NAPA, CA. A mid-size 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 here yesterday. 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 squarely 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 required by fleet applications that need drivers 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 for natural light, TV and microwave connections, 12V and 120V shore power connections and an optional under-bunk 32-liter coolbox that can be used as a refrigerator or freezer. The NightShift also comes standard with Sterling’s noise control package said to reduce interior noise by 25%.
The 60-in. NightShift will be available on both 122- and 113-in BBC versions of the Sterling set-back tractor with first deliveries scheduled for March, 2009.
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, dir. of marketing for Detroit Diesel. The 15-liter DD15 was the first engine in the new line and a 16-liter model will round out the DTNA proprietary power offerings in the near future.
The new engine shown for the first time at the press event 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. It shares the DD15’s amplified common rail fuel system and DDEC VI engine management system, but gets its own engine block and asymmetrical turbocharger. Designed to meet new emissions requirements, the DD13 is ready to move to Daimler’s BlueTec selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system when the next round of requirements take effect in 2010, 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, while improving driveability with a broad peak torque range and providing a wide range of PTO options in a compact package that weighs 400 lbs. less than the DD15. Service features for the DD13 include 65% parts commonality with the DD15, up to 50,000-mi. oil-change intervals and upright cartridge filters.
The DD13 will be available in 2009 Sterling and Freightliner models, and in Western Star trucks in 2010, according to Siler.
Sterling has already committed to delivering 400 SB113 natural gas tractors this year to carriers serving the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, according to Shearing. Both the ports and the Federal government are providing substantial incentives to buy the natural gas tractors, he said, but Sterling also expects the LNG -fueled truck to prove popular with utility and municipal fleets, as well as distribution fleets looking to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and diesel fuel costs.
The Cummins Westport ISL G, an 8.9-liter that already meets 2010 emissions requirements with three-way exhaust catalyst that requires no maintenance, powers the SB113 with ratings up to 320 hp. The operating range for a single tank of LNG is 275 mi., Shearing said.
Future plans for the natural gas engine include a single-axle tractor and perhaps some truck applications, he added.