Peterbilt Motors Company, founded in 1939 in Oakland, California, is an American manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty Class 5 through to Class 8 trucks. It operates manufacturing facilities and has its headquarters in Denton, Texas. It also has a factory in Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec.
Based in Denton, Texas, Peterbilt Motors Company has a global reputation for industry-leading design, innovative engineering and fuel-efficient solutions. With our full line of on-highway, vocational and medium-duty products, including alternative-fueled vehicles, a proven array of TruckCare aftermarket support programs and a respected network of independent North American dealerships, Peterbilt continues its industry leadership.
During the past several years, Peterbilt has introduced more new products and services than at any time in its history – trucks and sleepers that appeal to a broader range of industries, with more options, safety components and comfort features than all other trucks in their class.
Peterbilt has reigned as America's premium quality truck manufacturer since the company's founding in 1939. Our dedication to deliver products and services focused on improving customers' performance, image, profitability and peace of mind truly makes Peterbilt a legend in the industry.
From 1939 until the mid-1980s, the company was based in the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California. The original plant was in Oakland, which closed and in 1960, to move to Newark, California, also in the East Bay. Its headquarters and a new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant opened in Newark in October 1960. Truck production there ended at the close of 1986. Division headquarters and engineering remained in Newark until 1992, when a new administrative complex and a new engineering department at the Denton plant were completed. The new Madison/Nashville plant opened in 1969 in Madison, Tennessee, for the east-coast market. Originally it only manufactured the 352/282 cabover, then conventional production began in the 1970s, until it was closed in 2009. Production of class 8 trucks continues at the Denton, Texas plant.
In the early part of the 20th century, Tacoma, Washingtonplywood manufacturer and lumberentrepreneurT.A. Peterman was faced with a lumber logistics problem. He could not get logs from the forest to his lumber mill quickly or efficiently. He sought to improve upon the methods of the day: floating logs down river, or the use of steam tractors and horse teams. Peterman knew that if he could develop the then-nascent automobile technology and build trucks, he could solve his problem.
Peterman was rebuilding surplus army trucks, improving the technology with each successive vehicle. Then he put a battery on the starter (instead of the crank) and soon purchased the assets of Fageol Motors of Oakland, California in 1938 to supplement his need for a custom built logging truckchassis. Fageol had gone into receivership in 1932. By 1938, the Great Depression had driven the value of the assets to nearly zero. Peterman acquired the defunct truck manufacturer and although he produced two chain-drive logging trucks, they were unsuccessful. In 1939 he began selling his trucks to the public. T. A. Peterman died in 1944. His wife, Ida, sold the company (less the land) to seven individuals within the organization. They expanded it into a major producer of heavy-duty trucks. In 1958, Ida Peterman announced plans to sell the land to develop a shopping center. The shareholders, not wanting to invest in a new manufacturing facility, sold the company to Pacific Car & Foundry Co., then primarily a manufacturer of railroadfreight cars, which was looking to expand its truck manufacturing presence. Pacific Car & Foundry Co, which had acquired the assets of Kenworth in 1944, was already a competitor in the heavy truck market. In June, 1958, they acquired Peterbilt Motors as a wholly owned subsidiary. One year later, Pacific Car started construction of a modern 176,000-square-foot (16,400 m2) manufacturing facility in Newark, Calif. In August, 1960 Peterbilt moved to the new facility and became a division of the parent firm. Pacific Car and Foundry Co. changed its name officially to PACCAR in 1971.
Peterbilt model numbers traditionally started with a "2" for single drive rear axle tag axle models, and with a "3" for dual drive rear axle model from 1939 until 1981 with the 362. Peterbilt eliminated this distinction in the late 1970s.
- 200/265: Small truck with Volkswagen/MAN G90-based cab. Similar to the L80 cab series, Volkswagen production continues today in Brazil
- 260/334: On-highway, built 1939–1941.
- 270/334/345: On- highway, built 1941–1949.
- 354/355/364: Heavy duty, built 1941–1949. Twenty-eight Model 364s sold to Navy contractors in 1942.
- 280/350: This is the classic "iron-nose" conventional built from 1949 to 1957. It has distinctive cycle-type front fenders, and a long grille with vertical shutters.
Main article: Peterbilt 281
281/351: The classic narrow-nose butterfly hood Peterbilt made from 1954 until 1976. The truck was made notorious with the public with the release of Steven Spielberg's 1971 thriller Duel, which featured a 1950s Peterbilt 281. (This truck was not a 351 because it had one tag axle.) The 351 was also available after 1971 in a setback front axle (SBFA) configuration (Peterbilt's first such design) aimed at the east coast market. Nicknamed "The Autocar Fighter" by some staff. The design of the companion trucks made way for later models, as the 351 SBFA evolved into the 353.
- 282/352: Tilt-cab cab-over-engine model that replaced the Model 351 (non-tilting) cab over with "Panoramic Safe-T-Cab" in 1959. Formally nicknamed the "Pacemaker" by a staffer at Peterbilt after an in-house name contest in 1969 (the winner got a color TV). 1959-early 1969: headlights closer to radiator. The UniLite cab was all hand tooled. Pacemaker style sheet metal 1969–1980. The Pacemaker cab was refined through the 1970s. Pacemakers 352s were available in cab sizes ranging from 54" to 110" bumper to back of cab (BBC). A 352 Pacemaker appeared in Knight Rider as super-truck Goliath, and the "cab-over Pete" is referenced in the classic CB radio song "Convoy".
- 352H: high cab model introduced circa 1975 for larger engines, with higher cab and 1,512 sq in radiator, instead of the normal 1,050 sq. in radiator. The 352H was available in 86" and 110" BBC lengths and the very rare 63" BBC cab.
- 358: The 358 (288 single drive) was Peterbilt's first tilt hood.Basically a tilt hood 351. Later available with a fiberglass hood. Peterbilt's design engineers received a U.S.Patent for the tilt hood design. 358 was available from 1965 until 1976.
- 359: Introduced in late 1967 this was the first wide-nosed conventional for Peterbilt, even though it did offer a "tropic radiator" wide-front 351 for export at the time(289 single drive). 359 was available in 119" and 127" long hood BBC configurations. The long hood was only available for specific engines such as the Detroit Diesel 12v71. In 1967–1972 it had the small-windowed "Unilite" cab. In 1973, the 1100 series cab with bulkhead-style doors debuted (late 1972) The Distinctive "Dash of Class" was developed in 1976. The 359 was in production until 1987, when it was replaced by its successor the model "379". In late 1986 Peterbilt offered a special "limited edition" "359 Classic", a limited run of 359 trucks with numbered dash plaques, although more than 359 were built. The bulkhead style doors of the 1100 series cab are still used today.
- 346: The second-rarest Peterbilt ever made. It was made from 1972 to 1975, and only 10 were made. The 346 was intended to be a concrete mixer, dump truck, or snowplow with 4×4 versions planned but never built. The first 346 featured the Unilite cab and was sold to Rinker Construction. In Traverse City, MI, there is a 346 crane truck still in operation. (JB Selvidge)
- 348: The 348 was a fiberglass hood aimed at mixer and dump truck applications. The sloped hood afforded additional visibility. This was Peterbilt's first fiberglass sloped hood (1970). The 348 was in production from 1970 until 1986. The 349 was similar but with a slightly wider hood. 349 was later marketed for lightweight highway duty in the 1980s. The 348 6×6 used a modified 359-113 SBFA hood.
- 353: The 353 replaced the 351 flat-fender and 381 construction models in 1973. The 353 had flat "pit style" fenders, butterfly hood and was aimed at construction.
- 387: The 387 (1975–1987) looked similar to a 353 but had a heavier frame, longer hood, full flat fenders and under cab steps, larger bumper and overall heavier specs. Originally designed as a coal hauler, the first 387 was built in the Madison, Tennessee plant in 1976 and can be seen in the 1977 Working Class brochure as a coal truck. (JB Selvidge)
- 362: The 362 replaced the aging 352 in 1981 as the company's flagship cab over. The 362 was available with a large one-piece center windshield with three wipers or two center pieces with two wipers. The later refinement was the 362E, which had a slightly set back front axle for longer front springs. The last 362 was built as a SBFA for oilfield use in August 2005. The 362 was available in cab sizes from 54" to 110" BBC with SBFA and tandem steer options. There was also an 8×8 362.
- 372: Designed for high efficiency and driver comfort, this was the most aerodynamic Peterbilt cabover ever built. The nose piece of the cab flipped forward (similar to the old 350 COE of the 1950s) allowing access to maintenance items. The 372 was in production from 1988 until 1993. The 372 proved that 10+ MPG can be achieved with a class 8 truck.The truck has the distinction of being the most unusual Peterbilt design offering a sinister Darth Vader look that some also thought looked like a motorhome (think Winnebago) or a football helmet.
- 377: Peterbilt's aerodynamically designed conventional with a fiberglass hood and headlights incorporated into the fenders. Available in set forward front axle (SFFA) with a 122" BBC and set back front axle (SBFA) in 120" configurations. Available late 1986 until 2000. Replaced by the 387 in theory but continued as a 385-120.
- 378: Similar to the 379, the 378 has a fiberglass hood and steeper hood slope. It was not available in a long hood, but was available in set back front axle (SBFA) configurations. The 378 was popular in local and vocational trucking, as well as over the road applications. Available 1986–2007. Whereas the 378 and 379 both are available in a 119.5" BBC, the 378 sits two inches ( higher above the frame rails compared to the 379. This accounts for the slight downward angle to the hood.
- 357: The 357 looks like a 378, sharing the various hoods (SBFA, SFFA, Vocational "Heavy Haul" and short hood versions), but is heavier spec'd for construction and heavier applications. The 357 was available in a 111" BBC also. The 357 was also available with flat fenders as the 357-123, much like the 353. The 378 and 357 SBFA received a new hood and grille/crown for 2004. The vocational hood debuted in 2004 for customers needing a front engine power take-off (FEPTO). This model quickly became popular as a heavy truck or tractor and became known as the Heavy Haul option.
- 385: The 385 looks like a 377 with a more sloped hood. The 385 has a more sloped hood, shallower grille surround/crown than 377 had (later year 377s and 385s were nearly indistinguishable). No set-forward 385 was produced. BBC's were 112 and 120. Produced to be a direct competitor to the Freightliner FLD.385 1996–2007.
Main article: Peterbilt 379
379: The 379 was Peterbilt's flagship truck from 1987 until the 2007 model year maintaining the nameplate's signature long-nose styling. Available in standard (119" BBC) and long hood (127" BBC) lengths. Replacing the "359" in 1987, it remained in production until March 2007 with the last 1000 379s called the "Legacy Class 379." The 379 family received interior changes through the 20-year run, like the "Original (Square) Dash" from 1987 to 2000, the "Ergonomic Dash" from 2001 to 2005, and the current "2006+ Dash" currently available in Arctic Gray, Saharan Tan, Burgundy Wine, and Maritime Blue configurations. Peterbilt dropped the long running "American Class" interior in 2005 with the end of the "Ergonomic Dash." The main dash color was black up until the 2000 model year, which was the last year for the "Original Dash;" you could either order it in gray, tan, or black. Peterbilt also made changes to the cab doors in late 2004 when the vent window post was eliminated and the mirrors moved from the door to the cab. (Interestingly the "original cab" from Fageol had no vent windows and thus a retro look was achieved). The passenger door received a much larger peep window. New door release handles and lock sets replaced the 1972 units. The 2005 models had a flat door window lower ledge. For 2006 and 2007 the doors received a new window with an angled-towards-the-hood lower ledge allowing for additional visibility, especially to the right. Rear corner windows also became available. The new for 2005 cab mounted mirrors allow for enhanced view and allow the driver to keep his view facing forward without leaning to see the mirror. The rear window of the cab saw changes from the original 36" × 28" window. The Unibilt Daycab window size became standard around 2003.
- 387: The 387 was introduced in 1999 and is an aerodynamic over the road conventional. It uses the same bare cab shell its cousin with different sleeper, roof, cab skin, interior and hood, and Peterbilt frame. The 387 was available in two sleeper lengths: raised roof, mid roof and a daycab. The Model 587 replaced the Model 387.
- 386: Entered production in fall 2005, as an aerodynamic truck. It is only offered with a 126" BBC (Bumper to Back of Cab dimension.) and aside from not having external air cleaners, it is available with most all of the options of a 389. It was discontinued in 2015.
For more than 50 years, PACCAR has delivered more than one million engines globally, providing innovative solutions and an unwavering commitment to superior customer service and support. More information on PACCAR Engines and the PACCAR Engine Company can be found at PACCAR Engines.
Superior fuel economy is achieved using precise fuel management controlled by the PACCAR Electronic Control Module. A newly introduced variable displacement oil pump and a variable speed coolant pump assist in parasitic load reduction to improve fuel economy and enhance serviceability. The PACCAR MX-13 engine's common rail system maintains injection pressures of 2,500 bar, which helps achieve the lowest possible fuel consumption, emission and noise levels
The MX-13 is the first commercial diesel engine to use Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) in both the cylinder block and head. CGI is lighter and stronger than traditional gray iron and offers weight-sensitive users excellent horsepower-to-weight ratio to optimize payload.
The distinctive MX-13 crankshaft reduces weight and increases power for quicker acceleration and smoother overall operation. The single piston air compressor reduces weight and lessens noise for a more enjoyable customer experience.
The integrated lubrication module of the MX-13 combines filters, a thermostat and an oil cooler joined directly to the engine without external lines to maintain oil quality and extend service intervals. The MX-13 features a fully encapsulated wiring harness mounted directly to the block that protects wiring from the elements and removes stress from connectors. This results in a dependable electrical system that is serviced in a non-invasive manner to keep trucks in operation.
The MX-13 utilizes fractured cap technology in both the connecting rods and main bearing caps to provide high-shearing strength that results in a wide horsepower range and longer torque and power curves for more efficient operation. A rear-mounted gear train and a floating oil pan reduce engine vibrations and noise to provide drivers a quieter operating environment.
The MX-13 is available with a wide range of horsepower and torque options to deliver maximum performance at low engine speeds.
Available on Peterbilt Models 579, 567, 587, 389, 367 and 365, the MX-13 Engine is designed to meet the demands of virtually any application.
The 8.9-liter PACCAR PX-9 engine has one of the highest power-to-weight ratios in its class, with heavy-duty features like replaceable wet liners, roller cam followers, bypass oil filtration and targeted piston-cooling.
Available in both medium- and heavy-duty configurations, this engine delivers the durability and efficiency needed to lower operating expenses, reduce maintenance and increase productivity.
The 6.7-liter PACCAR PX-7 engine delivers superior performance, minimizes operational costs and maximizes uptime for medium-duty customers. Reduced maintenance, long service intervals and excellent fuel efficiency add up to a superior lifetime value.
The PACCAR PX-7 is available in horsepower ratings from 200 to 360hp and offers up to 800 lb-ft of torque.
ADEPT™ is a suite of advanced electronic features for the ISX15 engine that interact with automated manual transmissions, dynamically adapting to operating conditions to help even novice drivers operate as efficiently as your most seasoned and efficient professional. ADEPT enhances fuel economy with no impact to productivity, harnessing the electronic capabilities of the engine and transmission to make powertrain control decisions in real time.
The system continuously makes minor adjustments to speed, power and transmission gear to take advantage of vehicle momentum, maximizing efficiency and using less fuel while allowing the driver to concentrate on the road ahead.
Spec’ing ADEPT enables customers to leverage the full advantage of a Cummins ISX15 with an automated manual transmission, achieving up to a 3 percent incremental fuel economy gain. The first generation of ADEPT includes SmartTorque2 and SmartCoast.
SmartTorque2 is the next generation of torque management technology from Cummins that was first introduced with the SmartAdvantage™ Powertrain. SmartTorque2 senses both the selected gear and overall engine load as a result of the gross vehicle weight, aerodynamic drag and road grade. As those conditions vary, SmartTorque2 determines the exact amount of torque needed to maintain road speed and eliminate unnecessary downshifts. That ensures steadier engine operation, with more time spent inside the “sweet spot” – the rpm range that achieves the best fuel economy.
With SmartCoast, the engine and transmission work in concert to improve the efficiency of coasting events. On moderate downhill grades, the driveline will be disengaged, allowing the engine to return to idle and reducing drag on the vehicle. That results in conservation of the vehicle’s momentum and improved fuel economy. That feature provides the greatest benefit on moderate rolling hills.
Flexibility For The Future
The ADEPT platform can be easily upgraded to take advantage of upcoming advances for greater efficiency. So you can buy your Cummins engine today with the assurance that it will be capable of achieving even higher efficiency in the near future.
Every Question, Answered
To learn more about ADEPT, call Cummins Care at 1-800-DIESELS™ (1-800-343-7357) or see your Cummins distributor or dealer.