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Subject: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: Dylan Baranski on 09/18/07 at 10:09 am

Since I was little, one of my interests has been about commercial vehicles. I did a lot of research online about these kinds of trucks, so go ahead and ask me if you've any questions.

Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: whistledog on 09/18/07 at 10:33 am

Why do they call them Peterbilt?  Did some guy named Peter build them ?

Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: Dylan Baranski on 09/18/07 at 11:55 am

The company was founded by T.A. Peterman in 1939 from the ashes of Fageol Motors.

He was originally a lumber salesman who was having trouble getting logs to his lumber mill quickly enough. So, he started rebuilding surplus army trucks & improved with each successive vehicle he made. Sadly, Mr. Peterman died in 1945, but his wife Ida sold the company to 7 people in the company's management, who expanded the company & made it into what it is today.

Peterbilt Trucks...Class of the Industry.

Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: Philip Eno on 09/18/07 at 12:05 pm

Tell me more about Peterbilt Trucks?

Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: Dylan Baranski on 09/18/07 at 4:56 pm

OK, I can tell you more about Peterbilt trucks.

Models:

Up until the late 70's, trucks with single rear axles or tag axles had model numbers beginning with 2; whereas trucks with dual rear axles had model numbers beginning with 3.

(Conventionals)
-260/360: The original Peterbilt conventional, manufactured from 1939-1949 (temporarily stopped from 1942-45 due to World War 2)

-280/350: The successor to the 260/350, with a different nose & other improvements over the 260/360. Manufactured from 1949-1957

-281/351: First manufactured in 1954, this truck was taller than the 280/350 & had a new butterfly hood (in other words, the hood opened up from the sides, like butterfly wings), but was also available with a tilt-hood as the 358 in 1965. Was also available in a set-back front axle configuration with flat fenders for construction use. Amazingly, despite the introduction of the 359 in 1967, the 281/351/358 continued production until 1976, though it was rarely made after 1968. A Peterbilt 281 is featured in the Steven Spielberg movie "Duel".

-381: A heavy-duty version of the 351, beefed up more.

-289/359: The first wide-nose conventional, introduced in 1967. Retained the Unilite cab from previous models, but with a wider nose, making it the first modern-looking Peterbilt. In 1972, the Unilite cab was replaced with the 1100 series cab (see below for more details on cabs) with a new dashboard. In 1977, another new dashboard with a round top was introduced, called the "Corvette Dash" or "Dash of Class". Square headlights were introduced the following year. Production continued until 1987, when it was replaced by the similar-looking 379. During the last year of production, Peterbilt produced a limited run of 359 "359 Classic" edition trucks.

-353: A heavy-duty version of the 359; with flat fenders, butterfly hood, heavy-duty axles, heavy-duty suspension, & a "Severe Service" version of the 1100 series cab. Replaced the 351 flat-fender & 381 in 1974 & was produced until production of the 359 ceased. Intended for construction use.

-387 (old): An even heavier 359; basically a beefed-up 353 with heavier axles, wider fenders, longer hood, double-layered or triple-layered frame, & bigger tires. Produced from 1976-1987.

-348: Similar to the 359, but with a downwards-sloping hood. Intended for use as a cement mixer. Produced from 1970-1987.

-379: Continuing the classic Peterbilt look, the 379 replaced the 359 in 1987 & had a new cab (see below) & interior, among other improvements. It received many interior changes during its production run from 1987-2007. Near the end of its production run, Peterbilt manufactured 1000 "Legacy Class" 379s. In the new Transformers movie, Optimus Prime can transform into a Peterbilt 379.

-378: Almost the same as the 379, but the cabs sits 4 inches higher off the frame than the 379's cab, which accounts for the hood's slight downwards slope.

-377: An aerodynamic conventional with headlights built into the fenders. Produced form 1987-2000

-385: Looked similar to the 377, but with a more downwards sloping hood.

-357: Replaced the 353 & old 387 in 1987. Looks similar to the 378, but is more heavy-duty & is meant for construction, just like the 353. Also available in 6x6 configuration.

-387 (new): The new aerodynamic conventional from Peterbilt, first produced in 2004. Uses the same body as the Kenworth T-2000.

-388/389: The newest classic-look conventional from Peterbilt. Both trucks have new interiors, new headlights, better aerodynamics, and other improvements. The difference is that the 389 has a BBC (bumper to back of cab) length of 131", making it the Peterbilt with the longest hood ever made. The 388 has a BBC length of 127".

-367: Replaced the 357 & 378 in 2007. The 367 has the same headlight options as the 379, although positioned a little farther back. Like the 357, it is a heavy-duty truck intended for construction use.

-365: Same as the 367, but with a shorter hood.

-330/335/340: Medium-duty conventionals intended for local delivery applications.

(Cabovers)
-280/350: The first cabover (meaning the cab is placed over the engine) from Peterbilt. Also known as the "bubble-nose" or "bull-nose" conventional. Manufactured from 1949-1957

-281/351: The first flat-nose cabover, with the "Panoramic Saf-T-Cab". Manufactured from 1957-1958.

-282/352 Unilite: Not to be confused with the Unilite conventional cab, the 282/352 Unilite cabover replaced the 281/351 with the "Panoramic Saf-T-Cab" in 1958. The Unilite cab was hand-tooled. Produced from 1958-1969

-282/352 "Pacemaker": Replaced the 282/352 Unilite in 1969. The nickname "Pacemaker" was chosen from an in-house naming contest held for the new cabover (the winner got a free color TV). The Pacemaker was similar to the Unilite except the headlights were farther away from the grille. The Pacemaker saw many changes during its production run, with new air conditioners, grab handles, battery boxes, etc... Produced from 1969-1980.

-352H: A variant of the 352 introduced in 1975. The 352H's cab was 4 inches taller in order to accommodate higher horsepower engines.

-362: Replaced the 352 in 1980. Changes included square headlights, a taller cab, round-cornered doors, & more room inside the cab, among other improvements. Produced from 1980-2005.

-362E: A variant of the 362 introduced in 1994. Had a lower cab than the regular 362, giving it the look of the classic Unilite & Pacemaker cabovers.

-372: An aerodynamic cabover introduced in 1988. The nose flipped forwards so that the engine could be accessed. Proved that +10 MPG could be achieved with a Class 8 truck. Produced from 1988-1993.

-300/310: A low-profile cabover introduced in 1973. Also manufactured by Kenworth. Modernized as the 320.

-220: A smaller cabover with a DAF cab, similar to Isuzu cabovers.

(other)
-390: A heavy-duty long-nose conventional from the 1950's

-346: The second-rarest Peterbilt ever made. Only 10 (1 was destroyed in 1974) were made, and only the first one had the Unilite cab. Intended to be a cement mixer, snowplow truck, dump truck, and other such applications. There is still a 346 crane truck operating in Traverse City, Michigan today.

-397: The biggest & rarest Peterbilt ever made. An even heavier-duty version of the old 387, with a longer hood, larger tires, & +40" wide frame. Only two were made, and one was destroyed by fire, but the other one may still be operating today.

-361 "Wastebed": A test cabover built in 1973. It was an experimental cabover with a taller cab, a larger grille, a wraparound dashboard, & a bigger fan than the Pacemaker. It was intended as a test platform for features such as more powerful engines, better cooling, new interior styling, etc... However, while it was being developed, the U.S. Government changed regulations regarding noise limits, and the truck didn't meet these new regulations, so sound deadening material was wrapped around the smokestacks, which made the truck look silly. Add to this the 1973 oil crisis, and development on this truck was shelved, hence the nickname "Wastebed". It sat around for 2 years before being dismantled. Poor thing. For more info on this enigmatic cabover, see http://tahlborn.web.aplus.net/tmt12.htm

Cabs:

(Conventional cabs)
From 1939 until 1972, Peterbilt conventionals (meaning engine in front of cab) had the "Unilite" cab with sharp-cornered doors & smaller front windows than suceeding cabs.

In 1972, the Unilite cab was replaced by the 1100 series cab, so called because the area of the front windows was 1100 square inches. The doors had rounded corners on them, too.

In 1987, the 379 cab was introduced. This cab is similar to the 1100 series cab except it is wider, has a fiberglass roof, the windshield slopes back further, and daycabs (trucks without sleeper compartments) have larger rear windows. Later versions of this cab have new door handles & locks. This cab is still used on the current generation of Peterbilts.

(Cabover cabs)
The 280/350 bullnose cabover had its own cab design.

The 281/351 cabover had the "Panoramic Saf-T-Cab", with a flat nose & single headlights on each side.

The 282/352 Unilite had a new cab, which was taller than the "Panoramic Saf-T-Cab" & had dual headlights on each side rather than single ones. The Pacemaker's cab was similar, but the headlights were further away from the grille.

The 362 cab is taller than the 352 cab, has round-cornered doors, & is taller & roomier than the 352 cab.

Other notes:

-No two Peterbilts are alike. Each truck is custom built for the user's specifications.

-Peterbilts are available with a wide variety of diesel engines, from 6 cylinders to 16 cylinders.

-There are no add-ons to the frame. It's all 1 single unit from the front to the rear.

-There are no rivets used in the frame, as that would weaken it. Instead, heavy-duty nuts & bolts are used to hold it together. Also, keeping in line with the custom-made truck thing, there are no extra holes in a Peterbilt frame.

-For more information, see your local Peterbilt dealer (if there is one in your area).

Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: Cucumber on 05/10/09 at 6:50 pm

This is a serious question, as I'm 6'5" w/ a 37" inseam.  Head room, and even more importantly, LEG ROOM, are serious priorities in selecting a truck.

I'm seriously looking into purchasing a commercial vehicle.....probably in the early 00's or mid-late 90's.  I'd like to know which cab series offers the most spacious leg room for both the driver and passenger.

Additionally, if you or anyone has further info, I'd also appreciate being enlightened as to whether the Peterbilt, KW, Freightliner, Volvo, etc, have a reputation for the most driver-cab space.

Thanks for your responses.

Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: AL-B Mk. III on 05/15/09 at 2:17 pm


This is a serious question, as I'm 6'5" w/ a 37" inseam.  Head room, and even more importantly, LEG ROOM, are serious priorities in selecting a truck.

I'm seriously looking into purchasing a commercial vehicle.....probably in the early 00's or mid-late 90's.  I'd like to know which cab series offers the most spacious leg room for both the driver and passenger.

Additionally, if you or anyone has further info, I'd also appreciate being enlightened as to whether the Peterbilt, KW, Freightliner, Volvo, etc, have a reputation for the most driver-cab space.

Thanks for your responses.


I'm 6'3 myself and have driven trucks off and on for the last 10 years.

Are you going to do long hauls or just local delivery? My experience is that really, any make of truck will accommodate you just fine as long as it's a sleeper cab, but when I get into a day cab it can be somewhat of a tight fit (because there's not as much room to slide the seat back). Not to mention that if you get a raised roof or condo sleeper, then headroom wont be an issue either. Most condos are so huge inside that despite being my height I still can't reach the ceilings in them.

I've had experience with all makes of trucks except Petes, and if I was to ever buy my own truck I'd definitely get a Kenworth (although Peterbilt is part of PACCAR,the same company that makes KW's). Volvos are very good, I've had mixed results with Internationals, but I would definitely steer clear of Freightliners, they generally seem like disposable trucks and I've always felt that they seemed kind of "flimsy."

However, Kenworths seem to have a build quality that is so far above the rest that they're in a class of their own. (Maybe Pete's are the same way, I've just never driven one.)

Really, you wouldn't buy a new car without test driving several different models first, I don't see why buying a truck would be any different, so your best bet (especially if you're going to make such a large investment) would be to try a few out and see which one you like the best.





Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: danootaandme on 05/16/09 at 6:00 am

What kind of Peterbilt is Optimus Prime

http://www.doobybrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/real-peterbilt-optimus-prime.jpg

Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: AL-B Mk. III on 07/02/09 at 8:12 pm

Is it true that old truckers never die...they just get a new Peterbilt?  :D :D :D

Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: Philip Eno on 07/03/09 at 1:07 am

Has the makers of Peterbilt trucks been hit by the recession?

Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: whistledog on 07/11/09 at 9:48 pm

Why have we not heard more aobut Peterbilt trucks since September 18, 2007 ?

Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: AL-B Mk. III on 07/16/09 at 2:24 pm


Why have we not heard more aobut Peterbilt trucks since September 18, 2007 ?


Maybe the OP is getting a new Peterbilt.  ;D ;D ;D

Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: ricjr on 08/27/09 at 11:08 am

i need a wiring harness diagram for a 1987 peterbuilt 359 limited edition, extended hood. where can i get one? :-[

Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: Philip Eno on 08/27/09 at 12:56 pm


i need a wiring harness diagram for a 1987 peterbuilt 359 limited edition, extended hood. where can i get one? :-[
Have you tried the original makers?

Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: Leeb66 on 09/12/09 at 6:19 pm

I got a good one for you.  What year did Peterbilt discontinue use of the rectangular "Peterblt" emblem, seen on the hood and grille?  I'm sure they were used up until 1949, but after that I've seen pics of Petes into the mid 50's with these, although they could have been replaced.  Here is a 1949 Pete with this emblem ..http://www.hankstruckpictures.com/pix/trucks/pnwtm/2005/aug27/dsc_7446.jpg 

Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: aRLaN6 on 11/03/09 at 6:06 pm

Could you help me?

I create 3D trucks for a video games and I am creating a 1967 359 Peterbilt and I want to know how the interior was done. Was it just a metal shell painted whatever color the cab outside was painted? Or did they have a leather padding like the mid '70's and up trucks did? Was there a ceiling panel?

I found some great pictures of the dashboard (that was painted the standard black like most trucks with wood veneer) so I am good there.

Do you have any pictures or know where I can find any of 1967 Pete?

Regards

aRLaN6

http://

Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: ron on 01/26/10 at 10:50 am


Since I was little, one of my interests has been about commercial vehicles. I did a lot of research online about these kinds of trucks, so go ahead and ask me if you've any questions.


Dylan, you know where I can get published info on Peterbilts? Like data books that are used to build class 8 heavy duty trucks (1999 on). Will purchase  Thanks

Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: Philip Eno on 03/03/15 at 3:53 am

Are Peterbilt trucks still available?

Subject: Re: Ask me about Peterbilt trucks

Written By: AL-B Mk. III on 03/17/15 at 3:37 am


Are Peterbilt trucks still available?


Yes.

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7255/13524308225_814db5b138_b.jpg

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