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Australian Road Trains Welcome the Freightliner Cascadia

Trucking in Australia is unlike in any other place in the world. Given the country’s vast, deserted expanses, Australian trucks have evolved into something that is found in very few other countries: road trains.
Freightliner Cascadia Australia 12 photos
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Australian truckers link so many trailers to a conventional tractor head that the machines become dust-disturbing worms, so common down under that authorities gave them their own vehicle class, their own traffic rules and even their own traffic signs.

Many truck making companies sell their products in Australia, but until this week, one of the world’s largest, Freightliner, did not sell its top product, the Cascadia, there. The Daimler-owned company announced on Friday at a meeting in Sydney that will change.

The Cascadia owns 38 percent of the market share in the United States, is far ahead of its competitors, and now the company aims to get its hands on a good chunk of the Australian market as well.

For local use, Freightliner will supply right-hand drive-Cascadia Class 8 trucks modified to be able to haul 100 tons. They are also to be fitted with special bumpers with underride guard, as well as a cab developed especially for the country.

Road trains have been a common sight in Australia ever since the 1930s, when the South Australian government replaced camel trains (yes, actual camels) with trucks. The first civilian-operated road train came into existence about one decade later.

Presently, there are several types of road trains covering the Outback. Some of the biggest can weigh up to 200 tons and are some 53.5 m (180 ft) long.

The record for world's largest road train was set in 2016, when a Mack Titan head was attached to 112 trailers, each measuring a little over 10 meters, making for a machine 1,474.3 meters (4,836 feet 11 inches) long.

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