Information on Freightliner FL60 Trucksby Rob Wagner
The Freightliner FL60 medium-sized truck is part of the truck builder’s FL-series Class 5 through 8 family of commercial vehicles. The FL60, with its sibling the FL50, are among the lightest trucks in the FL series, with an empty weight of about 25,500 pounds. The FL series debuted in 1995, and Freightliner continued to produce the line at least through 2011.
The Freightliner FL60 comes from a long line of commercial trucks that originated in 1929 as Consolidated Freight Lines and was based in Portland, Oregon. The company served the Northwest’s logging industry and customized its trucks with aluminum components. It was an early pioneer in aluminum cab-over-engine trucks. By 1940, the company changed its name to Consolidated Freightways, and then to Freightliner in 1942. Germany-based Daimler AG purchased Freightliner in 1981. The FL Series debuted shortly after Daimler/Freightliner acquired Oshkosh Custom Chassis of South Carolina in 1995. In addition to medium-duty tasks, the FL60 also serves as a firefighting vehicle.
The FL Series
Although the FL Series falls in both the commercial and business-class truck categories, it is primarily a business-class truck because of its compact dimensions and tight turning radius, which is ideal for urban driving. Freightliner designed the FL60 model for regional and interstate delivery work. Its flexibility in an urban environment makes it suitable for configurations that include emergency vehicles, dump trucks and cement-mixing vehicles. Other configurations include school buses, motor homes, logging and snow plowing. The FL60 falls between the FL50 and FL70 models for medium-duty work. The FL80, FL106 and FL112 models are heavy-duty vehicles.
By 2001, Freightliner equipped the FL60 with a Caterpillar 7.2-liter, in-line six-cylinder 3126 or 3126B diesel engine. Output ranged from 160 to 300 horsepower. Transmission choices included six- or seven-speed manual or automatics from Mercedes-Benz, Allison and Easton Fuller. In contrast, the FL50 featured a Cummins 5.9-liter six-cylinder with horsepower ranging from 175 to 250. The Caterpillar 7.2-liter diesel was an option on the FL60. The larger FL70 also came with either a Cummins or Caterpillar diesel with ratings of up to 430 horsepower.
Current and late-model FL60 vehicles have standard hydraulic brakes, although customers can order air brakes as an option. Flatbed versions are perhaps the most common FL60 models; they can be fitted with custom cargo boxes or special-order equipment such as a cement mixer. Sizes and equipment vary considerably. The FL60’s width ranges from 96 to 102 inches, with box compartments measuring 22 to 24 feet in length. The wheelbase is 234 inches long. It comes with an Airslide fifth wheel and rides on standard 10R22.5 tires. Although sleeper cabs are available, smaller cabs are more common given the FL60 is primarily a day hauler as opposed to a long-distance vehicle.
Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East. He served stints as a newspaper and magazine editor in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wagner attended California State University, Los Angeles, and has a degree in journalism.