The Freightliner Century Class is around from some time now and was designed especially for long haul operations. The truck features a conventional cab configuration with an aerodynamic design which gives it a low drag coefficient.
Moreover, the Freightliner Century Class uses strong, lightweight components in the hood and fenders to reduce the overall weight thus allowing for increased payload. The truck has a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 26000 kg for the 6x4 model and 30800 kg for the 8x4 version. There are also available both day and sleeper cabs and the truck is powered by a Detroit Diesel engine which develops between 470 hp - 525 hp.
The Freightliner Century Class features a typical American design with a conventional cab construction. The truck’s long hood is combined with fluid lines and a wraparound bumper which were especially designed to offer a low coefficient drag. Even the exterior sunvisor with integral marker lamps has been designed using wind tunnel tests. The massive windscreen is sloped at a 24 degree angle to further reduce drag and it’s also made of two pieces which makes it easier to replace in case of a partial damage.
The long nose is dominated by a shiny radiator grille which is traversed by a series of thin horizontal bars. The grille is flanked by are twin circular headlights, while the turning signals are placed low into the bumper.
On each side of the bonnet there are two small air intakes which offer additional ventilation to the engine.
The cab features a lightweight aluminium construction with Henrob self piercing rivets, exceeding European ECE-R29 standard.
Thanks to its conventional cab configuration you’ll be able to climb inside without too much fuss. The steps set into the side skirts are long, which helps gaining a solid footing easy while a useful grab handle can be found on the left door pillar.
The Freightliner Century Class’s dash features a classical wraparound design and it’s available with a nice wood trim which looks pretty good and gives it a touch of class. You won’t have any complains about the controls either, as they have a solid build quality and are placed within easy reach. We also like how Freightliner has designed the instrument cluster and its big round gauges can be easy to read during both night and day.
The driver’s seat is a genuine Freightliner seat with a few less adjustments compared to other units in this class. Yet it still offers a proper comfort and a good driving position. The steering wheel however, looks dated and could’ve been better designed as it’s too big for our tastes. At least it can be adjusted so it will permit you to find a proper driving position.
Talking about driving position, drivers will be happy to know that the all around visibility is nothing short of excellent, thanks to the panoramic windscreen, the thin pillars and the huge side windows. The electric and heated mirrors are positioned well and allow for clear, unobstructed views.
The storage department is pretty well represented with a spacious centre console, overhead cubbyholes, door pockets and glove compartment.
Engines and performance
The Freightliner Century Class is offered with a choice of Detroit Diesel engines which develop 470 hp, 500 hp and 525 hp with maximum torque levels of 2237 Nm, 2508 Nm, and 2508 Nm respectively. There are also various transmissions available which include both manual and automatic units supplied by Eaton.
All Detroit Diesel units come with a capable Jacobs engine break that offers a proper retarding power and helps to reduce wear and tear of the service breaks.
Regardless of what power output you’ll choose, the Detroit Diesel engines are fairly capable and reward you with plenty of punch and a strong amount of torque available from low rpms.
Freightliner Century Class Engines Specifications
|Engine||hp @ rpm||Nm @ rpm|
|Detroit Diesel||470 @ 2100||2237 @ 1200|
|Detroit Diesel||500 @ 2100||2508@ 1200|
|Detroit Diesel||525 @ 2100||2508 @ 1200|
Ride and handling
The front suspensions of the Freightliner Century Class use parabolic taper leafs with a capacity of 6,356 kg combined with dual acting shock absorbers and maintenance free rubber bushes, while at the rear there is a four-bag air suspension.
The Freightliner Century Class is pretty comfortable to drive on the highway and has a great stability as opposed to some of its rivals. The Freightliner Century Class’s steering wheel offers a great feel and it’s nicely weighted being both precise and light at the same time.
You won’t have any major complains about the stopping power either as you can relay with confidence on Freightliner Century Class’s brakes.
Despite the fact that is around since 2004, the Freightliner Century Class remains a great truck. The exterior design hasn’t started to look dated and we continue to appreciate its aerodynamic performances.
Except for the chunky steering wheel and the basic seats, the cabin offers a proper overall ergonomy, being fairly spacious and practical.
The Detroit Diesel Engines are also up the task and won’t let you down regardless of what you’re carrying at the back.
We need to send a shout at the capable ride and handling abilities of the Freightliner Century class as they are among the best you’ll find in this segment. Though some reliability issues still remain to spoil the fun and the overall build quality is a half step behind the models from Mack or Volvo .