Easy sleeping in the Sterling

By: Peter Schlenk, Photography by: Peter Schlenk


After 43 years on the road, Graeme Witnish still enjoys the long-haul runs, with the 54-inch sleeper in his 2008 Sterling making life a lot easier.

Easy sleeping in the Sterling
Graeme Witnish is a regular on the roads from Donnybrook, WA across to the eastern states.

 

There are less and less Sterlings on the road nowadays, but Graeme Witnish’s 2008 model looks like it just stepped out of the showroom.

Graeme is based in Donnybrook, Western Australia, and the Sterling’s second owner. It’s first owner, Toowoomba-based fuel haulage specialists Maktrans, ran it for four years before Graeme bought it.

One of the reasons Graeme bought it was that Maktrans "look after their gear". The other attractive features was the 54-inch sleeper, and the 14 litre Detroit under the bonnet set at 550hp.

He rates the Sterling’s sleeper among the truck’s good points. "It’s air-conditioned, and there’s nothing wrong with the bed. The struggle is getting out of it," he grins.

It’s a long way from his early years, when he slept across seats with his feet dangling out
the window. No coolers, no air-con, and just a breeze if he was lucky.

Before he signed up for the Sterling, Graeme was considering buying a Western Star, but he baulked at the extra $75,000.

"I couldn’t justify buying the Star — the Sterling has done the job and is very comfortable," he says.

Graeme regularly hauls light freight across the "paddock" and is happy running at 95 to 96km/h.

 

Witnish 11

 

"It doesn’t work very hard with me just doing the single trailer work," he explains. "The others that fly past you are barely out of their truck, but at the end of the day you are not far behind them.

"I back off to look after the gear. I’ve been doing this a long time and have learnt that there isn’t much point in rushing."

Read more on Graeme and his Sterling in the June 2016 issue of Owner//Driver.

 

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