PETERBILT – Everything You Need to Know | Up to Speed
Articles Blog

PETERBILT – Everything You Need to Know | Up to Speed

(engine revving) – Breaker one-nine, there’s some diesel bears
hasslin’ a chicken truck in a cab-over Pete at 32 yard stick. I’m south bound, hammer-down,
bein’ cool on the stool. How’s it lookin’ over
yer shoulder good buddy? Wind ‘er up and let ‘er go, c’mon! Kentucky Cobra over and out! Over the last hundred
plus shows, we’ve talked about a lot of things
that replaced the horse. But we’ve never talked
about anything that replaced the horse and the river? So button up your plaid
shirts and hold onto your hats with the mesh in the back. (truck horn blowing) This is everything you need to know to get up to speed on Peterbilt! Toot, toot! (video game music) (bell ringing) – [Interviewer] James, that
was quite an intro we just saw. I know it might be hard, but
can you try to put into words how you’re feeling right now? – Speechless really, just, uh, speechless. There’s so many people that
I wanna thank right now for getting me to this point. First and foremost, I wanna
thank Nos energy drink for partnering with me, partnering with donut, partnering with Up to Speed. I don’t think I coulda
got through that intro without Nos energy drink. Also, I wanna thank this falcon. I’ve never met this falcon
before but I saw him flying up in the air while I was doing
the intro and I thought, “Man, I’d really like
to make Nos energy drink and this falcon proud of me.” – [Falcon] You did good, James! You did good! – Thank you falcon. From here on out, I’m just
gonna try and make you proud. I’m gonna live to make Nos
energy drink and this falcon proud of me, thank you very much. (applause) Majestic. (bell ringing) Who was Peter and what did he built?! We’re talkin’ ’bout semis baby! (truck horn honking) In the 1930’s a guy named
Theodore A. Peterman owned a lumber mill in Tacoma, Washington and he needed wood for his mill. Luckily, the pacific
northwest is full of trees and lumberjacks who cut them down. But once the trees become
logs, there wasn’t a quick and easy way to transport
them to the mill. They were either floated down a river, or hauled by steam-powered tractors, or real actual live, buff horses. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but those things aren’t very fast. And they weren’t cuttin’
it for T.A. Peterman. So, he started picking up
old surplus military trucks and rebuilding them into tractor trailers that could haul his logs. I hope this is one of the
episodes where he talks fast ’cause I gotta drop a log right now. Statistics show that most
of you are dropping a log. You are pooping. (laughter) Every time he got another truck,
he improved it in some way, like replacing hand-crank
starters with electric ones. When the Great Depression
left a lot of small businesses in big trouble, he bought the bankrupt Fageol Motor Company in 1938. They’d been making buses,
trucks, and tractors in Oakland, California. That allowed Peterman to
start building his own truck chassis and thus the
Peterbilt company was born. Toot-toot! – Toot-toot! – Toot-toot! – Toot-toot! Toot. The first two models
were the steel-cab 334 and the chain driven 260. And they went on sale
to the public in 1939. As you might expect, the
chain driven truck idea, didn’t work out that well and they dropped it pretty quickly. By 1942 almost the whole
world was all pissed off at each other and
the production shifted to the war effort instead. Petermans sadly passed away
just before the war ended and his wife sold the
company to seven employees but kept the land that
the business sat on. Once the war was over,
commercial business quickly picked up. Especially over
the next ten to fifteen years. By then Peterbilt was
already known for making quality trucks with strong performance. They introduced the Model 280 and the 350 with the long nose cab
design that would become the classic semi truck shape for decades. (Horn blows) The next 281 and 351 models had super long narrow front ends that
earned them the nickname Needlenose. They were in production
for over twenty years which is probably why your
idea of what a stereotypical semi-truck looks like is
basically a Peterbilt Needlenose. They mostly ran fourteen
liter Cummins diesels making around two hundred forty horsepower and six hundred and eighty to eight hundred pound feet of torque. (Engine revving) Top speed probably wasn’t
even seventy miles per hour. Peterbilt also made cab-over versions with funny bubble noses. See cab-overs were popular back in the day because trucking was highly regulated but in 1935 Motor Carrier
Act. A truck length was limited to sixty five
feet with the cab over the engine the truck would have
a much shorter wheel base. That allowed more space for more cargo. And that means more money.
But they are not as safe. They are harder to work
on and they’re not as comfortable for drivers as
conventional curb sniffers. Hmm? (Laughter) When the trucking industry
was deregulated and the length limit was
extended to seventy five feet cab-overs fell out of favor.
You don’t see flatnose trucks in the State much anymore. Mostly just in Europe and Asia.
But they call ’em Lorries. Probably because the all
look like Hugh Laurie who is a famous British actor. As the 1950’s rolled
on construction of the new interstate highway
system got underway. Smooth paved roads that
crisscrossed the country meant goods could be
quickly shipped by trucks virtually anywhere. And
in 1956 containerized intermodal shipping was invented. So tons of stuff could be
shoved in a big metal box and moved directly from ship
to train to truck to Walmart. – For even this variable some kind of a truck is bringing in something unique. – Business started booming big time baby! In 1958 Peterman’s widow Aida decided to sell the land out from under the factory. Peterbilt shareholders
just couldn’t stomach having to build a whole
new plant so they sold the company to Pacific Car and Foundry company which is now known as Paccar. Pacific Car and Foundry
built them a brand new factory, just down the
road in Newark, California. Where they’d stay for almost thirty years. The sixties brought a
lighter cab made from aluminium. And the
Unilite tilt-over cab that could be pivoted a full ninety
degrees for better access. A flying bird hood
ornament was added above the red oval badge. Two
things that unchanged in new Peterbilt trucks until today. In sixty-seven the wide
nose model 359 came out and solidified Peterbilt
as one of the top names in the long haul big rig game. You could order a 359
any way you wanted it. Just like Lamborghini. There were endless engine
and transmission combos to choose from and options like aluminum sleeper cabs,
chrome breather canisters, tall exhaust stacks and bling ass grilles. The last four hundred
produced were numbered special editions with custom paint jobs. And they’re worth bank today! By the 1970’s trucker
culture was a full on thing. Truckers were seen as
modern cowboys and outlaws and everyone wanted plaid
shirts, mesh hats and mustaches. They drove long stretches
of desolate highway and warned each other about highway patrol using sick lingo on their CB radios. It’s romantic as f****! – [Truck Driver 1] Breaker
one-seven for the sleepy eye? – [Truck Driver 2] You got the
sleepy eye, bring it on back. – The freedom and romance of the open road captured everyone’s
imagination and made its way into a lot of popular entertainment. In 1971, Steven Spielburg’s
first movie, Duel, featured an unseen trucker
in a rusty Peterbilt Needlenose tanker chasing a man in a red Plymouth all over the desert. In 1976 the CB lingo song, Convoy (Music Playing) About a bunch of truckers
avoiding toll booths and speed traps was number
one on the Billboard charts for a week! Snowman
the bootleg trucker had bandit, Bert Reynolds
in a Fire-chicken, brought CB slang and kitschy radio
handles into the mainstream. – [Actor] (Rambliing) because the snowman is coming too! – There was so many trucker movies that practically every seventies
action star got one. Actually this is starting
to sound like a really cool Saturday night, do you
wanna watch these together? That’s ten-four roger, I’m coming over. By the 1980’s though truckers had a scuzzier reputation
and the masses shifted their attention to hair spray
synthesizers and teen angst. But there was still one
good trucker, Optimus Prime! (Music playing) The original Optimus
Prime was a cab-over semi. Where would we be
without the Transformers? Frickin’ nowhere! That’s where. We certainly wouldn’t have the baddest ass costumes you’ve ever seen. (Mysterious music playing) Semi-trucks found another
home off the highways and out of the larger public eye. When truckers took a break from working they started to race at
local ovals and drag strips. Truck tuners cranked up the boost and started to roll some serious coal! The eighties also saw
the launch of the most popular Peterbilt of
all time. The model 379. Older operators bought more
of them than any other truck. And they were a favorite
on the show circuit. Yeah, there’s semi-truck shows. Big rigs drive over a
hundred and seventy five billion miles a year in the U.S. alone. Delivering sixty eight percent
of everything that we buy. That works out to about sixty thousand pounds of crap per person, every year. That’s eight hundred and
twenty three inholents Even though the original
Optimus Prime was a cab-over, A live action Optimus Prime
was a 379. Which is… …Not accurate to Canon! It’s also the truck in
the heist from my son Nolan’s favorite movie of all time, The Fast and the Furious.
That was supposedly a 379. Or maybe it was a 359.
I’m gonna admit that I can’t tell them apart and
the internet says its both. And if you’re an expert
on semi-truck things, please let me know on the
comments below, which one is it? As time went on,
Peterbilt started fancying up their interiors.
You could even get four different dash colors. There was over three million long haul
truckers in the U.S. And a lot of those people live in their rigs for most of the year. Today these long distance trucks
are like tiny motor homes. You can get a Peterbilt
model 587 sleeper cab with a thirty inch aisle, swivel chairs, closets, and under-bunk storage. Or the new 579 Ultraloft High-roof Sleeper with double bunks for driver teams, space for a full size microwave,
a thirty two inch TV and a cabinet specifically designed for storing two see pap machines. Now those are for treating sleep apnea. That’s a medical condition
that causes snoring. At the next party you go
to, you’re kinda nervous, just like walk up to someone and say, “Hey do you know what
a see pap machine is? Did you know Optimus
Prime was originally a cab-over truck?” And then just stare. Just stare at em. It’ll work
okay, found a girlfriend. Modern Peterbilt trucks
are more aerodynamic and more fuel efficient than ever. The Peterbilt 386 was actually the first semi-truck to be designated,
Environmentally friendly by the EPA. So good job Peterbilt. Another way big rigs are
becoming more efficient is by switching to automated
manual transmissions. (Music playing) You’d think that this
would’ve happened earlier. I mean we’ve had automatic
transmissions for over half a century but
they’re not traditional automatics with torque converters. They’re really just what they sound like, Automated manuals that still use a clutch. Fuel economy in these is
better than regular manuals and the transmission is
up to four hundred pounds lighter than an automatic. That means the truck can haul four
hundred pounds more payload. That means more money
baby! More money baby! New trucks are starting to
get all the new car tech. Stuff like adaptive
cruise control for stop and go traffic, forward
collision prevention, and lane keep assist. Lane keeping is probably the biggest help for truckers. You spend literally all
day making small steering corrections just to stay between lanes. Peterbilt and other
companies are also working on Platooning technology that
digitally links trucks in a convoy. The trucks
will automatically talk to each other so they
can follow at super close distances at the same
speed, which reduces traffic and improves MPGs. They’re draftin’ baby! Let’s get into what you
really wanna know about, them big old diesel boy engines! What does it take to haul
eighty thousand pounds down the road? Peterbilts
run a couple versions of a 12.9 liter inline
six engine that weighs twenty six hundred pounds dry. The top of the line MX-13 engine makes five hundred and ten buff horses and up to eighteen hundred and
fifty pound-feet of twist and nine- nine hundred RPM. That’s the opposite of Vtec. Hm… They’re designed to sixty
to seventy five thousand miles between oil changes
and run on a million miles, a million miles,
before needing a rebuild. Five hundred is a big
figure for stock diesel horsepower, but sled pooling
and drag racing semis are now running compound
turbo set-ups and able to put out over three
thousand buff hrs babies. (Engine revving) 2019 is Peterbilts eightieth anniversary. Happy birthday buddy.
And this past January their one millionth
truck rolled out of their Denton, Texas factory.
They gave it away to a certified Peterbilt super-fan at the Mid-America trucking show. – [Auctioneer] Rick Mclarkin, Peterbilt’s number one superfan! – You know what? That’s
a damn fine tribute to a long legacy of impressive big rigs. (Soft music playing)

100 thoughts on “PETERBILT – Everything You Need to Know | Up to Speed

  1. There are truck pullers putting out 5-6000 horsepower (most notably the Hot Rod Semi's from the Pro Pulling League and Pro Stock Semi's from OSTPA/NTPA/OTTPA)

  2. Oh please tell me we get more videos of this for the other truck manufacturers. Kenworth, Freightliner, Mack, International… Hell, Ford, Chevy, GMC, and Dodge made big rigs at one point in time.

  3. I wouldnt be surprised when I get a R34 from Japan it'll be on a Peterbilt at least once before it arrives into my future garage

  4. I watched duel it was a good movie a lot of people say it doesnt make any sense but it was the first movie that started the semi chases in movies in my opinion it should have been given a lot more credit.

  5. Ita a 359. The reason why I say that is because a 359 has black breathing tubes coming off the hood going to the breathers and a 379 has breathers mounted directly to the cowl the process to to get the air to the intake runs though the cowl so it doesn't have tubes running from the breathers. I can understand why people have difficulty distinguishing between the two, that's because alot of the parts where brought over from the 359 to the 379 and there STUPID interchangeable.

  6. X-15 Performance Series Cummins makes 565 hp 2050 tq stock. I know this because of my obsessive watching of Peterbuilt Steve videos, despite not being a truck driver. But I can freakin dream babee!

  7. I mean cause who gives a shit if all pur kids and our kids kids don't have clean air to breath and a safe ozone right? I mean its not like it's important we dont really need it to survive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top