Truck News


Working the NightShift

NAPA VALLEY, Cal. - Sterling Trucks has re-entered the sleeper market, with the introduction of a mid-sized integrated sleeper cab.

NAPA VALLEY, Cal. –Sterling Trucks has re-entered the sleeper market, with the introduction of a mid-sized integrated sleeper cab.

The NightShift sleeper cab will be offered in a 60-inch mid-roof configuration on the Sterling Set-Back 113 and Set-Back 122 models. It’s targeted towards LTL, distribution and leasing markets and is ideal for drivers who spend several nights per week on the road. It’s not intended for long-haul, over-the-road applications, Sterling officials said during the launch. It also shouldn’t be confused as a resurrection of the SilverStar -the NightShift is much lighter and more functional, specially designed for drivers in LTL and distribution segments, where Sterling already has a strong presence. The sleeper was designed specifically with Sterling customers in mind, and represents a two-year, US$20 million investment, the company says. There’s no upper bunk and no high-roof option will be available, however the NightShift boasts an 80-inch floor-to-ceiling height allowing a driver over 6’4″ to stand upright, as is.

“Our customers have asked for a sleeper configuration and we listened,” said Richard Shearing, manager of product strategy for Sterling Trucks. “We have developed a working class sleeper that provides outstanding comfort and storage.”

The sleeper features a comfortable eight-inch coil spring mattress, which is double the depth of the industry standard four-inch foam mattress. Shearing said it’s the thickest mattress in the industry.

In speaking to drivers, Sterling officials found the most important thing they wanted out of a sleeper was a comfortable bed. Not far behind was ample storage space.

“Drivers often noted that there wasn’t much room in their sleepers and the room they did have was inefficient,” said Shearing. “We therefore incorporated useful storage in every possible area.”

Sterling officials say the NightShift offers more storage than any other mid-sized sleeper. Overhead storage bins have lips along the bottom to prevent stuff from falling out and the bed lifts up to reveal additional storage space underneath. Also under the bed is what Sterling dubbed a “coolbox” – a 32-litre pullout drawer that can be used as either a fridge or freezer.

Drivers can simply flick a switch to convert the coolbox from fridge to freezer. Or, if it’s not required, customers can instead opt for additional storage space underneath the bed. The NightShift sleeper provides ample light, thanks to a 36″x10″ rear window, which is also helpful when backing up and maneuvering the vehicle. Side windows let in additional light, as well as provide ventilation.

A control panel by the head of the bed allows the driver to adjust the temperature and control an integrated reading light. Despite its compact size, the NightShift can still accommodate a TV and microwave.

On the outside, the sleeper features a right-hand access door with a sliding window as well as a left-hand window. A left-hand luggage door and rear work lights also come standard. If aerodynamics are important, optional side and roof fairings are available. The NightShift comes standard with Sterling’s noise control package, which the company says reduces interior noise by as much as 25%.The package consists of new door and engine cover seals, shifter and steering boot material; a new door weather seal for improved surface contact and improved sealing at joints. Sterling’s NightShift rounds out a complete line of Class 3-8 vehicles offered by the company.

“With the addition of the NightShift to our family, we now offer the broadest product line in the Class 3-8 market,” said Shearing. The NightShift will be available to order in December. Sterling expects to initially sell 500-800 units a year, ramping up to 1,000-1,200 units thereafter.

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