Pickup trucks seem to be the Holy Grail for heavy-duty truck manufacturers. If you follow the construction or trucking industries, rumors swirl every couple years that one heavy-duty OEM or another is designing or putting the finishing touches on a pickup truck that will complete the company’s Class 3 through 8 product offerings.
Well, rumors aside, Sterling Truck is the first heavy-duty manufacturer to market with a Class 4 and 5 pickup truck – its new Sterling Bullet. Granted, the Bullet is not a new truck. In fact, Sterling officials readily admit that the Bullet bears a striking resemblance to Dodge’s Ram pickup truck. That’s because Sterling has leveraged its relationship with sister DaimlerChrysler company Dodge to supply Ram-based Bullets to its dealers around the country. Matthew Stevenson, director of light commercial vehicles for Sterling, says the move makes sense because the Bullet fits in perfectly with the company’s pre-existing product line. “Together with the Sterling 360 cabover, the Bullet makes Sterling the only commercial vehicle manufacturer to offer a complete line of Class 3 through 8 vehicles,” he notes.
Sterling officials add that the addition of the Bullet makes sense from a customer convenience standpoint as well. “This move, in effect, makes Sterling a one-stop shop for all a commercial fleet’s vehicle needs,” Stevenson says. “Now, our customers who have a strong relationship with their Sterling dealership no longer have to go elsewhere for light-duty or fleet pickup trucks. This simplifies the entire life cycle of all trucks for them – from acquisition and maintenance to disposal or their fleet assets.”
Stevenson says all Sterling Bullets are spec’d to compete in a wide array of demanding applications, including construction, residential and municipal services, landscaping and pickup-and-delivery roles. Since this is a Sterling product offering, you can’t spec a Bullet with Dodge’s Hemi or other gasoline engines. All Bullets come standard with a Cummins 6.7-liter ISB diesel engine. This powerplant includes an exhaust brake, PTO prep package and a 34-inch-wide, 50,000 psi frame optimized for easy body upfits.
The Bullet is being offered as a regular cab truck with four wheelbase options, or as a quad cab with two wheelbases. Two-wheel drive is standard, although you can specify a four-wheel-drive package as well as optional snow plow and towing packages. You also have a choice between standard or automatic transmissions.
Sterling Bullets will be available at select dealerships in North America beginning in late fall 2007.
|Sterling Bullet Spec List|
|Regular cab (123-inch BBC)||16,500-19,500 lbs.||26,000 lbs.|
|Quad cab (143-inch BBC)||16,500-19,500 lbs.||26,000 lbs.|
|Wheelbase offerings||Cab-to-axle measurements|
|Regular cab||144.5 inches||60 inches|
|168.5 inches||84 inches|
|192.5 inches||108 inches|
|204.5 inches||120 inches|
|Quad Cab||164.5 inches||60 inches|
|188.5 inches||84 inches|
|Make:||Cummins ISB||Cummins ISB|
|Horsepower:||305 hp||305 hp|
|Torque rating:||610 lbs.-ft.||610 lbs.-ft.|
|Transmission offerings:||Six-speed manual||Six-speed automatic|
|Axle ratios:||4.10 4.44 4.88|
|Axle ratings:||Front: 7,000 lbs.||Rear: 13,500 lbs.|