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Sterling targets regional fleets with integrated sleeper

Sterling Truck Corporation introduced the Sterling NightShift — a new integrated sleeper — during an August 4 press event in Napa, California. The truck builder has targeted regional haulers for the NightShift.

Designed to maximize productivity and driver retention in regional haul applications, the NightShift features a mid-size, mid-roof sleeper, a stand-up walk-through configuration, plenty of comfort, and a significant amount of natural light. Sterling officials said it is ideal for drivers who travel multiple days per week.

“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. We believe it will be ideal for operations where drivers spend two to three nights a week on the road.

“With the addition of the Nightshift to our family, we now offer the broadest product line in the Class 3-8 market. Drivers and owners can rest easy knowing that our sleeper is backed by more than 300 Sterling dealers in the United States and Canada.”

The NightShift is available in a 60-inch mid-roof configuration for the Sterling Set-Back 113 and Set-Back 122 models. Sterling will begin taking orders for the NightShift in December 2008, and production will begin in March 2009. The new sleeper tractor weighs in at 15,500 pounds without fuel.

The integrated sleeper features a flexible storage configuration including a wrap-around storage and overhead console. The sleeper includes a space-maximizing overhead rear wall and forward center storage, side storage cabinets, and under bunk storage.

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

Another key driver comfort feature is a standard eight-inch-deep quilted spring mattress, rather than the industry standard four-inch foam mattress. “Along with having a reliable truck, getting a good night's rest was equally as important to drivers,” Shearing said.

NightShift also has significant headroom. With an 80-inch floor-to-ceiling height — enough for a 6'4" driver — and ample room between the seats, most drivers can easily stand up and walk through the cab to the sleeper without crouching or bending over. Because the floor is flat between the cab and the sleeper, the driver does not have to navigate any steps or ledges.

The NightShift was designed with the Sterling clear view 36-inch × 10-inch back window, which improves visibility by providing drivers with a better back-up view. In addition, the combination of the back and side windows increases natural light, which can reduce eye strain and driver fatigue, according to Sterling officials.

The NightShift's dash and sleeper control panels feature a new, contemporary finish. A pull-out workspace sized for a computer or log book also is available, along with a 32-liter coolbox that can serve as a refrigerator or freezer — the only one in its class. Plus, drivers have extra room to install a television and microwave.

Other interior amenities include a single bunk with tent-style restraints, an upper television cabinet with electrical outlets and connection capabilities, privacy curtains, and an over windshield console with CB radio connections.

Exterior features include a right-hand access door with a sliding window and a left hand window with a sliding section for ventilation. Also standard are a left-hand luggage door and rear work lights. Optional side fairings and a roof fairing with trim tabs are available.

The NightShift comes standard with Sterling's noise control package, which delivers a significant noise reduction during peak torque engine RPMs. This noise package includes new door and engine cover seals, shift boot and steering boot material and construction, a new door weather seal for improved surface contact, front wall inter-panel sealing, and front wall joints on the floor between the seats.

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