A Brand Built to Last
Peterbilt was founded in 1939 and has been the Class of the trucking industry ever since. For 80 years, Peterbilt has been creating purpose-built vehicles crafted to stand the test of time.
1939: Peterbilt begins
The legend begins in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, with the vision and expertise of T.A. Peterman. After years in the logging industry, Peterman founds Peterbilt in 1939. Peterbilt trucks are innovative from the beginning, with the dual-drive, lightweight Model 334 with its all-steel cab, as well as the chain-drive Model 260.
1939-1945: War Service
Peterbilt puts its growing expertise at the service of its country. The Model 364 is manufactured and put into military service, becoming a dependable workhorse in the nation’s war effort.
1950s: New Opportunity
With the end of the war comes the opportunity for innovation. Peterbilt introduces the Model 350 in the late 1940s, later updated to feature the unique bubble-nose, cab-over-engine design. Meanwhile, the Model 351 is introduced in 1954, beginning the longest production run in company history.
1953: The Red Oval
As Peterbilt grows, so does its reputation. With Peterbilt trucks being demanded and sold nationwide, the increasingly iconic brand needed a logo to match. 1953 saw the debut of the Peterbilt red oval – the same logo that has graced the front of every Peterbilt truck since.
1958: A PACCAR Company
Pacific Car & Foundry (PACCAR) acquires Peterbilt, beginning a relationship that has lasted for 60 years and counting. Originally a maker of railway and logging equipment, PACCAR has grown to become one of the largest commercial vehicle manufacturers in the world.
1960s: Innovation - Model 352
The 1960s see a renewed focus on manufacturing and craftsmanship. Peterbilt pioneers the strong, lightweight aluminum cab on models such as the Model 352, with its 90-degree tilt UniLite cab.
1960s: Innovation - Model 359
The classic Model 359 rolls out in 1967.
1960s: Innovation - Model 358 "Bird"
And on the Model 358, the classic Peterbilt bird hood ornament first takes flight.
1970s: Trucking Grows
The trucking industry grows and with it comes a new and distinctively American culture – a culture Peterbilt’s unmistakable style helps to shape. Pacific Car & Foundry Company is renamed as PACCAR Inc.
1980: Welcome to Texas
Peterbilt’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility opens in Denton, Texas in 1980, increasing Peterbilt’s manufacturing capabilities and paving the way for revolutionary new designs. Peterbilt’s relationship with the Lone Star State deepens when the corporate head office moves to Denton in 1992.
1980s: Model 362
The aerodynamic Model 362 increases the popularity of cab-over engine tractors.
1986: 379 Debuts
Peterbilt introduces one of the most iconic trucks in history: the Model 379. An unmistakable vehicle that defines on highway trucks for more than a generation, the 379 goes on to become the most popular owner-operated truck of all time, and becomes an enduring favorite on the show truck circuit.
1990s: Medium Duty Market
Applying craftsmanship and expertise honed over decades, Peterbilt seizes a new opportunity: the medium duty market. Peterbilt makes a strong entrance with the introduction of the Model 330.
1990s: 387 Introduction
The perfect combination of form and function is introduced in the Model 387.
2000s: Model 386
The Model 386 is unveiled - the first product designated as environmentally friendly and fuel efficient by the EPA.
2000s: Model 220
Peterbilt introduces the low cab forward Model 210/220 for the medium duty market. The 210/220 provided customers with a versatile vehicle that delivered superior driver comfort, maneuverability and value.
2010: MX Engine
The PACCAR global expertise yields rich dividends with the introduction of the PACCAR MX engine, and the opening of a purpose-built PACCAR manufacturing facility in Columbus, Mississippi. With the introduction of the MX-13 in 2010 comes a new level of in efficiency, reliability and performance.
2010: Model 587
Aerodynamic design takes a great leap forward with the integrated cab-sleeper Model 587.
2012: Model 579
Always a proud manufacturer, Peterbilt increasingly becomes a technology company in the endless quest for improvement. The new Model 579, the Class of the on-highway market, delivers value through technological advancement.
2013: Model 567
The rugged Model 567 is introduced in 2013 as the 2.1m cab for vocational applications, providing more driver comfort and job versatility, and permanently changing worksites.
2015: Building on Success
Building on the success of the PACCAR MX-13, Peterbilt begins offering the MX-11 with up to 430hp and 1650 lb-ft of torque. Ideal for the regional and vocational applications, the MX-11 provides the power and reliability customers demand.
2016: Tradition Meets Design
Tradition meets modern design when the Model 567 Heritage blends modern amenities and aerodynamics with the tradition of Peterbilt’s Pride and Class.
2016: The PACCAR Tandem Axle
PACCAR introduces the 40,000 lb tandem axle with a torque rating of up to 1,650 lb-ft. The 40k tandem axle contributes to superior fuel efficiency in part to the 150 lb weight savings.
2017: Integrated Powertrain
PACCAR completes the integrated powertrain with the PACCAR 12 speed automated transmission. The PACCAR Transmission was designed from the ground up to maximize fuel efficiency, durability and drivability.
2018: Model 579 UltraLoft
Peterbilt introduced the bold and distinctive Model 579 UltraLoft. The high-roof integral vehicle offers drivers the ultimate driving, living and working environment, taking the already-superior Model 579 to a new level of driver comfort and performance.
2019: 80th Anniversary
Peterbilt celebrates 80 years of purposeful innovation, enduring craftsmanship, individualized solutions and pride & class. After 80 years, Peterbilt remains the industry's truck of choice.