Peterbilt’s new Model 587, Paccar MX roll through Ontario

by James Menzies

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. –Peterbilt’s extensive North American Tour rolled through Ontario in mid-August, with stops at Peterbilt Ontario Truck Centres locations in London, Mississauga and Cardinal, Ont. before heading into Quebec and the Maritimes.

The tour featured Peterbilt’s newest truck, the Model 587, pulling a trailer packed with information and displays on everything from disc brakes to the new Paccar MX engine and the company’s new Nav-Plus infotainment system.

Truck News visited the Aug. 11 stop in Mississauga to get an up-close look at the Model 587, which is described by general sales manager Paul Reitz as the “evolution of the 387.”

Compared to the 387, the Model 587 offers improved visibility thanks to a redesigned hood with a steeper slope. Reitz said the new hood affords drivers an extra three to four feet of down-view visibility.

The hood release system on the 387 has been replaced with standard rubber hold-downs, Reitz explained, and the hood opens up to a complete 90-degree angle to provide easy access to the engine.

“It’s not tucked away into the doghouse,” Reitz said of the Paccar MX engine, which is also being showcased on the tour.

The Model 587 comes with standard Bendix disc brakes on the front axle, an industry first that provides better stopping capabilities. Also new is an improved wiring system that was needed for the EPA2010-compliant engine and allows for standardization across the Peterbilt product line, Reitz explained.

Other upgrades are more subtle: new side fairings, improved battery box latches with a more robust handle and gas shock door springs. The interior remains much the same as the Model 387, but several enhancements -including a new dash to further improve visibility -are coming, Reitz said. The truck is still undergoing validation testing and is not yet in full production, although Peterbilt Ontario Truck Centres has several on order.

Another improvement over its predecessor is the aerodynamics of the Model 587. Peterbilt managed to lessen the truck’s wind resistance by 17%, thanks to new aerodynamic mirrors and fenders and a smoother overall design.

Reitz said he expects the Model 587 to be popular in linehaul and even some bulk applications, when spec’d in a mid-roof configuration.

As for power, Reitz said customers are beginning to warm up to the new Paccar MX engine.

“We’re really trying to shake the perception that it’s a new engine,” he said. “It’s not a new engine. Is it new to North America? Yes. But there are 125,000 of them in Europe and China -it’s been tried and tested.”

In Ontario, Peterbilt dealers have already placed about 26 Paccar MX test engines with some of their biggest fleet customers and the feedback has been positive, Reitz said.

“We’ve had great results with it,” he said of the tests, which have been underway for several years now. “We’ve hauled heavy loads with it and it hasn’t broken. The customers that test drove it, liked it and I think you’ll see them order some if they haven’t already.”

Reitz’s dealership is so confident in the engine, is just recently took delivery of a Model 386 with a 450-hp Paccar MX which will be loaned to customers for several days at a time.

“The biggest question is, how is the power?” Reitz admitted. “The best way to show them is to walk the walk, so we threw some plates on it, some insurance on it, and we’ll let customers pull their own loads with it. We think test driving it is going to answer all those unknown questions.”

The truck is already booked for the next few weeks, Reitz said.

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