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The Ford Order Tracking System Is No Longer Available.  THANKS Cyberdman For Making Available All Of These Past Years.  More Here.

Joe771476

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On 10/26/2022 at 9:27 AM, Joe771476 said:

I just came back from Parris Island SC to see my grandson graduate from Marine camp, and was pleased to see a high percentage of Ford mediums off and on the base. Most military, police vehicles and ambulances were Fords. Only other brand was Dodge.  On a side note, flying back to Boston over Rhode Island, I saw a windmill farm of about 8 windmills in RI.  Without googling it, anybody know where those windmills are?  Bob R?

congrats to you and your son

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8 hours ago, 7Mary3 said:

Interesting:

 

 

thx 7M...Never saw that one.  I still say, had Ford stuck with true vocational trucks-including fleet tractors, vs.  chasing the OO market things may have been different.  Recognizing the annual sales of OO tractors was/is a big number, what did it cost to chase that market?  Eventually Ford may have built a following, but it would have been an extended process that Ford I would say had no stomach for.

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IIRC the LTL was a bit too successful at first as it sold way better than Ford expected. But ultimately the entire owner operator new truck market collapsed and even KW and Pete now mostly rely on fleet orders to turn a profit.

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48 minutes ago, GearheadGrrrl said:

IIRC the LTL was a bit too successful at first as it sold way better than Ford expected. But ultimately the entire owner operator new truck market collapsed and even KW and Pete now mostly rely on fleet orders to turn a profit.

You may be right on that.  But I think almost a bigger factor is the attraction of Petes and KW's to attract drivers as an added benefit...IIRC back in the 70's the major fleets?  A free for all between Ford, GMC, IH, White and Mack.  Petes/KWs?  west of the Mississippi .

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Interesting the Aeromax 120 was introduced late in the Louisville's run.  The HN80's were in development at this time, and maybe the Aeromax 120 was something of a stop-gap as the HN80 program was running late.  I saw very few of these trucks when they were new though the short hood day cab version was somewhat popular with grocery stores on the West Coast.  The host of this video is funny when he comments the International uses the 'old' Transtar cab!

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6 hours ago, 7Mary3 said:

Interesting the Aeromax 120 was introduced late in the Louisville's run.  The HN80's were in development at this time, and maybe the Aeromax 120 was something of a stop-gap as the HN80 program was running late.  I saw very few of these trucks when they were new though the short hood day cab version was somewhat popular with grocery stores on the West Coast.  The host of this video is funny when he comments the International uses the 'old' Transtar cab!

Hah and it was..but Louisville cab was probably as old if not older..69 as a model year 70.  Not sure on Transtar???  Same in Northeast...the 106 was popular -with common carriers ABF, ConWay, Carolina to name a few and likewise with the grocery chains.

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I think the '70 Transtar conventionals still used the 'Donald Duck' Diamond T cab!  Maybe '71 for the square aluminum conventional cab.  The video made me think about the prototype long-nose HN80, which would have been the successor to the Aeromax 120.  I think we talked about that truck.  Story was one or two were built in 1996, shown at a trade show a couple of times, and then dissappeared when Freightliner took over.  Not part of the plan for Sterling!  

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7 hours ago, 7Mary3 said:

.... Not part of the plan for Sterling!  

 

If part of that plan was to kill Sterling, it worked well.

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2 hours ago, twintornados said:

 

If part of that plan was to kill Sterling, it worked well.

 

I don't believe it was.  Freightliner put a lot of money into the HN80, beyond the expenses of moving the assembly line to Canada.  Freightliner made many needed improvements to the truck and even expanded the line to include medium duty models (Acterra).  Ironically Ford's plans were to eventually replace the medium duty F series with a medium duty HN80.  Sterling hung on for 10 years, what killed them was the 2007 recession.  I was told another issue facing Sterling at the time was they needed to tool up for a new cab because they were no longer able to source components for the Ford designed cab.  Couldn't make a business case to keep Sterling going.    

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Sorry, but Daimler had just bought the Freightliner nameplate because Mercedes couldn't sell their butt ugly trucks (Kurzhauber was the model name) here in the USA to save their lives!  The only fleet of Mercedes I saw was a 10 truck fleet operated by a wholesale florist out of Meriden CT.  Now here comes pesky Ford with a redesigned L-series in 1996/1997 that would have destroyed Freightliner and International!  So in 1997 Daimler bought -- I mean stole -- Ford's heavy biz for $300 million!  Notice that Ford must have told Daimler they had to keep the oval on the hood, so they put an "S" in there!  The deal was Ford by contract could not re-enter class 8 for 10 years.  So that's why Sterling lasted for a 10 year run. This way all the Fords were off the roads by then and the dealer network was hopelessly dismantled.......gone!  Ford needs to diversify and become once again a full line producer.....passenger cars to class 8!  I don't how long they can survive trying to sell $80,000 light duty F-series to the average Joe.  Sure they have the biggest share of the class 3 thru 5 market, but I see Dodge/Ram creeping up in class 1 thru 5 every day on the roads. If Ram were to suddenly go into mediums and even class 8 heavy, Ford would be left out in the cold with their thumbs up their donkeys!  The class 8 market can only support ONE more player at the most. Yes there are several brands of class 8, but honestly Volvo/Mack equal one, Freightliner/Western Star equal one, and Peterbilt/Kenworth equal one.  I think VW/Traton, a global powerhouse who now own International, told Ford to stay out of class 8 in order to keep good feelings regarding the VW/Ford joint venture.  And Ford just needs to enter class 8 vocational only, no OTR sleepers. By the way, is that VW/Ford venture still in effect? I don't see anything about it lately.  You know how much VW and Mercedes hate Ford because the Transit is the biggest commercial success in Europe!?  And they aren't happy about the Turkish Ford/Otosan F-Max making in-roads across Europe and the Middle East!! 

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On 11/18/2022 at 12:07 PM, 7Mary3 said:

 

I don't believe it was.  Freightliner put a lot of money into the HN80, beyond the expenses of moving the assembly line to Canada.  Freightliner made many needed improvements to the truck and even expanded the line to include medium duty models (Acterra).  Ironically Ford's plans were to eventually replace the medium duty F series with a medium duty HN80.  Sterling hung on for 10 years, what killed them was the 2007 recession.  I was told another issue facing Sterling at the time was they needed to tool up for a new cab because they were no longer able to source components for the Ford designed cab.  Couldn't make a business case to keep Sterling going.    

Yes, a lot of money was put into Sterling. They started an entire operation dedicated to modifications of standard models to better suit them to vocational applications. I almost joined that operation, and a friend was the head of it. They even developed custom frame extensions and mods to suit specific applications. They kept that operation going until just about the end.

 

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You may remember that Freightliner, a Daimler company at the time, bought Ford's heavy truck operation right before Daimler 'merged' with Chrysler, creating DaimlerChrysler.  I heard some thought was given to naming the former Ford trucks 'Ram'.  Maybe there was something to that, Stering sold a version of the Ram 4500/5500.   

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From what I remember, Sterling was going to be their vocational leader. They had a vocational design office outside of Cleveland, OH with a good size staff. The Sterling branded Rams were a bit of a stop gap effort when Freightliner wasn't getting their expected returns from the Sterling vocational effort, and they wanted to expand the offerings their dealers had.

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On 11/22/2022 at 10:43 AM, lfeg said:

From what I remember, Sterling was going to be their vocational leader. They had a vocational design office outside of Cleveland, OH with a good size staff. The Sterling branded Rams were a bit of a stop gap effort when Freightliner wasn't getting their expected returns from the Sterling vocational effort, and they wanted to expand the offerings their dealers had.

 

I remember there were a few Sterling-branded LCF Fuso's too. 

 

Cleveland, huh?  Seems to me there was a truck manufacturer there that was big in vocational for a number of years.......

Edited by 7Mary3

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I suspect Daimler's decision was largely driven by the need to reduce the number of cabs they had to update for the new emissions and other regulations- At the time they were building the new Western Star, maybe still the old Western Star, retiring the original Freightliner, the "Century Class" et all, Cascadia, M2, and Sterling conventional cabs. Even for the market leader whose selling 100K units a year in North America that's too many cabs!

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Yes. 7Mary3, White Motors. It was painful to watch that company go down due to clueless management.

And the Sterling Engineering office had some industry veterans and a number of people from other industries that better understood some of the vocational fields.

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Somewhat unrelated to the discussion, but I thought I would throw this out there for nostalgia purposes.  I have been seeing a number of these old cabovers on the road lately, particularly the long frame versions. Growing up, the old “short noses” were my favorites over the conventionals.  

64020437-4C46-42F1-A88C-08A41DF355AC.jpeg

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I prefer cabovers myself, but the long wheel base on a cabover is pretty much another trucking fetish like boxy axle forward long hood KWs and Pete conventionals. Unless you need a long wheelbase to get legal under Bridge Formula or are using that extra frame length to carry more cargo or equipment like a generator, etc.. with a long wheelbase you're braking the wind twice and the MPG totally goes to hell!

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Sounds like there was a big uptick in Ford’s October class 6 sales 

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On 11/23/2022 at 10:14 PM, GearheadGrrrl said:

I suspect Daimler's decision was largely driven by the need to reduce the number of cabs they had to update for the new emissions and other regulations- At the time they were building the new Western Star, maybe still the old Western Star, retiring the original Freightliner, the "Century Class" et all, Cascadia, M2, and Sterling conventional cabs. Even for the market leader whose selling 100K units a year in North America that's too many cabs!

 

Ding, ding, ding....we have a winner.

 

The cab was the reason for Sterling's demise, specifically the need to design it where it could handle the electronics, etc.  (Wasn't discontinued due to an issue with getting parts for suppliers.)  They didn't want to spend the money on a new cab program.  (I was told the estimated cost to keep Sterling was ~ $500M at that time.)

 

In summary, when they initially bought Sterling they thought a good brand lineup would be Freightliner (On-Highway), Sterling (entry-level Vocational) and Western Star (premium vocational.)   Then 5-8 years later, the newer management was like "wait a second, that's too many cabs/brands/plants/sets of designers/engineers/etc."  So fast forward to today, and now they are set up with Freightliner being the entry level On-Highway and vocational brand and Western Star is now the Premium brand, with the primary (only) difference between them is the Star cabs are a little stronger/nicer, and Western Star will do a little more of the oddball/specialized configurations that Freightliner doesn't want to mess with.

Edited by iamweasel
typo

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2 hours ago, iamweasel said:

 

Ding, ding, ding....we have a winner.

 

The cab was the reason for Sterling's demise, specifically the need to design it where it could handle the electronics, etc.  (Wasn't discontinued due to an issue with getting parts for suppliers.)  They didn't want to spend the money on a new cab program.  (I was told the estimated cost to keep Sterling was ~ $500M at that time.)

 

In summary, when they initially bought Sterling they thought a good brand lineup would be Freightliner (On-Highway), Sterling (entry-level Vocational) and Western Star (premium vocational.)   Then 5-8 years later, the newer management was like "wait a second, that's too many cabs/brands/plants/sets of designers/engineers/etc."  So fast forward to today, and now they are set up with Freightliner being the entry level On-Highway and vocational brand and Western Star is now the Premium brand, with the primary (only) difference between them is the Star cabs are a little stronger/nicer, and Western Star will do a little more of the oddball/specialized configurations that Freightliner doesn't want to mess with.

Ifeg,

Always appreciate what I consider your inside info, but I'm surprised a new cab would cost 500 "million"-"M" being the Associated Press's term for million.  Or was the number 500K..for thousand?   In any case the Sterling cab was introduced in ?-96?  Ford sells to Daimler in '97 and they pull the plug 11 ears later.  So  in essence Ford spent a pile of money on a truck that was incapable of accepting upgraded electronics 12 years later?

Does  that sound logical?  The Mack CH has been around since 89- and is pretty much the same cab structure today- a run of 33 years.  The 359 Pete?  probably longer.

 

I think the truth is, as always, history repeats itself-at least IMO it did here.  White buys Sterling in like the early 50's.  Sterling was a very heavy vocational  truck while White had no version of.   A couple of years later,  Autocar, with a new plant and a modern new cab that was superior to the Sterling gets swallowed by White and Sterling is gone.  Then Reo and Diamond T merge, and "Diamond Reo" is born, to be then bought by White.  Then we know what happened to White!  After some sort of merger with the GMC heavies  that GM gave up, WhiteGMC exists for a while then it is gone swallowed by Volvo.  And don't forget Brockway.  A great independent acquired by Mack, who after a bit comes out with the 700 series utilizing the Mack cab, the Brockway employees in Cortland NY go on strike and Mack says..."well will fix  that "..gone!

Bottom line synergism for sure in the heavy truck business.  And I was of belief Daimler after 11 years said.."Why  do we have these competing products?"

 

Plain and simple IMO that was it.  And in the final analysis looks to me like for their $300 million acquisition, they got rid of a competitor who had typically 8-10% of class 8 market and 15% or so of class 7 - a good buy for Daimler in the long run!

 

In the meantime, when will the guys in Stockholm say..."hmn, we are building all our engines now in Mack plant in Maryland.  No more "Mack" transmissions"...so how much do we save when all the Mack overhead is gone....."  Hope it doesn't happen but history says....at least so it seems.

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9 hours ago, Bob Rosadini said:

Ifeg,

Always appreciate what I consider your inside info, but I'm surprised a new cab would cost 500 "million"-"M" being the Associated Press's term for million.  Or was the number 500K..for thousand?   In any case the Sterling cab was introduced in ?-96?  Ford sells to Daimler in '97 and they pull the plug 11 ears later.  So  in essence Ford spent a pile of money on a truck that was incapable of accepting upgraded electronics 12 years later?

Does  that sound logical?  The Mack CH has been around since 89- and is pretty much the same cab structure today- a run of 33 years.  The 359 Pete?  probably longer.

 

I think the truth is, as always, history repeats itself-at least IMO it did here.  White buys Sterling in like the early 50's.  Sterling was a very heavy vocational  truck while White had no version of.   A couple of years later,  Autocar, with a new plant and a modern new cab that was superior to the Sterling gets swallowed by White and Sterling is gone.  Then Reo and Diamond T merge, and "Diamond Reo" is born, to be then bought by White.  Then we know what happened to White!  After some sort of merger with the GMC heavies  that GM gave up, WhiteGMC exists for a while then it is gone swallowed by Volvo.  And don't forget Brockway.  A great independent acquired by Mack, who after a bit comes out with the 700 series utilizing the Mack cab, the Brockway employees in Cortland NY go on strike and Mack says..."well will fix  that "..gone!

Bottom line synergism for sure in the heavy truck business.  And I was of belief Daimler after 11 years said.."Why  do we have these competing products?"

 

Plain and simple IMO that was it.  And in the final analysis looks to me like for their $300 million acquisition, they got rid of a competitor who had typically 8-10% of class 8 market and 15% or so of class 7 - a good buy for Daimler in the long run!

 

In the meantime, when will the guys in Stockholm say..."hmn, we are building all our engines now in Mack plant in Maryland.  No more "Mack" transmissions"...so how much do we save when all the Mack overhead is gone....."  Hope it doesn't happen but history says....at least so it seems.

 

$500M seems like a reasonable # to me.  (Definitely not $500K.)  There may have been a few other things in there such as some relocation costs since if they continued Sterling it would have moved to the NC and/or Mexico plants.  The plan was always to get it out of Canada.  (CAW is/was a massive PITA - even worse than UAW.)

 

In the auto industry, back when I was in Product Development, even the smallest minor freshenings cost $250M and many were near $400M.  That's just to redesign a bumper/grille/lights, some interior bits, etc.  Throw in any powertrain change and you'd get to $500-600M.  An all new program was near $1B.  That was 15 years ago, too, so I'm sure those price tags are higher now, too.  

 

As far as buying a cab and not knowing it could handle the new tech, I don't think the due diligence was done on that cab because they never planned on keeping that cab long-term, anyway.  The folks who were in charge when Sterling was purchased were okay spending that money on it, and 5-10 years later the next management team changed their minds.  They decided to put that money into other things (122SD/114SD, Western Star, etc.)

 

Plus, looking back now you could also say they spent the money to buy a competitor and shut it down.  That is not all bad.  It wiped out A LOT of competitive Ford Truck and Sterling truck dealers and that market share just went to other places, mainly FTL/WST, anyway.  So that is still a better result than say if Sterling sold to CAT and all those CAT distributors are now full-line truck dealers.  

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