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Heavy-Duty Truck Review – Notable 2021 Daimler Trucks

With new technology and the widespread introduction of electric trucks, we wanted to review the 2021 lineup of North American manufactured Class 8 Commercial Trucks. In this article, we review notable 2021 Daimler Trucks.

While we aren’t going to cover every truck in the 2021 lineup we are going to focus on notable trucks with technology that is significant to fleets.


Freightliner Trucks manufactures Class 5-8 models that serve a wide range of commercial vehicle applications. Freightliner is the best-selling brand of heavy-duty Class 6-8 trucks in North America. They attribute, “their commitment to innovation, advanced technology, and responsive customer relations” to achieving this position in the commercial truck market.

The long-haul on-highway product lineup is led by the Freightliner Cascadia Evolution, a truck designed to maximize efficiency. The Freightliner lineup also includes many vocational applications which are highly customizable to meet the needs of any fleet.

Freightliner eCascadia

According to a press release on Daimler’s corporate site, Southern California Edison (SCE), the primary electricity supply company for much of southern California, recently welcomed a Freightliner eCascadia from the Freightliner Customer Experience (CX) Fleet to begin a three-month testing trial of the battery-electric Class 8 truck.

“SCE’s testing of the eCascadia is a major step down the path of achieving our company’s fleet electrification goals,” said SCE principal manager of Fleet Asset Management Todd Carlson, who manages the company’s fleet of more than 6,200 vehicles.

SCE is the first utility to test an electric truck from Freightliner and will use the eCascadia for material transport, moving heavy equipment like transformers, wire reels, and switch gears from an Irwindale, California warehouse to SCE service centers and storage yards. SCE’s parent company, Edison International, recently published the 2030 goal to electrify 30 percent of their medium-duty vehicles and pickup trucks and eight percent of their heavy-duty trucks.

When it enters series production in 2022, the eCascadia will be sold by Freightliner dealers like Velocity Truck Centers who operate seven new truck dealers in Southern California and support the Freightliner CX Fleet by providing vehicle service and fleet management.

“The future of zero-emission trucks is approaching quickly and Velocity is proud to lead the charge, along with our great customers, and our partners at Freightliner and Daimler Trucks North America,” said Scott Zeppenfeldt, senior vice president of operations, Velocity Truck Centers. “While there are a lot of unknowns in transitioning to an electric fleet, supporting our customers in these types of projects are an integral step to starting the journey.”

Western Star

Western Star, which got its start in 1967 manufacturing rugged heavy-duty trucks for logging and oil field, is the heavy-duty brand of Daimler Trucks North America, and they know exactly who their ideal customer is.

“Our focus is on creating purpose-built products for small and medium fleets, as well as owner-operators, in the vocational and extreme-duty segments.”

Daimler Corporate Site

Powered by Detroit Diesel engines, these trucks are at home in the middle of North America (like in Alberta, Canada) or the middle of the Australian Outback, and can be counted on to perform.

A Truck That Checks All the Boxes

The 4900 series provides fleets with 272 different configurations, so whether you want to use it on-highway, as a crane on a construction site, or in the forest or a mine, this series of truck has you covered.

On The Truckers Report, I found a review of this truck that sums up the performance of the 4900 series, “I had a chance to run a friend’s Western Star 4900SA with the Ultra High Rise and I really liked it, ran great and pulled like it was empty while at 80,000,” said Dark Wolf.

You can find lots of testimonials about the Western Star lineup including these ones on the Wester Star website.

A Texas-based owner-operator explains why they bought a Western Star, “I always wanted a Western Star. I knew they were built tough and strong, I’d been driving for nearly 30-years and it was time to get the best truck.”

The 4900 is a powerful, versatile workhorse in the Western Star lineup and can be set up for a long haul on-highway application or a vocational application through a variety of options, including transmissions, engines, axles, cab types, and suspensions.

“I love my Western Star because it is so well made,” said Wiggins, who hauls a dry van, mostly west of the Mississippi River, and often delivers convention booths and displays. “You go over a bump in another truck and you get squeaks and rattles; go over a bump in this truck and you hear nothing. It’s that tight.”

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Author: Jamie Irvine

Jamie Irvine is the host of The Heavy-Duty Parts Report and a consultant that works with manufacturers, distributors, and SaaS companies serving the heavy-duty truck parts industry.


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