The biggest news from Sterling Trucks this year is the addition of several weight-saving components. They include a full line of proprietary axles, a rear engine power take-off option for the MBE 4000 engine and an enhanced taper leaf front suspension.
The company claims its front axle design can provide up to a 28-lb. weight savings over similarly spec'd competitive axles. The kingpins are supported by needle bearings instead of bushings, allowing them to roll instead of rub when the axle is being steered. This should reduce service and downtime.
The rear axles include single and tandem models. Sterling claims the new design offers up to a 128-lb. weight savings over similarly spec'd competitive axles. Precision cut gears are designed to minimize frictional losses and transfer more torque to the wheels.
The rear-mounted power take-off (REPTO) option for the company's Mercedes-Benz MBE 4000 engine also offers advantages in terms of weight distribution. It is gear driven off the rear of the engine camshaft with a 10 o'clock output location, and it features a 1:24.1 output shaft ratio. The REPTO is an integral part of the flywheel housing and does not add to the engine length.
Class 7 and 8 model Sterling Trucks can now be equipped with an enhanced 12,000-lb. taper leaf front suspension. This lightweight, low-maintenance front suspension offers up to a 14-lb. weight savings when compared to the previous design. It comes equipped with maintenance-free rubber bushings with spring spacers to reduce wear and friction. Reduced interleaf spring friction results in improved ride quality.
Volvo Trucks North America introduces a new player in heavy transport day cabs — the VT 800. This truck comes standard with a Volvo D16 that pumps out up to 625 hp and 2,250 lb.-ft. of torque.
This truck is well suited for heavy-haul flatbed or lowboy applications with big-block diesel power that can withstand demanding duty cycles. It is equipped with the Volvo Intelligent Torque (I-Torque) management system, which controls the amount of engine torque delivered to the driveline in any gear. This allows use on an optimized rear axle and suspension combination since it is possible to specify a lighter rear axle and suspension than would otherwise be required.
A Cummins ISX engine with up to 565 hp and 1,850 lb.-ft. of torque is also available.
Transmission choices include the Eaton RTO, RTLO, 10-, 13- and 18-speeds or the Eaton Autoshift 10- and 18-speeds.
A long Bumper-to-Back-of-Cab (BBC) helps provide a smooth ride. The cab was moved back 8 in., which isolates the driver from the engine.
The cab is made of robotically-welded, high-strength steel and meets all the requirements of the Swedish Impact Test. Cab doors stay closed during collisions, but open afterwards.
Western Star Trucks has restyled its 109-in. BBC 4900 SA vehicle model with stainless steel side intakes, improved visibility and improved aerodynamics.
The company also announced that all of its models will offer the Hendrickson HAULMAXX walking beam suspension or the PRIMAAX air suspension.