Freightliner Trucks is the first heavy-duty truck manufacturer to provide rack and pinion steering, a component that until now has been used only in light trucks and automobiles. Offering benefits that result in optimal performance and maneuverability, including a 45-pound weight reduction, rack and pinion steering is available on Freightliner Coronado, Columbia, Century Class S/T, and Classic/Classic XL trucks.
The idea for offering rack and pinion steering on Class 8 trucks originated when Freightliner engineers were working with Pikes Peak International Hill Climb record-holder Mike Ryan. The Century Class S/T driver is one of almost 150 drivers who annually ascend Pikes Peak in a race to the top.
Once engineers saw how well rack and pinion steering performed on the tough terrain, they determined that all heavy-duty trucks could also benefit from its features.
Reduced tire replacement is just one maintenance benefit. Because rack and pinion steering is mounted to the front axle, the system temperature remains cooler, therefore improving the durability of seals and hoses. Plus, by moving the steering gear and universal shaft from the left frame front, engine access is easier.