Sterling unveils new sleeper

A midsize integrated sleeper for regional haulers and the first public appearance of the Detroit Diesel DD13 engine topped new product announcements at a Sterling Truck Corp. press conference in Napa, CA, on Aug. 6. The work-truck subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) also introduced the first OEM-built natural gas heavy truck, the Sterling Set-Back 113, powered by the Cummins Westport

A midsize integrated sleeper for regional haulers and the first public appearance of the Detroit Diesel DD13 engine topped new product announcements at a Sterling Truck Corp. press conference in Napa, CA, on Aug. 6. The work-truck subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) also introduced the first OEM-built natural gas heavy truck, the Sterling Set-Back 113, powered by the Cummins Westport ISL G.

Marking Sterling's first sleeper after discontinuing the SilverStar in 2002, the new 60-in. NightShift is aimed at regional LTL and distribution applications, according to Richard Shearing, manager of product strategy for Sterling. The integrated mid-roof design is a true “vocational sleeper,” combining driver comfort and convenience with the price and light weight that drivers need to spend two or three nights a week in a bunk, he said.

Features include walk-thru clearance, a flat floor, maximized cabinet storage capacity, an 8-in. coil spring mattress, centralized controls over the bunk, side and rear panel windows, TV and microwave connections and both 12V and 120V shore power connections.

It will be available on both 122- and 113-in. BBC versions of the Sterling set-back tractor with the first deliveries set for March.

The second in a series of all-new proprietary heavy-duty engines for DTNA vehicles, the new DD13 will replace the company's MBE 4000 diesel by the end of 2009, according to David Siler, director of marketing for Detroit Diesel.

The new engine is an in-line 6-cyl., displacing 12.8 liters and will be offered in ratings from 350 to 450 hp. with peak torque outputs of 1,350 to 1,650 lbs.-ft. Designed to meet 2010 emissions requirements, the DD13 is ready to move to Daimler's BlueTec selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system, according to Siler.

Aimed at LTL regional distribution and vocational applications, the new DD13 will offer up to 5% better fuel economy than the MBE 4000, Siler said. The DD13 will be available in 2009 Sterling and Freightliner models and in Western Star trucks in 2010.

Sterling has already committed to delivering 400 SB113 natural gas tractors this year to carriers serving the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Shearing noted.

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