• 72°

Freightliner produces 15,000th truck for Old Dominion, ushers in new Cascadia model

CLEVELAND — Daimler Trucks North America celebrated a milestone Monday by producing a 15,000th Freightliner truck for longstanding customer Old Dominion Freight Line of Thomasville.

Monday’s occasion also ushered in the start of production at the Cleveland manufacturing plant of the newest Freightliner Cascadia model, which is the company’s top seller.

Daimler Trucks has received 25,000 orders for the new Cascadia version since its launch last September, which tops orders for the first three years of the original Cascadia.

Monday morning, officials with Daimler Trucks handed over the keys to the 15,000th Freightliner truck made for Old Dominion — and the new Cascadia model — to Old Dominion Chief Executive Officer David Congdon.

Congdon has a commercial driver’s license, and he drove the new Cascadia from the end of the assembly line in Cleveland into a back parking lot for pictures.

The new truck was decked out in Old Dominion’s green-and-white colors and trademark “OD” logo.

“I’ll tell you what, they love Freightliners,” Congdon said of his company’s drivers.

Congdon said Old Dominion’s relationship through the years with Freightliner has been fantastic. Chris Backeberg, director of national account sales for Freightliner, said the 15,000th truck milestone celebrates a long friendship and partnership between the two companies.

Another key partner in the Freightliner-Old Dominion relationship has been Peach State, the longtime truck dealership of choice for Old Dominion.

Of the 15,000 Freightliner trucks has built for Old Dominion since 1991, 12,000 have been produced at the Cleveland plant, according to General Manager Henning Bruns.

Workers at the Cleveland plant Monday wore shirts that marked the Old Dominion milestone with the words “15,000 promises and counting.”

“We are very dedicated to Old Dominion,” Bruns told the truck company’s visitors.

The Cleveland plant makes eight different models of trucks — five Freightliner and three Western Star.

Production has increased to more than 80 trucks per shift, and Bruns said the Cleveland plant will build 20,000 trucks this year in its one-shift approach.

The Cleveland facility employs roughly 1,500 workers.

Roger Nielsen, president and chief executive officer of Daimler Trucks North America, said his company was honored Old Dominion has placed so much faith in the Freightliner brand. As for the newest Cascadia, Nielsen said, “It is the most advanced truck we have built for the marketplace.”

What Freightliner builds for Old Dominion translates to at least 100 jobs, Nielsen said, while thousands of other jobs are part of the periphery. “We don’t take that lightly,” he said.

Daimler Trucks touts the new Class 8 Cascadia model as lighter in weight, more cost efficient, more fuel efficient (by 8 percent) and safer. It’s a lightweight truck powerful enough to haul freight anywhere in the country, Nielsen said.

The cab/sleeper configurations come in day cab, mid-roof and raised-roof models. The standard Cascadia has a Detroit DD15 engine and Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission. But there also are many optional features.

The elite lounge package includes, for example, a Murphy bed, dinette table, flat screen TV mount and 1,500-watt inverter.

Congdon told the officials from Daimler Trucks on Monday he had seen the Freightliner trucks represented at the North American Truck Show in Atlanta. “You absolutely stole the show,” he said.

After remarks, a tour of the plant, and Congdon’s brief test run, the Freightliner and Old Dominion representatives had a luncheon in the plant’s truck museum, along with a celebratory cake.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

Comments

Local

Catawba holds baccalaureate services for Class of 2021

News

$9M settlement for two men wrongfully sent to death row

Nation/World

China lands spacecraft on Mars in latest advance for its space program

Business

Gas crunch hits Washington; Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $5 million in Bitcoin ransome

Coronavirus

State mostly returns to normal operations after 15 months of lockdowns, restrictions

Crime

Blotter: Man accused of stealing car, crashing it

Crime

Man faces new charge of attempted murder for father’s shooting

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper lifts indoor mask mandate for most situations, gathering limits

Crime

Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in Tutterow couple’s 1992 murder

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday