Bill Kozek, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice president, offered an overview of the North American truck market at today’s press event held to announce a number of new products and product enhancements. “Trends are positive,” he told the audience. “The U.S. economy continues to maintain stability.”

Peterbilt rolls out new vocational truck & other product line additions/enhancements

March 20, 2013
Louisville, KY. Peterbilt Motors Company chose the Mid-America Trucking Show here today to introduce its new vocational Model 567, designed to meet the severe service and high-performance demands of vocational fleets. The new truck, which is scheduled to go into production in June, was the result of extensive product research and development according to Bill Kozek, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice president. “The time to introduce a new vocational truck is now,” he said, citing the recovering construction and housing markets as key indicators.

LOUISVILLE, KY. Peterbilt Motors Company chose the Mid-America Trucking Show here today to introduce its new vocational Model 567, designed to meet the severe service and high-performance demands of vocational fleets. The new truck, which is scheduled to go into production in June, was the result of extensive product research and development according to Bill Kozek, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice president. “The time to introduce a new vocational truck is now,” he said, citing the recovering construction and housing markets as key indicators.

“From the 567’s rugged design and versatile configurations to its enhanced visibility and new spacious interior, this new model exceeds the demands of our customers’ unique vocational operating requirements,” Kozek noted. It will be available in two BBC configurations – the 121-inch and 115-inch – in a day cab or with a selection of detachable sleeper configurations.  

The 567 is available with single, tandem or tridem [sic] drive axles and a variety of lift axles.  It comes standard with the new PACCAR MX-13 engine in power offerings up to 500 horsepower with 1,850 lb-ft of torque. A Cummins 12-liter engine is also available and a compressed natural gas (CNG) power option “is a future part of the program.”

The new model features a stronger aluminum cab that comes standard ready to meet severe-service requirements. “For additional strength and cab stability, steel upper A-pillars and rear corner reinforcements have been added,” said Landon Sproull, Peterbilt chief engineer. “The large, cast-aluminum front cab mounts distribute road stresses evenly, reducing road-induced wear and improving ride quality.”

The stainless steel oval mesh grille and surround also provide enhanced protection from gravel and road debris, while a new Metton hood is designed to absorb many impacts that could shatter or crack other materials. The hood pivot system has a protection feature designed to direct energy around the cooling module in the event of an impact.

The 567 can be spec’d with a wide variety of heavy-duty components and in a number of configurations for increased payloads and optimized weight distribution. It is available in a set-back front axle configuration for increased maneuverability in congested worksites and with steer axle ratings up to 22,000 lbs. An angled steering gear installation further improves maneuverability by increasing wheel cut by up to 9 degrees over other designs, reducing curb-to-curb turning diameter by up to 9 feet.

“Our optimized steering geometry reduces bump steer by up to 25 percent,” said Sproull. “This minimizes steering wheel feedback over rough, uneven surfaces, minimizing driver fatigue.”

The new model also comes standard with front air disc brakes, to provide straight-line braking stability and significantly increased brake maintenance intervals. Complementing air disc brakes, the standard electronic stability control system provides added stability and traction by applying the brakes when excessive wheel slip or a critical stability threshold is detected.

Other special features of the 567 include: an enhanced forward-lighting system; a new “panoramic” windshield with narrower A-pillars for improved visibility; a lighter-weight, stiffer chassis design to improve ride and handling and reduce noise; and a new interior designed to reduce driver fatigue and improve efficiency, which is available in Platinum and Prestige trim levels.  The cab also sports a new gauge panel designed to be easy to read and completely visible through the steering wheel.

“A key consideration of the Model 567 design process is the driver-centric, roomy cab and sleeper environment,” said Sproull. “During our research and planning, we interviewed and surveyed hundreds of drivers about their preferences to ensure the 567 cab would provide operators with the most productive and comfortable operating environment.”

Peterbilt also introduced a number of other additions and enhancements to their product line  including: a new 80-inch sleeper for the Model 579, a new mid-length Model 579, an enhanced 587 interior, a customized Model 389, extensions to its natural gas engine line-up, enhancements to the SmartNav system, the availability of the SmartAir anti-idling cooling system, and the availability of PreSet Plus hub systems as standard.

The all-new 80-inch sleeper for the Model 579 is the largest in Peterbilt’s history. The fully detachable sleeper was designed for customers requiring fuel-efficiency, vehicle quality and amenities to support operator needs, according to the company. It features a 42-inch bunk, spacious tower storage cabinets and LED lighting.

Other features of the new sleeper include:

  • Microwave shelf with power outlet
  • Coffee maker cabinet
  • Oversized cup holders
  • Upper side and back wall cabinets
  • Full-length sleeper access door with optional window
  • Liftable bunk for additional storage and service access to HVAC and audio components
  • Optimally placed HVAC vents
  • Optional mid-height refrigerator
  • Floor-level rollout storage / pantry drawer
  • TV package, including brackets, power outlets and shelving to accommodate up to a 22-inch flat panel TV and a DVD player or video game console

In addition to the new 80-inch sleeper, the Model 579 is also available with a 72-inch sleeper and a new 44-inch, low-roof sleeper introduced earlier this year.

The new lightweight 117-inch BBC version of the Model 579 will be available with the 2013 PACCAR MX-13 engine in June 2013. It is designed to offer excellent maneuverability and outstanding visibility while maintaining the Model 579’s aerodynamic characteristics.  It can be configured as a day cab or with the full range of detachable Peterbilt sleepers.

While the 579 product line was expanded with a new sleeper and mid-length offering, the aerodynamic Model 587 is sporting a new interior. The Model 587 dash brow has been re-contoured and lowered to provide exceptional forward visibility for a wide range of driver height profiles, according to the company. In addition, the dash shape has been optimized to bring switches, controls and storage to within easy reach of the driver to help reduce distractions.

“From a design perspective, we focused on the touch points,” said Sproull. “Hundreds of drivers were interviewed and measured during the research and development to ensure this new cab environment meets their needs.”

The customized Model 389 with a 63-inch, low-roof sleeper was designed as a “tribute to truck enthusiasts and individuals devoted to customizing Peterbilt’s legendary products.” It features PACCAR Parts TRP accessories.

Exterior features of the customized Model 389 include:

  • Peterbilt Stainless Steel Oval Mesh Grille and Coordinating Air Cleaner Intakes
  • Bright Vertical Grille Bars
  • Polished Stainless Steel Quad Tandem Rear Fenders
  • Seven-inch Chromed Exhaust Stacks
  • LED Auxiliary Lighting for the Cab, Sleeper, Air Cleaners and Bumper
  • Chromed Steel Texas Square Bumper
  • Extended / Dropped Stainless Steel Sunvisor
  • Saddlebag Style Auxiliary Tool Boxes

Additional interior features include:

  • A stylized, four-spoke, Steering Wheel
  • Peterbilt’s SmartNav System
  • Leather-trimmed Peterbilt Premium UltraRide Seats
  • Cummins ISX 550 horsepower Engine
  • 18-Speed Fuller Manual Transmission

Peterbilt also announced the availability of the new Cummins Westport ISX12 G natural gas engine. Based on the Cummins ISX12 diesel engine, the ISX12 G is both Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (ARB) certified. The ISX12 G will not require a diesel particulate filter (DPF) or a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system.

Scheduled to be available in August 2013, the new ISX12 G engine features spark ignition technology and a 3-way catalyst. It will be offered with a maximum of 400 horsepower and torque ratings up to 1,450 pounds.

“With growing demand for natural gas engines, we are pleased to add the Cummins ISX12 G to our natural gas lineup,” said Kozek. “The pairing of the dedicated natural gas engine with Peterbilt provides customers exceptional fuel economy with an environmentally-friendly, domestically-sourced fuel that helps lower operating costs.”

The company’s proprietary navigation and “infotainment” system, SmartNav has also been enhanced. Changes and additions include expanded audio controls and ten new virtual gauges.

Standard virtual gauges include engine oil temperature, and transmission temperature. The list of new optional virtual gauges includes air filter restriction, fuel filter restriction, suspension load pressure, brake application pressure, front and rear axle oil temperature and an ammeter.

Expanded SmartNav capabilities include dead-reckoning--which helps maintain the truck’s location when positioned in areas where the satellite signal is blocked, such as tunnels and urban environments-- plus increased availability of typical audio functions while in motion.

The company’s battery-powered, SmartAir anti-idle cooling system is now also officially available in Peterbilt Models 384, 386, 388, 389, 587 and the new 579. It has a 7,500 BTU/hour cooling capacity and can operate up to ten hours on a single charge. It also features on-board diagnostics, fully automatic temperature control and an easy-to-use digital LCD display for battery monitoring.

The availability of PreSet Plus hub systems as standard equipment was also made public at the Mid-America Trucking Show. PreSet Plus hub assemblies are designed for both steer and drive axles, for disc and drum brakes, and are available in iron and also in aluminum for weight-sensitive applications.  

About the Author

Wendy Leavitt

Wendy Leavitt joined Fleet Owner in 1998 after serving as editor-in-chief of Trucking Technology magazine for four years.

She began her career in the trucking industry at Kenworth Truck Company in Kirkland, WA where she spent 16 years—the first five years as safety and compliance manager in the engineering department and more than a decade as the company’s manager of advertising and public relations. She has also worked as a book editor, guided authors through the self-publishing process and operated her own marketing and public relations business.

Wendy has a Masters Degree in English and Art History from Western Washington University, where, as a graduate student, she also taught writing.  

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