Peterbilt unveils new medium-duty line

April 8, 2021
The new models serve Classes 5 to 7 and offer an updated powertrain, advanced safety technology and wider cabs.

Days after Paccar sibling company Kenworth unveiled its refreshed medium-duty lineup, Peterbilt Motors Company has revealed its own updated Class 5-7 models. Model 535 and 536 are designed for Class 5 and 6 and the non-CDL lease and rental markets while Model 537 and 548 are made for Classes 7 and 8. Peterbilt also revealed new Paccar TX-8 Automatic transmission and updated Paccar PX engines. The medium-duty line as well as the new automatic transmission and updated engines are now available for order with deliveries starting in July

Peterbilt designers and engineers spent the last five years talking with customers to fully understand their needs and have developed a medium-duty line of trucks that has been designed for maximum efficiency and versatility.

“This year has proved to be a very big year for Peterbilt, first with the launch of the new Model 579 and now with launch of the new [medium-duty line],” said Jason Skoog, Peterbilt general manager and Paccar vice president. “The medium duty segment is integral to Peterbilt’s business and we have seen great gains in market share since the launch of our first medium duty truck back in 1995.”

Model 535 and 536

Peterbilt’s Model 535 and 536 feature a robot-assembled aluminum cab with a width of 2.1 m, a floor height of 40.5 in. and a roof height of 74 in. The cab is 8 in. wider than the previous generation cab and has room for three adults to seat comfortably. Ingress and egress are improved with a 3-in. lower cab height, stair-style steps and knurled grab handles.

The new, self-closing doors feature larger windows for increased driver visibility, three opening positions and a new triple seal for enhanced NVH. The Bumper to Back of Cab (BBC) measurement can be either 107-in. or 109-in. and the trucks offer excellent maneuverability with a turning radius of 51 ft. Options available on the Model 535 and Model 536 include two hood lengths, two roof heights, composite and steel bumpers, as well as multiple options of fuel and DEF tanks.

The cab interior has been fitted and finished with high or low-back seats in cloth or vinyl. Storage space is 4.6 cubic feet of overhead and door storage space with three cup holders. The dash layout of the Model 535 and Model 536 is fully customizable for any application with available space for optional gauges, switches and ram mounts.

Driver information is delivered through a new instrument cluster, featuring an analog speedo and tachometer and a high-resolution 7-in. digital display that relays key information at a glance through a unique menu card layout. Drivers are able to toggle through pre-loaded menu cards and customize their preferences utilizing the new multi-function steering wheel and the display navigation knob. The digital display is fully integrated with advanced drive-assist systems (ADAS) on the truck (collision mitigation, lane departure warning) as well as the tire pressure management system (TPMS). Other functions include a system check and trip summary.

“These trucks are a perfect fit for the growing lightweight lease, rental and pick-up and delivery markets with their versatility, excellent efficiency and uptime,” Skoog remarked .

Model 537 and 548

According to Peterbilt, the versatility of the new Model 537 and 548 is built upon a new customizable chassis and multiplex electrical architecture, delivering body builder integration that allows customers complete customization to spec their truck to fit their needs.

Both models have two hood options, a vocational 3-piece Metton hood featuring a stationary grille with full through rail, and a three-piece SMC aero hood for maximum visibility. Both hood options can use a variety of vocational and FEPTO bumpers to fit different applications. The bumper is front mounted to the chassis with a drop-and-go feature for self-locating. Bumper options include two finishes (chrome or painted), three bumper light mounted options (headlight, daytime running lights or fog), two radar options, two tow options (two tow loops or center tow), and two license plate mounting locations (center or offset).

Rugged performance starts with the suspension on the new Model 537 and 548, with wide or standard track axles featuring superior wheel cut angles for a shorter turning radius and mono-leaf or taper-leaf front springs rated from 8,000 up to 20,000 lb. The rear suspension is available with a taper-leaf or air leaf suspension rated from 12,500 to 40,000 lb. depending on a single or tandem drive configuration. The AWD option features a new offset bowl design to offer the lowest possible cab height.

The new 2.1m cab is 8 inches wider inside than the previous generation cab and also has room for 3 adults to seat comfortably. Stair-style steps and knurled grab handles make getting into the trucks easy. Like Model 535 and 536, the interior of Model 537 and 548 features 4.6 cubic feet of storage space, 3 cup holders and a dash layout with available space for optional gauges, switches and ram mounts.

The new instrument cluster is included in the 537 and 548, featuring an analog speedo and tachometer with a high-resolution, 7-inch digital display relays key information at a glance. Drivers are able to toggle through menu cards on the display, utilizing the new multi-function steering wheel and the display navigation knob. The digital display is integrated into the electronics of the truck with key information like system check, trip summary, PTO functions, ADAS and TPMS all clearly displayed through the menu cards.

“Peterbilt will always go above and beyond to deliver trucks that are fine tuned for their specific application, not to mention have the durability and toughness to be around for a long time,” said Skoog. “The new Model 537 and Model 548 are further proof that we listen to our customers and deliver on their needs.”

Paccar TX-8 Automatic transmission, updated PACCAR PX engines

Designed to be versatile, efficient and reliable, the new 8-speed Paccar TX-8 automatic transmission monitors changes in road grade, vehicle acceleration, torque demand, weight and engine load to keep the truck in the most fuel-efficient gear. According to Peterbilt, the transmission’s shift performance delivers automotive-like shifting with up to 5% better fuel economy.

The Paccar TX-8 automatic transmission features the Auto Park Lock system, a safety feature that automatically engages the park lock should a driver forget as well as a Twin Torsional Damper enables early 1st gear lock-up for smoother shifts and faster acceleration. In addition, the Mechatronic unit and Transmission Control Unit (TCU) are combined into one unit within the oil pan for ease of service.

According to Peterbilt, uptime and total cost of ownership have been improved with the Paccar TX-8 transmission through improved fuel efficiency and the minimal maintenance required as a result of the new service friendly design which eliminates several integrated and external parts for a more streamlined design.

Peterbilt’s new medium-duty line is equipped with Paccar ’s updated line of PX engines that will see longer oil and fuel filter service intervals and fuel economy improvements. Peterbilt stated that the updated PX-9 also sees higher torque ratings in the 260, 350 and 360 horsepower versions as well as a lower torque drop-off speed.

In addition to the launch of the new PACCAR TX-8 automatic transmission and updated Paccar PX engines, existing Paccar Powertrain components will be rebranded to align with the new transmission. All Paccar transmissions will take on the TX designation with the 12-speed being renamed the TX-12. The Paccar 40K drive axle will become the Paccar DX-40 and the vocational 20K front steer axle becomes the FX-20.

“Our family of proprietary components is growing to deliver even more benefits for our customers,” Skoog said. “Future components will continue the trend of integrated efficiency and performance across more segments of the market.”        

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