Truck News


Pete unveils ’06 lineup

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Peterbilt Motors Company made several new introductions at this year's Mid-America Trucking Show in March, including a new model spec'd for regional haulers, new technologies and a n...

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Peterbilt Motors Company made several new introductions at this year’s Mid-America Trucking Show in March, including a new model spec’d for regional haulers, new technologies and a new range of interiors geared to improved driver comfort and productivity. Peterbilt’s new model 386 business class truck has aerodynamic styling, improving on the efficiency of the 385-120 model, said company officials.

“Versus its predecessor, the Model 385-120, aerodynamic efficiency was improved by 10 per cent,” said Peterbilt chief engineer Craig Brewster. “This results in approximately a 3/10s of a mile per gallon increase in fuel economy.”

Design elements include a new contoured sun visor, side chassis fairings, dramatically sloped hood, integrated headlamps, swept-back fender design and a form-fitted bumper. The latter is made of Metton – a composite 60 per cent lighter than steel but highly durable according to company officials.

The 386 includes a new chassis design allowing for a lower radiator mounting and a new front axle position.

The repositioning of the latter improves weight-loading capabilities and allows for a shorter wheelbase, that combined with a 50 degree wheel cut, reduces the wall to wall turning radius by 12 inches.

Easy access to underhood components, multiplexed electronic technology for gauges and instrumentation, integrated headlamps, new interior packages and an optional Unibilt sleeper system are also available on the 386, allowing the truck to be reconfigured as a daycab.

“The detachable sleeper gives customers greater flexibility over re-assigning the Model 386 to different areas of their operations,” said Dan Sobic, Peterbilt GM and PACCAR vice-president. “It also helps enhance the resale value, as the vehicle can be re-introduced into a wider range of markets.”

Peterbilt execs said the new 386 will be priced below the 387, but more exact figures should be available next month. Engine options will be the same for the 386 as they are for the 387 (Cat and Cummins). The 387 will not be phased out however, said officials.

Pete officials also announced several new options for components and styling packages.

Among them are two new heavy-duty PACCAR batteries available this spring. The PACCAR dual-purpose battery, suited to a wide variety of applications, including long haul with sleeper and driver amenities, thanks to 700 cold cranking amps, will be standard on all Petes.

The PACCAR starting battery, designed for extreme weather conditions and a non-sleeper application, with 1,000 cold cranking amps, will be optional.

“These batteries have undergone years of stringent testing, both in the lab and on and off the road,” said Scott Pearson, Peterbilt assistant GM of sales and marketing. “And we have found them to deliver years of consistently high performance with very few maintenance requirements.”

Peterbilt execs also announced ABS-6, the next generation Bendix antilock braking system, is now available on select Class 8 Petes.

The new system, available in standard, premium and advanced configurations (advanced will be available later this year), will be optional on Models 379, 385, 378, 357, and the new 386. There will be no cost increase for ABS-6 Standard versus the standard antilock braking system (standard on all Petes), said Peterbilt officials.

“The Bendix ABS-6 system is a high performance antilock braking system and it will help our customers operate with greater efficiency and flexibility,” said Sobic.

Pete officials said the ABS-6 system will be a platform for future vehicle systems, for instance the ABS-6 Advanced system with ESP electronic stability control will help mitigate rollovers, jackknifes and other diminished control scenarios.

ABS-6 Advanced with ESP stability system should be available for order as follows:

* Peterbilt Model 387 in June

* Peterbilt Models 379, 386, 385, 378 and 357 tractors in September

The option will be extended to 2006 models, said company officials.

Electrical improvements and new interior packages were also included in Peterbilt’s 2006 Class 8 line-up, introduced at the Mid-America Trucking Show. The changes improve performance, reliability and serviceability, while optimizing driver productivity and comfort said company officials.

Gauge and instrumentation reliability was improved by the introduction of multiplexed electronic technology, said officials. And a new electronic service interface mounted under the dash allows technicians to perform diagnostics from outside the cab.

“We were able to significantly reduce the amount of behind-dash wiring for improved diagnostics and serviceability,” said Brewster.

The Electronic Service Analyst tool allows dealer service technicians to quickly and accurately monitor, troubleshoot and repair the electrical system by isolating sensors and gauges. The diagnostic tool interfaces with the vehicle through a special port mounted under the dash, which allows technicians to perform diagnostics from outside the cab. The ESA software also creates an event log for a service history.

As for appearances, new interior packages now include the ProBilt, Prestige and Platinum, available for Models 379, 386, 385, 378 and 357.

Probilt is the new Pete base level interior specifically designed for vocational applications. It includes soft-touch dash with satin finish Burl wood grain panels, chrome gauge bezels which are customizable, a multifunction turnstalk, dual sun visors with map straps, optional vanity mirrors, optional door map pockets with integrated courtesy lights, footwell courtesy lights, five grab handles, power windows which are standard on the passenger side and optional for the driver, an ergonomic pedal package with “dead pedal,” three dome lights and two directional map lights, and additional overhead storage when combined with the UltraCab.

The Prestige level interior comes with everything included in the Probilt, plus a two tone soft touch dash with Burl wood grain panels and a dash-mounted ConcertClass sound system as standard in sleeper cab configurations, that can be upgraded with satellite radio.

The ultimate interior package, the Platinum, comes with all of the above, plus two-tone colour door pads and dual power windows.

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