Peterbilt Motors won both the medium- and heavy duty categories in the American Truck Dealers' annual Commercial Truck of the Year competition, announced Sunday at ATD's convention in Las Vegas.
The winners were the Model 210 Class 7 low-cab-forward truck and the Model 587 SmartWay sleeper-cab tractor. This was the first time that a single builder won both categories since the competition began including midrange trucks in 2009.
The Pete 210 truck outscored four competitors with its comfort, power and interior trim, as well as maneuverability and ease of maintenance that the other trucks also had, according to Tom Berg, HDT's senior editor and chief judge in the contest. The Model 587 tractor impressed the judges with its quietness, smooth operation, interior room, power and styling.
They were two of nine entries from seven manufacturers in the 2011 contest. The other Class 8 entries were a Freightliner 114SD dump truck, an International ProStar+ road tractor, and a Kenworth T660 regional tractor. The Class 3 to 7 mediums were a Fuso Canter FE 160 LCF, an Isuzu NPR-HD Gas LCF, a Kenworth T440 conventional, and a UD 2600 LCF.
"They were all good trucks," Berg said after the announcement. "The manufacturers went to a lot of trouble and expense entering them. I wish we could give an award to all of them."
At the ATD lunch, Berg handed trophies to Peterbilt's general manager, Bill Kozek, as ATD's convention chairman, David Yglesius, of Palmetto Ford Truck in Miami, Fla., made the announcements.
"There'll be a lot of smiling faces in Denton, Texas," Peterbilt's headquarters, Kozek said after receiving the medium-duty award. After taking the heavy duty award he remarked, "I've been on the job 30 days. I really can't take credit for any of this," so he singled out Peterbilt designers in the audience for praise.
Kozek took over Peterbilt after heading its sister company, Kenworth Truck. As general manager there, he had accepted the heavy duty award for 2010, won by Kenworth for a road tractor. KW and Pete are divisions of Paccar, Inc.
Berg and three colleagues did their 2011 evaluations at an Adessa Auction site near Dallas, Tex., last October. Thus all entries were judged on the same day, in the same weather and under the same conditions, said ATD's director, Barbara Robinson.
The other judges were Paul Abelson, of Land Line magazine, Paul Hartley, a freelance writer and photographer, and Jack Roberts, of Commercial Carrier Journal.
The Commercial Truck of the Year competition started in 2008 with only heavy duty entries; that was won by Navistar International's LoneStar tractor. Subsequent winners included Hino (twice), Peterbilt and Kenworth.
ATD started the contest to showcase the quality of today's commercial vehicles, Robinson said.