1. #1
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    Default Sterling "Bullet" Chassis

    Is anyone out there at all familiar with this new Sterling Bullet chassis? I am being told it is a Dodge chassis in a Sterling wrapper...

    Any input on this would be greatly appreciated.

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    Default yes it is

    Was a program developed while Chrysler was still in the fold with Freightliner, Sterling, DDE, Western Star, Thomas Bus, ALF and the rest of the Daimler divisions. With the sell off of Chrysler who knows what is going to stay where. Dodge making the chassis for Sterling and in turn selling the Sprinter for Daimler? Who knows.

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    You are correct it is a Dodge in a Sterling wrapper. There are some minor trim differences. I think I have PICs of both I took at the plant if you PM your address I'll find them and email them to you.

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    We are in the early stages of specing out new brush rigs. We just looked at this chassis a local fire/rescue show. It is basically a Dodge version of a F550. We liked that you could get a relatively short wheel base in a four door cab and that it had an aux fuel port off the fuel tank to plumb a diesel fire pump to.

    http://www.sterlingtrucks.com/SterlingBullet/

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    Sterling also has a Compression Brake and is PTO ready. 24/7 service is potentially available from Sterling/Freightliner where unlikely you can find same from a Ford dealer. And has Cummins engine. More truck than the F550 but cost about $8-10k more.

    Has a lot of potential for Fire Service. But as far as I've heard no one has yet been the 1st to use the Aisin Automatic to run a PTO pump (no go with F550 automatic). Trans is a 6speed supposedly "same" as used in a Lexus _____ (Diesel Landcruiser would be my guess).

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    I looked at the chassis at FDIC. It looks to be a better alternative than the Ford or Chevy since the engine compartment is fairly open and appears much easier to service. It also depends on if you have a local Dodge or Sterling dealer you can trust to service the truck. It will make an ideal utility, brush or light duty ambulance package.

    Talking to the guys at Horton and Medtec, they think it will be a strong seller as an alternative to the Ford specifically due to maintenance issues.

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    How does the Sterling stack up against a 5500 GMC/Chevy?

    Based purly on performance and maintenance (we'll pretend cost is not a factor) what is the best choice for a 4WD Brush Truck loaded for bear?

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    I think this is a loaded (ha!) question. I know you can load a GMC 5500 heavier than a Ford due to higher GVW ratings, but that isn't necessarily good if you intend to go off-road, since it will just be that much harder to pull the thing out when you get it stuck... I haven't looked to see how the Dodge/Sterling GVWs stack up.

    To be honest, I haven't researched enough about the Dodge/Sterling option, but in my initial looks I really like what I see. Then again, I'm not a mechanic.
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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    The D-4500 has a 16,500 GVWR
    The F-450 has a 16,000 GVWR

    I really like this truck from what little experience I have with it. It will be a nice alternative to the Ford F series. Much better to work on then the Ford F series.

    From what I've priced so far the Dodge or Sterling will run you about $2,500.00 more than a F-450. Then if you tack on the Ford FIN discount and were talking about 5-6K more for the Dodge.

    Now I can't talk for the rest of the country but in the midwest that 5K can make a huge difference.

    So only time will tell how good it can do against the Ford.

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    Default GMC = No Go

    I am being told it will take an act of congress to get a GMC 5500 right now. They have sold that line off to Navistar, and while I am hearing they are taking orders, they are not committing timeframes on delivery...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JE4935 View Post
    I am being told it will take an act of congress to get a GMC 5500 right now. They have sold that line off to Navistar, and while I am hearing they are taking orders, they are not committing timeframes on delivery...
    GM is talking to Navistar about purchasing the medium duty business and making the trucks for GM. There will be no change in the vehicles. HOWEVER as of today there is still no agreement in writing.

    We were told at our 2 meetings with Navistar & GM that GM will continue to make the trucks until late September 2008 at the plant in Flint. Then the line will be torn down and moved to an "undisclosed location" (Springfield Ohio) and be up and running by January 1, 2009.

    So yes, we can take orders, I have 2 5500's on order for fire companies that will be built in June. After that we can't be guaranteed of anything. I just passed on bidding a box truck for the Commonwealth since they have a 180 day delivery clause in their contracts.

    The comparisons between the Dodge/Sterling and the F-450/550 are correct. They are both beefed up pick up trucks with 35,000# PSI frames. The GM 4500 & 5500 are true medium duty trucks with 80,000# frame rails. The GM's also come with an Allison transmission. I hear that Chrysler has not had a lot of success with their transmissions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonfyre View Post
    The comparisons between the Dodge/Sterling and the F-450/550 are correct. They are both beefed up pick up trucks with 35,000# PSI frames. The GM 4500 & 5500 are true medium duty trucks with 80,000# frame rails. The GM's also come with an Allison transmission. I hear that Chrysler has not had a lot of success with their transmissions.
    I believe your comments may pertain to the Dodge 3500. Not to the Cl4/5 Dodge/Sterling. Considerable difference, frame and power train.

    All schedule production for the Chevy/GM made by GM is sold (and they are dog ugly). Might be able to buy/sell the baby cab over chassis from GM (W series??) though. Apparently IH is not buying it.

    Dodge 5500 looks to me to have promise for fire service. Sterling may have to get more competitive on price with Ford in order buy into the market though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonfyre View Post
    The comparisons between the Dodge/Sterling and the F-450/550 are correct. They are both beefed up pick up trucks with 35,000# PSI frames. The GM 4500 & 5500 are true medium duty trucks with 80,000# frame rails. The GM's also come with an Allison transmission. I hear that Chrysler has not had a lot of success with their transmissions.
    The Sterling has 52,000psi rails.
    BE A BACKBONE - NOT A JAWBONE

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    Might be able to buy/sell the baby cab over chassis from GM (W series??) though. Apparently IH is not buying it.
    The W series is built by Isuzu and sold through GMC & Chevy dealers for now. The contract with GM only has a year left on it.

    It's not a "baby" truck as it has the same GVW's as any 450/4500 or 550/5500's. NPR-HD = 14,500; NQR = 17,500; NRR = 19,500

    Navistar can't buy it from Isuzu as it's not for sale.
    Last edited by dragonfyre; 05-24-2008 at 07:40 AM.
    Steve Dragon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy2802 View Post
    How does the Sterling stack up against a 5500 GMC/Chevy?

    Based purly on performance and maintenance (we'll pretend cost is not a factor) what is the best choice for a 4WD Brush Truck loaded for bear?
    we have the very first dodge 5500 or sterling that was made for the fire service if u remember the old power wagons this is the new version this has went more places than the 550 and chevy ever thought about going we are in indiana and was built by s&S the max on water is 325 the truck has 25000 miles on it already and not problems

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