Sterling Truck Corp. has announced enhancements to its Acterra line of Class 5-8 trucks. The OEM said the changes are focused on improvements to handling, maneuverability, ride, weight savings, serviceability and body installation.

The truck's frame features stronger single-channel steel rails rated at 50,000-, 80,000- and 120,000-lb./sq. in. to reduce the need for rail inserts for many applications.

The new front suspension incorporates single-leaf springs as standard, with taperleaf suspensions available from 8,000 to 18,000 lb. Flat-leaf springs, rated at 14,600-, 16,000- and 18,000-lb. capacities, are also available.

For 4×2 applications, a replaceable spring deflection pad is used instead of a shackle on the rear of each front spring. The 12,000-lb. front suspension option is supplied with the single-leaf spring with a rear spring shackle, plus rubber spring bushings on both ends.

For the rear suspension, a 52-in. variable rate taperleaf is standard, in capacities ranging from 18,000 to 23,000 lb. A 60-in. two-stage spring rear suspension package in 18,000, 21,000- and 23,000-lb. ratings is optional. Also optional are 60-in. air rear suspensions, in 10,000- to 40,000- lb. capacities, plus extra-duty ratings of 40,000 and 46,000 lb.

For vocational applications, customers also can spec the Freightliner TufTrac suspension, rated from 40,000 to 46,000-lb. capacity. A number of Hendrickson rear suspensions are also available.

Sterling has also made a number of design changes to facilitate body and equipment installation, as well as maintenance.

One option improves body installation by reducing back-of-cab component installation. A new battery/air tank/air dryer package places components out of the way so they don't interfere with body installation. Included are the battery box, dual 9-in. air tanks and the Bendix DRM AD-IS air dryer system. The air dryer is mounted on the front of the chassis, where the bumper can protect it from road debris.

Air lines are mounted on the driver's side of the frame, minimizing the number of lines that must cross the frame, thus reducing the risk of snagging critical lines during installation.

New lightweight rectangular aluminum fuel tanks are standard for maximum ground clearance and easier body installation.

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