Peterbilt Motors Company is an American-based truck manufacturer. Producing its first truck in 1939, the company specializes in commercial heavy-duty and medium-duty vehicles. Since 1958, Peterbilt has been owned by PACCAR, operating alongside sister division Kenworth Truck Company. Introduced in 1953, a large red-oval brand emblem distinguishes its vehicles.

Peterbilt Motors Company
IndustryTruck Manufacturing
Founded1939 (1939)
FounderT. A. Peterman
HeadquartersDenton, Texas
United States
ProductsSee listing

Founded in Oakland, California, Peterbilt is currently headquartered in Denton, Texas (since 1986); the company manufactures vehicles in Denton, Texas and in Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec (predominantly the class 7 348 models).


A 1939 Peterbilt Model 334 truck (first year of production)

In the first third of the 20th century, logs for the lumber industry were floated downriver, hauled with steam tractors or horse teams. Tacoma, Washington plywood manufacturer and lumberman T.A. Peterman could not get his felled inventory to his lumber mill quickly or efficiently enough to suit his needs, so he looked at the then-nascent automobile technology for logging trucks that could do the job.[citation needed]

Peterman began by rebuilding surplus military trucks, improving the technology with each successive vehicle, such as replacing crank starters with battery powered ones. In 1938, near the end of the Great Depression, he purchased the assets of Fageol of Oakland, California, which had gone into receivership in 1932 (near the depths of the Depression). With the ability to turn out custom built chassis Peterman initially produced two chain-drive logging trucks, which proved unsuccessful. In 1939, he began selling his trucks to the public.[citation needed]

T. A. Peterman died in 1944. His wife, Ida, sold the company to seven individuals within the organization, but retained its land. They then expanded it into a major producer of heavy-duty trucks. In 1958, Ida Peterman announced plans to sell the property to develop a shopping center. The shareholders, not wanting to invest in a new manufacturing facility, sold the company in June 1958 to Pacific Car & Foundry Co., then primarily a manufacturer of railroad freight cars, which had acquired the assets of heavy truck competitor Kenworth in 1944. One year later, Pacific Car and Foundry 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 1972.[1]



Current Peterbilt vehicles
Model name Production Vehicle type Notes
220 1998-2007[2]


medium-duty (Class 7)

COE, low cab forward

Shares DAF LF cab with Kenworth K370

Built on frame of 330 conventional.[2]

325 2007-present medium-duty (Class 5) Built for non-CDL applications[4][5]


2007-present (330)

2009-present (337,348)


330: Class 6

337: Class 7

348: Class 7/8

Introduces single-piece windshield to medium-duty trucks

330: Built for non-CDL applications[6]

337: truck or semitractor[7], replaces 335

348: vocational applications, replaces 340

365 367 2007-present[8] severe-service/vocational (Class 8) 365: 115-inch BBC, replaced 357

367: 123-inch BBC, replaced 378

Both models offered in set-back or set-forward front axle configurations

389 2006-present on-highway (Class 8) Replaced 379, with redesigned headlamps, fenders, and trim.

131-inch BBC (longest-produced by Peterbilt).

Offered in Australia (through 3rd-party conversion to right-hand drive)

520 2016-present[9] vocational

COE, low cab forward

Replaced 320, for refuse collection applications

Redesigned to accommodate PACCAR engines and modernized interior

567 2015-present[10] severe-service/vocational (Class 8) Shares cab with 579, headlights of 389

115 or 121-inch BBC[10]

Offered in set-back or set-forward front axle configurations

579 2012-present[11] on-highway (Class 8) Replaced 587 as newest Peterbilt "aerodynamic" conventional

123-inch BBC, 83-inch cab width[11]

Retired (1980 to date)Edit

Retired Peterbilt vehicles
Model name Production Vehicle type Notes
Mid-Ranger (200) 1987-1999[12] medium-duty (Class 5-7)

COE, low cab forward

Version of the Volkswagen LT, using MAN G90 (wide-body) cab, produced in Brazil.

Sold with American-market drivetrain

210 1998-2007[13]


medium-duty (Class 6)

COE, low cab forward

Adaptation of DAF LF, shared with Kenworth

Second generation built on 325 frame

26,000-pound GVWR; non-CDL applications[15]

320 1987-2016 COE, low cab forward Replaced 310 (and Kenworth Hustler)

Added right-hand stand-up drive to cab[16]

349 1980-1987 on-highway (Class 8) Light-GVWR highway tractor.[17]

Slightly sloped hood, wider grille than 348; also available with set-back front axle.[18]

357 1986-??? on-highway (Class 8) Severe-service/vocational model line.

Similar in configuration to 378, but with heavier-duty chassis

111-inch through 123-inch BBC; set-back and set-forward front axles

Flat-fender hood (similar to 353) offered as an option, along with front PTO[19]

362 1981-2005 on-highway (Class 8)


Replaced Model 352 COE; visually similar, all-new design.[20][21]

54-inch to 110-inch BBC; multiple axle configurations (including tandem-steer)

362E (introduced c.1990) with greater interior room, easier entry[21]

372 1988-1994 on-highway (Class 8)


Last all-new Peterbilt COE design

Developed to improve aerodynamics over 362 (sharing its doors and grille[21]); received over 11 MPG in development testing[21][22]

Intended for team operation; raised-roof sleeper integrated into large roof fairing; rounded nose fairing raised for engine access.

Unusual appearance created many nicknames, including "Winnebago", "football helmet", or "Darth Vader"[21] (or less kind).

377 1986-2000 on-highway (Class 8) First Peterbilt aerodynamic conventional; similar in concept to the Kenworth T600

Fiberglass hood sloped similar to 349, with large fenders (incorporating headlamps and turn signals)

120-inch BBC (set-back front axle), 122-inch BBC (set-forward front axle)

Directly replaced by 120-inch 385 (along with 387)

378 1986-2007 on-highway (Class 8) Replaced Model 348

Built for multiple applications, including vocational and on-highway.[23]

Similar to 379 (sharing its 119-inch BBC); a higher-mounted cab added a sloped hood design to the model line.

Multiple axle configurations; set-forward and set-back front axles

379 1987-2007 on-highway (Class 8) Replaced Model 359 as flagship Peterbilt conventional.

119-inch and 127-inch BBC

In design change from 359, turn signals moved from fenders to (rectangular) headlamps

Replaced by 389 in 2007

384 2007-??? on-highway (Class 8) 116-inch BBC version of 386[24]
385 1996-2007 on-highway (Class 8) Developed to compete with Freightliner FLD 112

Similar in appearance to 377 (different hood slope)

112-inch BBC; set-back front axle standard

120-inch BBC replaced Model 377

386 2005-2015 on-highway (Class 8) Combined aerodynamic hood design of 387 with standard Peterbilt cab design (except external air cleaners)

126-inch BBC

387 1999-2010 on-highway (Class 8) Indirect replacement for Model 377; first Peterbilt aerodynamic conventional with "wide-body" cab

Shares cab structure with Kenworth T2000; built on Peterbilt frame, 387 has different hood, roof fairing, and interior design.

Produced as day cab, mid-roof sleeper, and raised-roof sleeper.

388 2006-2015 on-highway (Class 8) 123-inch BBC configuration of Model 389, replacing 119-inch version of 379

Renamed as 123-inch version of 389 in 2015

587 2010-2016 on-highway (Class 8) Replaced 387 as Peterbilt "wide-body" aerodynamic conventional[25] (similar to Kenworth T700)

Redesigned hoodline to improve visibility and lighting.

Produced as day cab, mid-roof sleeper, and raised-roof sleeper.  

Historic (before 1980)Edit

Before 1981, model designations started with 2 for single-drive (and tag axle) vehicles, and 3 for dual-drive vehicles. This distinction gradually was phased out in the late 1970s.  

Model name Production Vehicle type Notes


1939-1941 Conventional First Peterbilt model line, evolved from a Fageol design.[26][27]

Logging trucks sold to the public

260: chain drive

334: dual drive axles



1941-1949 Conventional On-highway truck

Last model line developed by T.A. Peterman




1941-1949 Conventional Heavy-duty truck

28 Model 364s produced for the US Navy (1942).[27]



1949-1957 Conventional

Cabover/COE (1949-1953)

On-highway truck, nicknamed the "Iron-nose" truck

Butterfly-type hood with cycle-style fenders. Vertical shutters on grille

COE version produced, nicknamed "bubble-nose" style (short hood)

281 351 1954-1976 Conventional On-highway truck, nicknamed the "narrow-nose" truck

First model line introduced with red Peterbilt emblem (at launch)

Butterfly-type hood with cycle-style fenders. Horizontal shutters on grille

Set-back front axle option introduced in 1971 (later becoming 353)



1954-1958 Cabover/COE First Peterbilt COE model line developed with its own cab

Shares doors with 281/351 conventional



1959-1980 Cabover/COE First tilt-cab COE, developed as distinct model line; first UniLite cab

Nicknamed the "Pacemaker" in 1969, coinciding with an update

54-inch to 110-inch BBC

352H is a raised-cab version, fitted with a larger radiator; produced from 1975-1980



1965-1976 Conventional Variant of 281/351 with a tilting hood, first Peterbilt equipped with a design.[28][29]Fiberglass hood introduced in 1972.[30]

First Peterbilt model line with current hood ornament design

289 359 1967-1987 Conventional Replaced 281/351

Distinguished by wider grille for larger radiator

Replaced by 379

CB300 c.1975-1978 COE, low cab forward First Peterbilt truck designed for refuse applications

Designed and produced jointly between Peterbilt and Kenworth[31]

310 1978-1986 COE, low cab forward Replaced CB300, designed for refuse applications

Model 319 used rear PTO and rear lift axle with steering capability[31]

351L Conventional Severe-service variant of 351 designed specifically for logging[30]

Flat diamond-plate fenders

341 1954-1972[30] Conventional Short-hood variant of the 351 designed for vocational applications

Replaced by 348

346 1972-1975 Conventional (Class 9) Designed for vocational applications, with a (highly) set-back front axle

Only 10 produced, second-rarest model line

348 1970-1986 Conventional Designed for cement mixers and dump trucks

First Peterbilt with a sloped fiberglass hood

353 1973-1987 Conventional Designed for construction applications, flat steel fenders

Used grille of 359 (radiator) with butterfly hood

Replaced 341 and 351 vocational trucks

381 c.1975 Conventional Severe-service truck, 6x6 drive configuration[30]

Flat fenders, butterfly hood; lower, narrower radiator than 383

383 c. 1966-1979 Conventional Severe-service truck, 6x6 drive configuration[30]

Flat fenders extend to back of cab

387 1976-1987 Conventional (Class 9) Severe-service truck, originally developed for coal transportation

Later developed for multiple applications

Model number reused in 1999 (only model line to do so)

391 c.1977 Conventional (Class 9) Logging truck, similar in design to the 387; only one built

Built using a Kenworth frame and a Peterbilt body, current whereabouts unknown

397 Conventional (Class 9) Largest Peterbilt model line, 2 examples built

up to 500,000-pound weight capacity, with up to 600 hp engines[32]


In the 1960s and 1970s, 30" and 36" sleepers were available. If a buyer wanted a larger sleeper, Peterbilt worked with Mercury Sleepers for 40", 60", and custom sized sleepers. Mercury would paint the sleeper to match the factory paint or the sleeper came with polished quilted aluminum. In 1978, Peterbilt's engineers were tasked with making a bigger sleeper. They designed the 63" sleeper with rounded doors and a walk-through from the cab. The sleeper debuted on a 359-127" and can be seen in the 1978 brochure "Best in Class". This truck also featured the first set of rectangular headlamps. The first raised roof (high cube) sleeper was on a 359 in 1986 and with changes (no right hand forward door) carried through to the 379 family. In 1994, the Unibilt sleeper debuted with air-ride suspension for the cab and sleeper with a large cab to sleeper opening. The Unibilt sleeper suspension had a one piece shock/air bag mount system from 1994 to 2006, until Peterbilt redesigned the suspension system for the 2007 model year, making the shock and air bag system on separate brackets. The Unibilt cab/sleeper option allowed for the sleeper to be removed for a daycab conversion. The UltraSleeper was Peterbilt's largest and most luxurious. At 70" long, it featured a right-hand access door, table, closet and a small "wet closet" accessible from the driver's side to store boots, gloves, and other 'damp' items. The last UltraSleeper was built in 2005 [33]


Peterbilt assembly plant and headquarters in Denton, Texas.

From 1939 until the mid-1980s, the company was based in the East Bay area of Northern California. The original plant was in Oakland, which closed in 1960 and moved to nearby Newark. Truck production moved to Denton, Texas at the close of 1986, but division headquarters and engineering remained in California until 1992, when a new administrative complex and engineering department at the Denton plant was completed. The 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 (

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ History Paccar
  2. ^ a b Nunlist, Tom; Editor, Associate. "Peterbilt 210 and 220 Low COE to Return Next Year". Retrieved 2019-11-18.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Staff. "Peterbilt Enhances Medium-duty Models 210, 220". Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  4. ^ "Model 325 | Peterbilt". Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  5. ^ Retrieved 2019-11-18. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Model 330 | Peterbilt". Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  7. ^ "Model 337 | Peterbilt". Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  8. ^ Retrieved 2019-11-18. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Staff. "Peterbilt Unveils Model 520 for Refuse Fleets". Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  10. ^ a b Staff. "Peterbilt Showcases Model 567". Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  11. ^ a b Staff, Truckinginfo. "Peterbilt Introduces 'New From the Ground Up' Model 579". Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  12. ^ "From LT to Worker - Volkswagen's Versatile, Long-lasting "LT" Cab". Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  13. ^ Nunlist, Tom; Editor, Associate. "Peterbilt 210 and 220 Low COE to Return Next Year". Retrieved 2019-11-18.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  14. ^ Staff. "Peterbilt Enhances Medium-duty Models 210, 220". Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  15. ^ [ "Peterbilt"] Check |url= value (help). Peterbilt.
  16. ^ Sandhills Publishing Company. "Peterbilt History | Peterbilt of Louisiana | New and used Peterbilt truck dealer". Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  17. ^ "Peterbilt Spotters Guide - Pre 1980 Conventionals". Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  18. ^ "Tims Trucks PB2". Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  19. ^ "Peterbilt Expands Its 357 Vocational Series". Construction Equipment. Retrieved 2019-11-22.
  20. ^ says, Yusef Transit (2019-06-17). "The History of Peterbilt Trucks". Allstate Peterbilt Group. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  21. ^ a b c d e "Tims Trucks PB9". Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  22. ^ "Peterbilt". Peterbilt.
  23. ^ "Peterbilt". Retrieved 3/8/19. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  24. ^ "Peterbilt Spotters Guide - 386 and 384". Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  25. ^ Retrieved 2019-11-21. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. ^ "Heritage | Peterbilt". Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  27. ^ a b says, Yusef Transit (2019-06-17). "The History of Peterbilt Trucks". Allstate Peterbilt Group. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  28. ^ [ "Peterbilt Website"] Check |url= value (help). Peterbilt. Retrieved 3/6/19. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  29. ^ [ "Peterbilt"] Check |url= value (help).
  30. ^ a b c d e "Peterbilt Spotters Guide - Pre 1980 Conventionals". Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  31. ^ a b Sandhills Publishing Company. "Peterbilt History | Peterbilt of Louisiana | New and used Peterbilt truck dealer". Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  32. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ "". Retrieved 5 March 2019.

External linksEdit