As a manufacturer of medium to heavy duty trucks in the 5 through 8 Class, Peterbilt Motors Co. has developed a name for reliable low-maintenance custom trucks. We are going to take a look at the history of Peterbilt trucks, so you can understand how this company has developed over time.
The original motor company that was bought by T.A. Peterman went by the name of Fageol Motors Co. As happened to many businesses during the Great Depression, Fageol Motors succumbed to bankruptcy due to the hurt economy. Before this occurred they had produced luxury buses and heavy duty trucks that were rugged and dependable. After the bankruptcy the company was run by the Central Bank of Oakland and the Waukesha Motor Co. until TA Peterman purchased it so that he could build trucks for his lumber and logging operations.
Originally started in 1939, Peterbilt is not the oldest brand of commercial vehicles but it has carved itself a place among the top truck manufacturing companies in the US. When T.A. Peterman took ownership and renamed the company after himself. He set a goal of quality over quantity. Many other companies were producing trucks as fast as possible. Instead of following this route, the engineers of Peterbilt were sent out into the field and on the job sites to speak with the people that would be using the trucks in day-to-day work. This gave an insight into the needs of the trucker, and led to innovations that allow for the Peterbilt brand to be quickly accepted into the heavy duty commercial vehicle community. The performance of their heavy duty trucks during World War II helped to solidify their brand for its exceptional quality.
After the war, the Peterbilt Motors Co. continued to grow and expand across the US until it was bought in 1958 by the Pacific Car and Foundry (PACCAR). While PACCAR was also the owner of Peterbilt’s main competitor Kenworth, the trucking subsidiaries remain as two separate brands with their own operations that continue to compete in the marketplace.
Peterbilt began as a company that focused on custom manufacturing to fit the customer’s requirements and this has not changed to this day. This has led to durable trucks that are efficient around the driver’s specific needs and made Peterbilt a favorite among many truck drivers. To that point, Peterbilt was given the award for the highest customer satisfaction in medium duty conventional trucks from JD Powers and Associates. With its engineering department and corporate headquarters relocated to Denton, Texas, the Peterbilt truck manufacturing excellence continues into the future.
Now that you have a little background on how the Peterbilt Motors Co. came to be, you have a good grasp of the company’s legacy when it comes to a commitment to customer service and premium custom trucking designs.