STERLING UNVEILS 360 CABOVER

Sterling Truck Corporation says its new low cabover medium-duty truck – the 360 — offers leading fuel economy as well as easy entry and egress, a big cab, outstanding maneuverability and visibility, and a body builder-preferred design. Class 4 and 5 models will be rolled out this Spring and class 3 trucks in mid-2007.

Developed jointly with Mitsubishi Fuso, an 85%-owned DaimlerChrysler subsidiary, the truck is available with all the necessary configurations for popular body options like dry van, reefer, and stake applications. There are also
Mitsubishi versions of the new truck, known as the model FE. Aside from the name badge, the only differences are in trim level.

The key specs and options of the 360:

* 4.9L turbo diesel engine with 175 hp at 2700 rpm and 391 lb ft of torque at 1600 rpm;:

* ABS and an electronic brake-pad wear sensor;:

* standard engine brake;:

* six-speed automatic transmission with final gear ratio of 5.285;:

* GVWRs of 14,050, 14,500, and 17,995 lb;:

* wheelbase and body-length combinations of 115 in. and 12 ft; 134 in. and 14 ft; 152 in. and 16 ft; 164 in. (at 14,500 and 17,995 GVWR only) and 18 ft; and 176 in. and 20 ft (17,995 GVWR only).

Standard features also include air conditioning, power steering, telescoping steering column, power door locks, back-up alarm, cold weather starting aid, power take-off opening and drive gear, oil check button in cab, and a Panasonic AM/FM radio with CD player.

Sterling says independent tests conducted at Ohio’s Transportation Research Center showed the 360 to have leading fuel economy amongst low cabovers. Testing assumed a P&D dry van doing 20,000 miles a year on average with
diesel fuel at $2.50 per gallon. Under these circumstances, Sterling claims a fuel-cost saving of $600 a year or more compared to competitive models.

The new truck is said to feature a door width one inch wider than the market leader, a larger and more ergonomic step position, and a 73-degree door pivot, all of which makes for easier ingress/egress. That’s helped by an 11.75-in. distance from step to cab, which is said to be up to 4.25 in. less than competitive designs.

Comfortably seating three, the truck features a dash-mounted gearshift lever allowing easy mobility inside the cab. The back of both passenger seats can be used as a bench space, and the passenger seats have a fully adjustable seatback angle. The driver’s seat has a height-adjustable armrest and a wide range of seatback angles.

For easy upfitting, the truck’s shorter cab-to-body clearance of 4.5 in. allows for longer bodies with more load-carrying capacity and a greater range of body-mount positions for optimum weight distribution and reduced wind resistance. As opposed to a tapered frame, the Sterling 360 is built with straight rails made of 51,200-psi steel, and the parallel top and bottom flanges make it easier to mount
bodies. That straight frame also makes wheelbase changes simpler because all components can easily be slid to a new location. Plus, the fuel tanks, batteries, fuel lines, exhaust systems, crossmembers, and wiring are all efficiently tucked away and routed for easy maintenance.

City drivers will be happy to note the 360’s very tight 35-ft curb-to-curb turning circle.

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