It was also in the 1970s that the longstanding distribution agreement between Freightliner and White Motor Company would come to an end, thanks to financial trouble White was facing at the time due to over-expansion that did not produce returns. Freightliner Corporation transitioned into being a freestanding manufacturer and distributor following the termination of this relationship. Interestingly, many of the first dealers of Freightliner trucks happened to be from the White Motor Company network, though there were some that signed up to sell Freightliner trucks without having any involvement with the White Motor Company. In 1979, another big event in the evolution of the company, and of the whole trucking and truck manufacturing industries, occurred. President Carter signed bills into law which deregulated transport both on land and in the air. This changed the economics of trucking, and removed the shield of regulated carriage that protected carriers, allowing for much needed competition. A few years later, additional legislation was passed that altered traditional weight and length standards in order to lessen restrictions, and imposed a new excise tax on heavy trucks and the tires they used. This changed the rules of the trucking game even more.
Recognizable by its high cab, it was an extremely advanced vehicle for its time offering a high standard of driver comfort and a high power output for its time, courtesy of the well proven 14 litre Cummins engine with typical outputs of 290-350 HP. The engines were originally of the Cummins NTC generation, but were gradually updated to the new "big-cam" (NTE) generation - a process completed by 1979.  Also, the Ford Transcontinental is noted for having oil and water meters on the dashboard, another example of the unit being ahead of its time.