Trucks & Trailers: Number one with a bullet

Updated May 16, 2012

Sterling Trucks is making several marketing moves to target landscapers. Last year’s launch of the 360 model cabover truck was one such move. Getting a heavy-duty pickup truck was another priority for the company. Pickup trucks seem to be the Holy Grail for heavy-duty truck manufacturers. If you follow the construction or trucking industries, it seems rumors swirl every few 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.

But a careful examination of vocational markets – including landscaping – has led Sterling Truck to be the first in the market with Class 4 and 5 pickup trucks: the 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 its former sister DaimlerChrysler company Dodge to supply Ram-based Bullets to its dealers throughout the country. Matthew Stevenson, director of light commercial vehicles for Sterling, says the move makes sense because the Bullet fits 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.”

Diesel power and snow plow capable
Stevenson says all Sterling Bullets are spec’d to compete in a wide array of demanding applications. To ensure optimal performance in tough applications, Sterling decided to limit the Bullet’s engine offerings. As a result, you can’t spec one with a Dodge Hemi or other DaimlerChrysler gasoline engines. All Bullets come standard with a Cummins 6.7-liter ISB diesel engine. This power plant 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 2007.

Sterling Bullet Spec List
Cab options GVWR GVCWR
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
Engine Specifications
Make: Cummins ISB
Horsepower: 305 hp
Torque rating: 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.
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