Peterbilt displayed what is still technically a "concept truck" at the National Truck Equipment Association's 2011 New Model Truck Product Conference in Dearborn, Mich., this week, along with several other models. The Class 6 and 7 COEs were last on the market in 2007.
The truck originated as a product of DAF, a Dutch builder owned, like Peterbilt, by Paccar Inc., which also owns Leyland Trucks in the United Kingdom. Paccar brought the truck over to the U.S. after it acquired Leyland in 1998.
That truck was largely unchanged from the European design, still using both a chassis and cab spec'd for the European market. There were some difficulties, particularly with electrical systems and hook-ups, but a few were sold, according to Steve Wiener, Peterbilt's medium-duty segment manager.
Kenworth, Peterbilt's sister company in the U.S., also sold it under its own name.
This time around, Peterbilt has addressed the problems related to the Euro chassis simply by getting rid of it. The chassis being used in this version is the same as the Peterbilt 330, which preserves the U.S. standard 34 inches between frame rails as well as component parts our continent is familiar with.
The cab will still be imported from DAF, and with the exception of an Albion Motors front axle planned in some models, the cab appears to be the only major trans-Atlantic component.
The power plant is a Cummins-made Paccar PX-6, which is married to an Allison automatic transmission. No manuals are planed at this point. Most axles will come from Dana. According to Weiner, this greatly simplifies maintenance and parts acquisition for users. Final assembly will be in Paccar's Mexicali, Mexico, plant, which also produces the Model 320 heavy refuse truck.
The Model 210 Class 6 and Model 220 Class 7 are designed to fill a small but highly specific niche that requires true medium-duty capacity, but demands an urban-friendly cabover layout, said Wiener. Examples include sweeper trucks and stripe-painting vehicles.
"It's really specialized," said Wiener. "But the guys who want this kind of truck really want it."
The only other significant player in this end of the midrange low COE sphere is UD Trucks North America. Pete's 210 and 220 will be "competitively priced," Wiener said, and the target launch of Q1 2012 is about 75% certain.