Has anyone used a Sterling chassis? Good/Bad?
We have Dealerships for International, Kenworth, Sterling and Western Star within 15 miles of us. We want to use one that is close for parts and warrenty.
Does anyone have very good or very bad things with any of the above?
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09-04-2003, 03:51 PM #1
What Commercial chassis, Sterling, Itern,ect
09-04-2003, 05:42 PM #2
- Join Date
- Dec 1998
- Black Hawk VFD, South Dakota
We have a Freightliner and neighboring departments have International and Kenworth.
I do not know of any major problems with any of them. A neighboring department just took delivery of a Pierce Contender on a Kenworth. I personally do not like the Kenworth cab due to the visibility compared to Freightliner and International. The windows including the windshield seem to be much smaller and the cab seems to be narrower.
International builds some of their own engines. The others use engines built by Catepillar, Detroit Diesel, Cummins, and Mercedes. Most of the automatic trans. are built by Allison.
I think your choice should be made on the cab layout and the quality of service the dealer can provide.
Also some manufacturers prefer to build on a specific chassis due to arrangements with the chassis manufacturer. Pierce prefers Kenworth or International. American LaFrance preferes Freightliner as both are part of the Damiler Chrysler Group. As a result you may pay slightly more for a specific chassis from a manufacturer if it not one of their preferred chassis. Yoy could write your bid specs to list the chassis price separately and spec two or three chasssis as acceptable. This would give you a choice of chassis.
09-04-2003, 05:53 PM #3
My only problem with any of your choices you listed is International. With them you are stuck with their engine, you have no choice in the matter. I'm not knocking them and I have no opinion one way or the other because I don't have any personal experience with them. I do know several surrounding FD's have them and are happy with them. I also know a nearby FD with a new Sterling and they can't say enough good things about it. We have a Freightliner that everyone seems happy with and so are the surrounding FD's that have them. One advantage I think Sterling/Freightliner(both Daimler/Benz owned) have over International is they give you a choice of Cummins, Detroit, Cat or Mercedes. My FD has gone to one brand of motor exclusively (won't mention which so as to avoid the inevitable back and forth between all the "Detroit Guys", "Cat Guys" etc.) and it's the smartest decision we ever made.
09-04-2003, 06:02 PM #4
In my limited knowledge ........I can only say this, we have a FL80 chasis and it is nice for a commercial cab FF vehicle. I have seen and been in an International chassis and it is very very small. Toledo Fire just went to Kenworth's and I havent heard anything good or bad about them past they do look nice !IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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09-04-2003, 09:16 PM #5
Let me throw 2 things into the mix here.
1) GMC. You didn't mention your GVW needs but the new GM medium duty trucks have an even better sight line and turning radius than the competition. You can get them up to 60,000 GVW with a tandem rear. (Don't mind me, I sell them for a living). Ferraro has built a lot of trucks on them and KME started out as a GMC dealer that he orders his chassis from. Also the Duramax diesel is great engine with a great warranty, which brings up point #2.
2) If you're thinking of a CAT engine look twice at the warranty. It has been severely cut for 2004. It's not a complete warranty as towing, parts and labor have all been pared down. We are not ordering any chassis for stock with a CAT this year and will only order them for the customer after we give the lowdown.
If you have a GMC/Chevy medium duty dealer nearby it might be worth your while to visit and take a truck out for a spin.
Good luck.Steve Dragon
FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
Volunteers are never "off duty".
09-05-2003, 04:09 PM #6
- Join Date
- Oct 2002
Our department has 2 Sterlings. We have really only had one major problem, this was an accelerator problem. The pedal was depressed, but the truck didn't go. It was fixed and all is back in order again. There were some wiring issues but that was from the fire apparatus manufacturer. If you need any more info let me know, photos, specs, whatever.
09-06-2003, 08:59 PM #7
- Join Date
- Jan 2001
We are starting to see more and more Sterling's in our area. We are in the same boat as you and are now starting to spec out a new pumper.
We are unsure of whether or not we are wanting a 4 door. Last I checked, a 4-door was not available from Sterling. There are several manufacturers out there will take the Sterling and make it into a four door though. I'm not sure if I really like that idea but it is an option. The only other truck that we are considering is a Freightliner.
If you want you can give me an email sometime and we can discuss ideas and maybe we can learn something from each other.
09-07-2003, 12:48 PM #8
- Join Date
- Dec 1999
- Swanton Fire Dept. Swanton, Vermont
Couple of thoughts: If you look at International look into the 10" cab extention option. I do not know if it is available on the new 4400 or 7400 models but it was on the 4900. It allows the airpak seats to push back into the extention and leaves the doorway open. It makes the cab seem more like the Freightliner for room.
As for the International engines: Who makes the Ford Power-stroke? I believe International. I also believe that some of the common size engines International makes are also marketed as a Detroit. ( I may be wrong here but I am sure a few questions to a dealer would help.)
I have been told by an Apparatus dealer that the new model International's are completely different than the older models. So don't let "old" data from a 4900 get you to not consider a 4400. They are from what I have been told apples and oranges.
As you can guess we have a couple 4900's. I would go with the dealer you can get the best service from. Most all the trucks are pieces put together with the cab being the part not "vendor" supplied.
Ask lots of questions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 1
09-07-2003, 01:04 PM #9
- Join Date
- Aug 2002
- SE OHIO
service availability and quality should be a prime looking point
when you look at International check out the 7400 7600 series
they will put almost any engine in them up to about 450hp
they are a world apart from old 4900 series
09-11-2003, 05:28 PM #10
In my opinion buying a Fire truck with a Duramax in anything bigger that a 3500 series would be a lot like buying a 4000 gal. tanker and powering it with a Chev. 350 gas.They might be OK on flat ground but just about as dead as a 3116 on hills.We live in hill country and most of our Internationals are 350-450 Cummins.I've driven quite a few miles in the Cat powered Chevys and loaded they are like kicking a flat football down the road.Easy on fuel/short on power.All the product lines for all mfgs will have usually several engine options depending on GVW.The lighter the truck,the less choice you have.T.C.
09-16-2003, 03:32 AM #11
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
- Bridge Creek, Oklahoma, USA
one thing i might throw in here is that freightliner owns sterling so any freightliner dealership should honor the sterling waranty even if they are not a sterling dealership I know the one that i work at does not sell them but we do warranty work all of the time
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