Peterbilt unveils new Class 8 trucks at MATS

| 3/22/2006

Peterbilt Motors Co. introduced an all-new product lineup - featuring new vehicles specifically designed for the aero and traditional models - during the Mid-America Trucking Show.

"This is a landmark occasion for Peterbilt. Our new lineup of premium trucks represents the best new products Peterbilt has ever offered, setting new standards for quality, innovation, technology, versatility and styling," said Dan Sobic, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice president.

Improvements in aerodynamics, fuel efficiency, styling, maneuverability and forward lighting are among the new product enhancements, Sobic said. The new trucks by Peterbilt are:

  • The traditionally styled Model 389 and Model 388; and
  • The aerodynamically styled Model 384.

The new lineup of Class 8 vehicles will be available in early 2007.

Peterbilt's new traditional truck models - the Model 389 and Model 388 - feature improved aerodynamic performance, styling, durability, serviceability and forward lighting.

"Improving fuel efficiency is also a concern for customers of our traditional truck models, and the new Model 389 and Model 388 can help them achieve more miles per gallon," Sobic said.

"We have been successful in integrating improved aerodynamic performance with two new traditional truck models that retain Peterbilt's legendary styling and trademark design. Peterbilt's traditional truck models are proven to command top resale value and help customers attract and retain drivers, and these new models will further increase those advantages while helping reduce operating costs through better fuel economy."

The distinctive look and aerodynamic performance of the Model 389 and Model 388 are achieved through all-new, aluminum hoods, a new one-piece aluminum surround with a punched-oval pattern grille and polished aluminum grille bars, polished-aluminum fender reinforcements, headlamps, aero-style mirrors and a new aerodynamic hood ornament.

The new all-aluminum hoods are both durable and lightweight and feature improved fit-and-finish. The hoods have a proprietary anti-blow-down locking mechanism that keeps it in an open position to prevent unintentional closing and open a full 90 degrees to facilitate engine access during service.

The Model 389 and Model 388 chassis has simplified routings to allow for easier access to service points, further improving serviceability.

A new, lighter-weight cooling system features increased cooling capacity to accommodate higher-horsepower engines.

In addition to improving aerodynamics, said Landon Sproull Peterbilt's chief engineer, the new aluminum headlamps feature complex-reflector technology that increases forward lighting by 226 percent, helping reduce operator fatigue. Bulb life is improved by 600 percent. Long-life LED directional signals are integrated into the headlamp design. The lighting assembly is protected by a durable, impact-resistant lens cover.

The new aero-style mirrors improve airflow and reduce drag by as much as 40 percent versus previous designs, while also providing greater rearward visibility.

"The design and styling of the Model 389 and Model 388 achieve both form and function," Sproull said. "The results are improved aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, as well as enhancements to overall performance and durability."

For further aerodynamic improvement, a proprietary Fuel Efficiency Package is available for both models that can reduce fuel consumption by as much as three-tenths of a mile per gallon. The Fuel Efficiency Package includes a new contoured roof fairing, oval-shaped cab-mounted exhaust, aerodynamic air cleaners, streamlined tool and battery boxes and contoured bumper and underbody fairing.

Sobic said that the long-length Model 389 will be the preferred choice for owner-operators and image-conscious fleets, while the Model 388, with a shorter BBC, will serve the needs of customers in more length-sensitive applications.

At the press conference, Peterbilt also introduced the aerodynamically styled Model 384.

"Reducing operating expenses through improved fuel efficiency is increasingly an industry priority," Sobic said. "Aerodynamically styled trucks continue to gain in popularity and account for a growing portion of Peterbilt's heavy-duty, on-highway truck production. This trend will continue, and our expanded offering of aero trucks will meet that demand."

The Model 384 and can be configured as a daycab or with the full range of detachable Peterbilt Unibilt sleepers, like the Model 386.

The mid-length Model 384 has a 116-inch BBC and set-back front axle for exceptional maneuverability in vocational and urban operation, and is lightweight for increased payloads in weight-sensitive applications.

"The lower radiator position and sloped hood combine to improve forward visibility by nearly 12 inches," Sproull said. "It has the same advanced forward lighting system found on all of our aerodynamic truck models which improves nighttime illumination by 43 percent and reduces serviceability requirements with a 71 percent improvement in bulb life."

Sproull said the optimized position of the set-back front axle provides ideal weight distribution and improves maneuverability by allowing for 50 degrees of wheel cut and decreases the turning radius by 12 inches.

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