Sterling Emphasizes Vocational Engineering

STERLING is adding new vocational-use equipment options to its already versatile truck family, along with a newly designed body builders book for year 2000. "There are many challenges in the truck equipment business. Our goal is to provide you with a vehicle that meets the needs of your customers while minimizing the amount of modification in the equipment installation process. Sterling would like to share some new and redesigned componentry that we believe will help the body building industry," said Rick Harris, manager of Sterling Chassis Engineering.

For the year 2000, the body building community will see a Custom Application Engineering (CAE) group that is focused on vocational needs. CAE has been strengthened to assist the body building industry in building vocational chassis and completed vehicles for the end user. Body builders can contact CAE through the Sterling factory, field sales manager.

CAE can take your build-out requests, and integrate them into the vehicle design. This design is run as an item on the line-ticket at Sterling's truck plant in St. Thomas, Ontario. The truck is then built on-line. The build-out requests can be incorporated in one unit or several units. Sterling believes that more body builders will be requesting special modifications on single or fewer chassis', than in past practice, said Harris.

CAE will engineer items as prepping the frame for a pusher axle, punching extra holes in the frame, building the truck with a clear frame, bolted frame construction as opposed to Huck fasteners, inverted L-reinforcements, and installing electrical junction boxes in non-standard locations. "The list of chassis modifications that Sterling can perform is extensive; however, what's new for this year is our desire to let body builders understand that we can perform the engineering in-house, and make the fabrication a line-ticket item in many cases," said Harris.

New Options Available

Sterling has broadened its available options list for the model year 2000. Chassis options that Sterling has expanded include the rear suspensions. Rear suspensions include the Sterling proprietary offerings with the newly designed TufTrac suspension for Sterling chassis' in 2000.

TufTrac is offered in a 40,000- and 46,000-lb tandem configuration aimed at the mixer, dump, refuse, and construction vocations. It has a six-rod design combined with taper-leaf springs that are suitable for on/off, or off- highway applications. "The design idea behind TufTrac was to provide a highly articulating suspension with excellent load equalization qualities," said Harris. Sterling has also expanded the non-proprietary rear suspension offerings by incorporating more models of the Hendrickson and Neway suspension product.

Further improvement to Sterling's fuel tank technology will be the Equiflo system. This system provides dual-tank equalization without crossover lines. "This system will be phased into production over the next few months," said Harris. This system will be important to mixer and dump builders that do not want crossover lines to interfere with ground clearance.

PTO mounting locations for the Sterling chassis is continually being improved. "Sterling understands that PTOs can be driven by the engine crankshaft, flywheel, or the transmission, and the body builder needs clear space PTO installation," said Harris. Sterling has new designs to improve the front-frame extension and front motor mount PTO assembly. Already designed into the Sterling product are front bumper extensions that can either be structural (e.g., tow hooks), or non-structural (e.g., bumper only).

Sterling is adding new exhaust configurations for the model year 2000 truck chassis. Bolstering the exhaust mounting hardware is a subject our engineers like to constantly review, said Harris. Sterling is currently working on a 'short' muffler design for under chassis application. "Body builders will see many of the chassis improvements that have been made for the 2000 and 2001 models in the new Sterling, Cab and Chassis Vocational Reference Guide," said Harris.

New Vocational Body Builders Book

New for 2000 is the Vocational Reference Guide. "Sterling Truck Corporation is printing the new body builders book. This is a totally new reference. It does not have the same information that you have been working with from the past," said Pete Strause, manager of body engineering.

"Part of the cab engineering can include additional cab and chassis wiring that can be pre-engineered by CAE and line manufactured. Also in the Vocational Reference Guide, you will see some additional chassis feed circuits for the truck," said Strause.

Sterling locates all dash-mounted switches and gauges using a Switch and Gauge Location program. This program contains all mandatory and optional locations for these components based upon a hierarchy of predetermined locations, ergonomically suited to the driver's view. "It's a view of how the truck design business has changed," said Strause. Those who wish to receive the new Vocational Reference Guide should contact the Sterling regional sales manager, or the local Sterling dealership.

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