Crew cab's Sterling characteristics fire up CA truck body refurbisher

Being a firefighter requires strength, toughness, and dependability. Those are also the characteristics Troy Grotenhuis and his team keep in mind as they refurbish fire truck bodies to create “new” vehicles.

Grotenhuis, owner of Precision Fleet Repair in Grand Terrace CA, repairs and refurbishes fire truck and emergency vehicle bodies, adds a new cab and chassis, and resells the complete apparatus to municipalities throughout Southern California. Its emphasis on safety led the company to purchase two Sterling Acterra crew cabs recently.

Typically buying older trucks from municipalities, Grotenhuis and his team refurbish the rear portion of the truck, using pumps, replacement parts, and bodies from a variety of sources, and then add a new cab and chassis.

“The Sterling replacement parts I've used have been nothing but reliable,” said Grotenhuis. “So when there was the opportunity to purchase two Sterling trucks, I jumped at the chance.”

As he was shopping for the new vehicles, Grotenhuis was looking for a versatile option with an emphasis on cab size and comfort. That's what led him to the Sterling crew cab.

The Sterling Acterra crew cab is 15 inches longer on the inside and has 12 inches more rear seat leg room. Its flat floor and concave roof combine to provide ample head and leg room to help a full crew of five feel comfortable.

“Fire trucks typically carry between four and six personnel," said Grotenhuis, "and when they're responding to critical situations, it's imperative that every single member of that team can get in and out quickly.”

The crew cab's full-length, two-step design is offset — similar to stairs — for easy climbing. Its four-door cab entry grabhandles are ergonomically placed to facilitate cab entry.

“Sterling's crew cabs are roomy and comfortable and absolutely comparable to custom cabs but with much less cost,” said Grotenhuis.

The team at Precision Fleet Repair has just put the finishing touches on the Sterling trucks. With a shiny exterior paint job of white on the top and red on the bottom, these vehicles will be Type 1 fire trucks. These city trucks include many tools for firefighters and supply the ability to pump 1,250 gallons of water per minute. They carry hundreds of feet of hoses, self-contained breathing apparatus, and may include specialized equipment such as the Jaws of Life, paramedic gear, and air bags for heavy lifting.

Grotenhuis has several prospective buyers and is ready to work with Sterling again. In fact, he is already working with Trans-West to order other units.

E-mail Amy Sills at [email protected] for further information.

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