This paper reviews activities relating to understanding, and improving the on-center performance of heavy truck steering systems. Initially, the on-center steering performance characteristics for commercial vehicles were quantified. Steering wheel torque and angular position were the prime measurables. Graphical analyses of the on-center handling data were performed. To better understand the data, and to insure statistical significance, an algebraic model of the analyzed data was developed, with confidence intervals determined. The calculated system stiffness, as determined from the steering wheel data, was found to be a key discriminator between steering gears. System stiffness is a function of several component values, which were measured in the laboratory. Finally, to test the above findings, a correlation study of subjective driver impressions with measured steering gear characteristics and objective vehicle measures was performed.