Peterbilt introduced a new over-the-road tractor strong on aerodynamics and styling Wednesday 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 (6.88 feet), aluminum cab is strong, solid and lightweight. Both cab and sleeper are tested to the stringent SAE and ECE crashworthiness standards.
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 requirements, with variable length chassis fairings, sleeper extenders and rubber flares, under-cab close-outs and under-fairing 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 certain types of accidents – such as impact with an animal – that minimizes damage and helps 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,” he said.
Among the features of the 579’s sleeper are: