Peterbilt Introduces 'New From the Ground Up' Model 579
March 2012, TruckingInfo.com - Feature
LOUISVILLE, KY -- Peterbilt Motors Company unveiled its all-new Model 579 during the Mid-America Trucking Show following the most extensive and rigorous product development process in the company's history. The truck features distinctive aerodynamic styling and long list of driver comfort and productivity enhancements.
"The all-new 579 goes beyond meeting a market demand for an exceptional vehicle that satisfies both the bottom-line and operator expectations," said Bill Kozek, Peterbilt General Manager and PACCAR Vice President. "From optimized cab dimensions to an enhanced chassis design, and from driver amenities to a revamped electrical system -- every design element of the 579 was analyzed and engineered to provide real-world benefits and business solutions that exceed industry trends."
The cab structure is a new design that features greater strength and enhanced safety. The 2.1 meter-wide (83-inch), aluminum cab is strong, solid and lightweight. Both cab and sleeper are tested to the stringent SAE and ECE crashworthiness standards.Distinctive Aerodynamic New Styling
Aerodynamic performance is enhanced through modular aero packages that meet the EPA's SmartWay designation. The aero packages are designed to meet customer optimized requirements with variable length chassis fairings, sleeper extenders and rubber flares, under-cab close-outs and under-fairing skirts.
The aero hood also has a three-piece design that is lightweight, durable and easy to service. It features the company's most efficient tilt assist system that reduces lift effort to 25 pounds. Incorporated into the hood pivot system are supports that direct energy around the cooling module in the event of certain types of accidents that minimizes damage and helps allow the operator to drive the truck to a safe location for repairs.
"These improvements enhanced the signature Peterbilt styling elements such as the new chevron-style crown and grille with an oval-mesh pattern," says Landon Sproull, Peterbilt Chief Engineer.New Interiors Equal Productivity, Comfort
"Hundreds of drivers were consulted during our research and planning to ensure the new cab and sleeper designs met the range of needs for spaciousness, comfort, productivity and efficiency," Sproull says. "The operating environment is designed around the driver and when it is time to rest and relax, the sleeper area is loaded with practical luxuries including ample storage and an integrated entertainment center that can accommodate a 22-inch flat panel television."
Two cab trim levels are available for the 579 -- the Platinum, a luxurious and elegant interior with woodgrain highlights throughout the cab and sleeper; and the Prestige, an optimal balance between comfort and functionality. Both are available in a choice of Buckskin Tan and Titanium Gray, with optional Burgundy accents in the Platinum.
The Platinum-level interior includes a passenger-side work surface above the glove box for paperwork and other tasks. The main instrumentation panel has easy-to-read gauges that are completely visible through the steering wheel, as is the color, five-inch Driver Information Display that provides a new engine-RPM sweet-spot indicator to help drivers maximize fuel economy and the capability to display virtual gauges.
Recognizing that a driver's at-rest environment is as important to overall productivity as the operating environment, numerous amenities were built into the detachable, sleeper.
"It's a spacious design that begins with the large entryway between the cab and sleeper that has the roominess and accessibility that one expects from an integrated sleeper. However, as part of the Unibilt family, it is fully detachable for enhanced resale value and increased versatility in second- and third-life operations," notes Sproull.
Among the features of the 579's sleeper are:
* Convenient pull-out workstation
* Abundant side and rear wall cabinet storage;
* Wall-to-wall, 85-inch premium mattress -- the longest in the industry;
* Liftable bunk for additional storage and service access to HVAC and audio components;
* Optional mid-height refrigerator;
* Optional mounting bracket for a 22-inch flat-panel television that includes an inverter, fourth battery and convenient duplex power outlets;
* Oversized wardrobe closets
Maximum visibility is achieved through a panoramic-style windshield that is also thicker than previous designs for improved noise insulation and chip resistance. The cab's A-pillar design is 20-percent narrower than competitive designs, further improving visibility without sacrificing strength.
Doors are newly designed with a durable, aluminum double-wall structure that reduces weight. Built to withstand harsh conditions, the new hidden gravity-hinge system requires little effort to close doors and provides an airtight seal upon closing to reduce wind noise. Rounding out the entry package is a new amber, lower-door LED signature light. Electrical System Improvements
When redesigning the Model 579's electrical system, Sproull said the goal was to create a robust architecture that optimized routings.
"Electrical system integrity was a key focus during the development of the 579," Sproull said. "The result is an all-new system that includes innovative protection and routing design elements."
Additional electrical system enhancements include angled dress covers that reduce pin tension and provide additional protection to connections and routing troughs. Sproull said the cab electrical and air connections, air intake filter, A/C service ports and fresh-air filter are mounted to the firewall for easy access.
"But perhaps the most innovative improvement to the electrical system are the new electric-over-air rocker switches that enable critical interlocks," said Sproull. "Not only does this technology remove air plumbing from the dash, it ensures the correct operation settings of critical systems."
Optimized Chassis Design
The backbone of the Model 579 is a new chassis design that is lightweight, stiff and incorporates exceptional maneuverability.
"The turning radius and the ride and handling characteristics provide superior operability and performance," said Sproull. "Through angled gear installation, wheel cut is optimized for exceptional curb-to-curb turning. "
Even though the chassis weight is reduced, its stiffness was increased by 10 to 15 percent to improve ride-and-handling performance and reduce in-cab noise. New chassis systems routings for the air and fuel lines enhance ease of serviceability and reduce repair times, as do separation of key air, fuel and diesel emissions fluid lines and electrical wiring.
The 579 comes standard with front air-disc brakes and the Bendix Electronic Stability Control system. Peterbiltlegend.com
Supporting the launch of the 579, Peterbilt has also introduced a dedicated website to give customers a comprehensive, detailed introduction to the company's newest truck. Visitors to the site can tour the new vehicle by rotating its view through 360 degrees. Numerous rollover hotspots showcase the 579's many features, including its aerodynamic design and accents, panoramic windshield, three-piece bumper and lightweight components.
Peterbilt will be taking the 579 on a dealer tour beginning on April 24. The truck will visit over 100 dealerships in the U.S. and Canada throughout the year. Watch for more inf