I recently travelled to Denton, Texas to drive the new Paccar MX-11 engine in a Peterbilt 579 EPIQ tractor. The MX-11 can give you up to 430 hp and 1,550 lb.-ft. of torque while saving you about 400 lbs vs a 13L. If your application allows you to convert that weight savings to payload, it’s an interesting consideration.

The Paccar MX-11 engine
The Paccar MX-11 engine

If you move down from a 15L to an 11L, you can save about 800 lbs and that adds up real fast if you’re in a bulk application.

The limiting factor though is the approved GCW, which is 80,000 lbs. So the MX-11 certainly isn’t for everyone but it has its place. Anthony Gansle, Peterbilt’s on-highway marketing manager, accompanied me on my drive and said the engine will be a nice fit for fleets that don’t need 500 hp and operate over relatively flat terrain.

On my drive, the power was sufficient. It didn’t feel at all underpowered. The engine was responsive to throttle input and extremely quiet, though I think the well-designed cab contributed to the quiet ride.

I think a lot of drivers, if they weren’t told there was an 11L under the hood, could be fooled into thinking it was a 13L. Of course, this was Texas – not the Rocky Mountains. We were loaded to about 63,000 lbs. The MX-11 could be a good fit for fleets that haul light loads into the US.

I go into more detail about the truck and engine in this report.


James Menzies

James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 18 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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