Peterbilt unveils Model 579 aerodynamic tractor

Peterbilt introduced a new over-the-road tractor strong on aerodynamics, styling and other features Wednesday, March 21, in Louisville, Ky.

“The 579 integrates legendary Peterbilt quality and innovation with a product platform that delivers in every aspect of vehicle performance, productivity and safety,” 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 distinctive styling goes beyond exterior appearance, said Landon Sproull, Peterbilt chief engineer. “Maximizing fuel economy was a priority, and we achieved best-in-class aerodynamic efficiency through computational fluid dynamics and subsequent wind tunnel testing,” he said.

The 2.1 meter-wide aluminum cab is strong, solid and lightweight. Aerodynamic performance is enhanced through modular aero packages that meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay designation. Sproull said the aero packages are designed to meet customer optimized requirements, with variable length chassis fairings, sleeper extenders and rubber flares, undercab closeouts and underfairing skirts.

The aerodynamic bumper is a three-piece design so individual sections can be replaced if they are damaged, improving serviceability and reducing costs. The bumper is available with a molded-in-color finish that eliminates cosmetic issues if it is damaged.

The aero hood also has a three-piece design that is lightweight, durable and easy to service. Incorporated into the hood pivot system are supports that direct energy around the cooling module in the event of certain types of accidents – such as impact with an animal – that minimize damage and help allow the operator to drive the truck to a safe location for repairs.

Sproull said numerous amenities were built into the 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.”

Among the features of the 579’s sleeper are:
• LED lighting;
• Pull-out workstation;
• Abundant side and rear wall cabinet storage;
• Wall-to-wall 85-inch premium mattress;
• 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;
• DVD/video game console shelf with cable pass-through to the television and power
outlets; and
• Oversized wardrobe closets

In other news, Bill Kozek, Peterbilt general manager, announced positive 2011 figures, including record build rates at the truckmaker’s plant in Denton, Texas, as well as record market share, 11 new dealer locations and the addition of more than 1,000 employees.

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