Freightliner's Econic SD is a low-slung garbage truck for America

The Econic SD offers increased visibility for drivers and easier access for workers.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read
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Freightliner wants to help make trash trucks safer on the road by increasing visibility for their drivers with the Econic SD.


Garbage trucks are one of those things that you tend not to notice on the road until you're either a) stuck behind one on a hot day or b) one runs into you. While might not be able to do much about the first problem, it thinks it has a solution to help with the second one in the form of the Econic SD truck platform.

Our European readers will no doubt recognize the Econic SD in its Mercedes-Benz-badged form, as it's been in service on the Continent for a while now. The US version is still assembled alongside the Euro variant, but it gets final assembly in South Carolina and an engine built in Detroit.

What makes the Econic SD worth writing about? I mean, it's a garbage truck, right? Well, it's the way that the truck, specifically the cab of the truck, is laid out. Where most older-model garbage trucks are taller because they're built on more traditional truck platforms, the Econic is low-slung and puts the driver at a height closer to that of most road traffic. This in turn makes visibility significantly better and helps to avoid traffic incidents with cars or pedestrians.

An added bonus of the lower design is that it makes hopping on and off of the truck much easier on your friendly neighbourhood garbage man, which will help to increase efficiency and reduce repetitive stress injuries. Everyone wins! Except the guy stuck behind the trash truck in summer. Come on Freightliner, figure that one out already!