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Bullseye: Sterling trucks on target

Early indications are that Sterling Truck Corp.’s Bullet and 360 models are right on target.

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Early indications are that Sterling Truck Corp.’s Bullet and 360 models are right on target.

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Now rolling off production lines and arriving in dealerships, the new Sterling Bullet Class 4-5 chassis cab introduced earlier this year is already proving to be a popular choice for a variety of fleet applications. “Interest in the Bullet has been high,” confirmed Matt Stevenson, director of light commercial vehicles. “In fact, Bullet production is full through the end of 2007 and we’re currently accepting orders for 2008.”

Built by Sterling Truck Corp. at its Saltillo Assembly Plant in Coahuila, Mexico, the Bullet is available in two-door Regular Cab and four-door Quad Cab 4×2 and 4×4 models. The trucks are offered in six wheelbases from 144.5 to 204.5 in.

Bullet chassis can be fitted with bodies ranging from eight to 16 ft. Body-builder friendly, the trucks are built on 50,000-PSI frame rails with industry standard 34-in. rail spacing. Fuel tanks, batteries, fuel lines, exhaust systems, crossmembers and wiring are all mounted below the top of the frame for easy body installation.

Specifications for the Bullet include a Cummins ISB 6.7-L turbocharged diesel engine rated at 305 HP and 610 lb./ft. of torque. An exhaust brake is standard along with a Mercedes-Benz G56 6-speed manual transmission. Optional is an Aisin electronically controlled six-speed automatic. Also standard is a PTO prep package that includes an electrical interface, electronic idle and remote throttle controls, and an accelerator interlock. The trucks also feature 19.5-in. wheels.

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Together with the low cabover Sterling 360, the conventional Bullet makes the OEM the only commercial vehicle manufacturer to offer a complete line of Class 3-8 vehicles. The Sterling 360 is available in Class 3, 4, and 5 models. The 360 models are slated to receive a number of enhancements for the 2008 model year. The list of options, for instance, now includes a 189-in. wheelbase on the Class 5 version.

Several improvements in the Sterling 360’s engine are also being introduced as a result of the changes made to comply with EPA emissions standards. The new diesel particulate filter –– a requirement for all 2008 model year trucks –– has been tested and utilized in the Japanese market for several years. Its compact design, the OEM says, simplifies body installation and maintains the 360’s ground clearance. Additionally, due to an improved cooling system and a change in frame height, the chassis can be lowered two inches, making it easier to load and unload the vehicle.

Engine changes on the Sterling 360 Class 3 model have also resulted in increased power, upgrading the powerplant from 175 to 185 HP. In addition, the On-Board Diagnostics system (OBD-II) on the Class 3, which provides for a universal inspection and diagnosis method to be sure the vehicle is performing correctly and to EPA emissions standards, will also be available on 2008 Class 4 and 5 Sterling 360 trucks.

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Sterling 360 and Bullet models are available through select dealers in the U.S. and Canada. Designed for a wide range of applications such as wholesale and retail services, pickup and delivery, landscaping, and construction fleets, among others, early orders are showing that these trucks are will be a popular choice for the foreseeable future.

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