average of 6 mpg.
And in the real world, the Freightliner Cascadia Evolution manages 10 mpg, one of the only production semi-trucks that can hit double-digit fuel economy. And considering trucks have room for around 200 gallons of diesel, every mile-per-gallon counts, and will save companies more money over time.
Other information on the Freightliner line of semi-trucks
Clearly, Freightliner is doing something right if they own 40% of the market share. And their lineup consists of a range of trucks, from the on-the-road models hauling cargo across state lines to medium-duty vehicles that serve as light cargo or garbage trucks.
Their top-of-the-line truck is the Cascadia, and the 2021 models cost around $160,000. But in truth, most truck drivers aren’t driving brand new semi-trucks. The most popular Freightliner model year is 2007, which sounds rather old. But considering the average lifespan of a semi is 15 years and 750,000 miles, it’s not unreasonable for someone to buy an older truck.
Freightliner has dominated the segment in America thanks to global partnerships and cheaper operation costs. So on your next road trip, take a look at the semi-trucks you pass by, and you’ll realize just how popular the brand has become.