Leadership Alliance – Freightliner
Since 1995, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) has grown from a relatively small organization to a prominent leader in the recreational vehicle chassis industry. Its corporate parent, Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA), purchased Oshkosh Corporation’s chassis division in June of 1995 and formed FCCC at that time.
Now trusted by many of the most respected names in the motorhome, walk-in van and school/commercial bus industries, the company manufactures premium chassis for these markets. Eighty-seven percent of all diesel walk-in van chassis sold today are made by FCCC, as well as 90 percent of stripped-rail diesel commercial bus chassis. It also represents 54 percent of the Class A diesel motorhome chassis sales in the market. Among the leading RV manufacturers, the company has exclusive arrangements with Coachmen, Damon, Entegra Coach, Forest River, Four Winds International, Gulf Stream, Itascan, Jayco, Triple E and Winnebago. It also builds chassis Newmar and Tiffin.
In the motorhome category, most major manufacturers deal exclusively with FCCC for their diesel-powered chassis. Rear-engine chassis configurations include four Cummins engine models: ISB, ISC, ISL and ISM. The chassis come standard with front air disc brakes. They are sold with rear or side radiators, as well as with or without a tag axle. Currently, they are available as straight-rail, raised-rail or lowered-rail chassis, and a modular rail configuration which is only the front and rear “clips” of the chassis.
FCCC also offers its FRont Engine Deisel chassis (FRED), which is available in 300 or 340 horsepower Cummins ISB engines. The rear-engine chassis models range from 300 to 500 hp. A standard feature is 55-degree front-wheel cut, with exception of the independent front suspension model that offers a 60-degree wheel cut, the highest in the industry.
With its front-engine and rear-engine diesel chassis combined, FCCC controls 54 percent of the Class A motorhome market, the largest in the industry. And as the industry’s technological leader, FCCC also introduced the ecoFRED chassis in 2008, the industry’s first hybrid-electric motorhome chassis.
“We believe our Driven By You tagline and company philosophy have really shone through over the past couple years, and customers recognize our industry-leading support and service,” said Tony Sippel, RV product manager. “By offering best-in-class customer service and the industry’s most expansive service network, as well as the best chassis for the best value, we’ve been able to secure more exclusivity agreements with the industry’s best motorhome body builders, which has driven up our market share month over month.”
Another key reason for the company’s steady growth, he said, lies in its exceptional ride and handling characteristics, tight turning radius and dependable diesel engines that last longer and require less maintenance than gasoline engines.
“Service is always a huge priority for us at FCCC,” Sippel explained. “We have the largest dealer service network of any chassis manufacturer with more than 400 authorized service centers throughout North America. And RVers also have access to roadside assistance 24/7/365 by calling 1-800-FTL-HELP.”
Moreover, at present there are over 90 Freightliner Oasis Dealers. These are dealers who embrace the RV lifestyle and have made sizable capital investments for RV owners, including designated service bays, RV-specific waiting areas, dog-walk locations and in some instances, electric and water hookups. These dealers have completed FCCC service training schools and passed exams to become part of the Freightliner Oasis Network, offering RV customers increased priority and expertise when it comes to service.
Freightliner Chassis Owners Club (FCOC) is an over 4,000-member chapter of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). The FCOC is the largest and a very active chapter of the FMCA. Benefits of FCOC membership include two national rallies per year and a five percent service and parts discount at FCCC’s Factory Service Center in Gaffney, S.C. In addition, all new motorhome owners receive their first year’s membership free, paid for by FCCC.
An increasingly popular attraction for RV owners is FCCC’s “Camp Freightliner,” a two-day, bi-monthly session offered at the Factory Service Center. Once a year or so, Camp Freightliner is conducted on the West Coast as well. During this camp, RV owners and their co-pilots take part in an intensive workshop in a classroom-like setting to discuss the A-to-Zs of motorhome maintenance, including air brake and electrical systems, tips and guidelines for maximum performance, maintenance intervals, weight distribution and more. Attendees will also receive a customized three-ring binder for their RV detailing all of their specific motorhome schematics. The camp also provides lunches both days and a cookout dinner with key Freightliner employees and executives and a question/answer session.
For more information about the Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation, please visit www.freightlinerchassis.com or call 1-800-545-8831.