FreightViking is reader-supported. We may earn commissions if you buy through our links. Also, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Is Peterbilt A Good Truck? (Here’s The Truth)

Peterbilt has gained a strong reputation over the recent years.

Although almost always known for their strength, recently they’ve gained more notoriety as being fuel-efficient as well. 

Overall, Peterbilt has established itself as an excellent vehicle that meets the many needs of truck drivers today.

Here is the answer to whether Peterbilt is a Good Truck

Peterbilt is a good truck that has a variety of models for the many needs of truck drivers. They’re great on long trips which illustrates their navigation features and fuel efficiency. Peterbilt semi trucks have a reputation for being reliable, dependable, long-lasting, and have a high resale value.

Are Peterbilt Semi Trucks Reliable and Dependable?

Peterbilt is infamous as a  truck of quality, durability, and style.

They are powerful semi trucks, built for long distances and endurance. This strength has been coupled with efficiency and makes this truck one of the most desirable brands

Peterbilt is equipped with a PACCAR engine, which is the company that owns both Peterbilt and Kenworth.

The engine is known for being capable of traveling long distances without breaking down or overheating. 

There are several models available for a variety of purposes, ranging from the 520, which is a garbage disposal truck to the powerful 579 for hauling large loads.

The company prides itself in providing top quality for almost any need. 

How long do Peterbilt Semi Trucks Last?

On average, Peterbilt semi trucks last about 15-17 years when well maintained.

They are usually designed for long distances and can go thousands of miles without breaking down.

They perform best on long trips rather than local driving which puts them close to 45-50,000 miles a year.

Proper maintenance is a vital part of extending your engine’s life, and if you take care of this a Peterbilt can meet the 1 million miles mark. 

How much Horsepower does a Peterbilt Semi Truck have?

Depending on the model you decide is best, the horsepower can vary.

Although, on average a Peterbilt can get upwards of 500 horsepower. This amounts to 1,850 pounds-feet of strength. 

PACCAR engines are the engine of choice for this brand now, and are in pretty much all of their newer models.

However, some older models from the earlier 2000s, such as the 379 have CAT engines. 

These are largely not used anymore due to increasingly stringent environmental policies, but these engines give about the same horsepower as the PACCAR.

They average a little lower, around 475 horsepower.

How much Torque does a Peterbilt Semi Truck have?

The larger Peterbilt engines get around 1,850 pounds-feet of torque. These trucks are capable of hauling over 100,000 pounds long distances.

Additionally, PACCAR has crafted this engine to be both powerful and light in weight so it will not weigh down your truck on the road.

According to the PACCAR website, this engine gets 75% more strength than the average engine.

It is also 20% lighter, thereby diverting the truck’s energy away from hauling a giant chunk of metal to a more efficient engine. 

You can read more about the advancements made in the PACCAR powertrain engine here.

What engines do Peterbilt Semi Trucks use?

PACCAR is the parent company and the producer of Peterbilt engines.

At one time they did utilize CAT engines as well, but stopped about 10 years ago due to increasingly stringent environmental policies. 

PACCAR has a long line of engines that it has launched which are used in the different Peterbilt trucks.

The largest and most powerful is the PACCAR MX-13, with a 12.9-liter engine that gains its 500 horsepower while maintaining excellent fuel economy. 

The MX-11 is the slightly smaller engine for the smaller models, which hold around 10.8 liters and gains around 430 horsepower.

This engine is great for local driving and is lightweight, yet powerful. 

You can read the brochure for the MX-11 and MX-13 for more details.

How long do Peterbilt Semi Truck Engines Last?

Peterbilt engines can last between 15-17 years if maintained well. The warranty on the engine is typically 5-10 years and up to 750,000 miles.

Since the average driver goes 45-50,000 miles a year, this means the warranty will probably not outlive the truck. 

It’s vital to maintain your truck well to ensure the maximum life span possible.

Also, if you are using your Peterbilt to go long distances, this will likely minimize the idling time which also cuts into your engine’s lifespan. 

That being said, PACCAR engines are designed to minimize the amount of yearly maintenance required. This means they typically spend far less time in the shop being worked on, while still functioning well. 

Are Peterbilt Semi Trucks Fuel-efficient?

Peterbilt engines are very efficient, especially for the size of loads they are designed to handle.

The largest engine, the MX-13, is capable of getting 9 miles per gallon. This might not sound great if you’re thinking in terms of small cars, however, for a semi truck this is very good. 

One of the ways this truck is able to achieve this level of efficiency is through the lightweight, yet strong, materials this engine is made of.

This makes it more capable of scaling steep hills without overheating or wasting huge amounts of fuel. 

The Peterbilt 579, one of the largest semi trucks Peterbilt offers, is designed with these excellent engines and coupled with excellent aerodynamic design.

This design was made for maintaining excellent mileage under any conditions. 

Are Peterbilt Semi Trucks Comfortable?

Peterbilt semi trucks are made for drivers looking to travel for a long time, and for great distances.

The Peterbilt 389 and 579 have been equipped with spacious cabins for the driver to relax and rest. 

The aerodynamic designs of the trucks not only create great fuel efficiency, but also allow the driver to rest without being disturbed by the noise of the road. 

They have also been designed ergonomically to adjust to the natural position of the back when seated. This helps prevent the driver from becoming sore from long times seated.

Are Peterbilt Semi Trucks Safe?

Peterbilt has improved its safety features a lot over the years, which resulted in its new navigation systems being better equipped to help the driver.

There is a lane assist program that helps prevent drifting on the highways, which could result in crashes. 

This, when coupled with the collision mitigation system helps to prevent common errors which result from fatigue on the road.

They’ve improved the lighting on the trucks which helps drivers navigate at night. And the improved visibility range of the mirrors and windshield help protect everyone on the road. 

Last, all class 8 Peterbilt semi trucks have been updated to be built with air-powered brakes.

These brakes have been developed to improve the braking distance of the truck, while protecting the engine.

This is an added layer of protection for both the driver, and the other motorists on the road. 

Peterbilt Semi Truck Maintenance Schedule

Peterbilt, with PACCAR’s engines, have been designed to minimize downtime for breakdown and for maintenance.

The schedule of the Peterbilt semi truck depends upon which part you are considering for maintenance. 

For oil changes, the average Peterbilt semi truck should have its oil changed and flushed every 3,000 miles. Never put it off for more than 5,000 miles, or the engine can be harmed. 

The time frame for this can depend upon the type of driving you do, and your average distance. Be sure to keep an eye on your mileage and change it on time. 

Steering lubrication should also be checked regularly. This is important to ensure safe turns which do not jam.

The schedule varies a little, but definitely check it yearly and have it serviced. 

What kind of Oil does a Peterbilt Semi Take?

Peterbilt and Kenworth both use the PACCAR MX-13 and MX-11 in many of their semi trucks. The trucks typically do best with SAE 15-W, and 10W-30 engine oil. 

These oils can depend upon the engine in your truck, and the model you’re using. But, for most PACCAR engines these oils are acceptable. 

You can find out more about these engines and the oil requirements.

Are Peterbilt Semi Trucks Expensive to Fix?

Peterbilt semi trucks are meant to be durable and prevent high amounts of maintenance and repair. Although, every truck will likely need repair at some point in its life.

On average, trucks can easily cost you thousands to maintain and fix in a year.

Tires can cost $4-$5,000 dollars to fix, oil changes go for about $250.00, and transmission repairs can cost between $1,000-$4,000.00. 

The best way to prevent these surprise costs is to follow the maintenance schedule. 

How long is a Peterbilt Semi Truck Warranty and What does it Cover?

Peterbilt trucks have an average warranty of 12 years, and 100,000 miles for class 8 trucks.

This coverage includes a large number of repairs with near to full coverage of labor and parts. This warranty covers axle repairs, some paint damage, and engine issues. 

The longer warranties include much less, and typically only cover part of the expenses if you so choose to purchase the warranties. 

An excellent source with details on the year warranty can be found here.

Do Peterbilt Semi Trucks Hold their Value?

Peterbilt semi trucks have built an excellent name for themselves.

They’ve adapted very well to the shifting environmental needs of the nation, and the legal demands of engine requirements. 

The biggest concern when a buyer hears “fuel efficient” is that some power may be lost along the way.

This has not been so for Petebilt’s trucks, as they have stood the test of efficiency and power. 

One essential thing to consider before purchasing a Peterbilt is where you plan to drive?

Peterbilt is a great truck, and fuel efficient. However, some consider it to be a little overkill if you were just looking to navigate in cities. 

What are the Best Peterbilt Semi Truck Models?

The two most highly praised Peterbilt models are the 579 and 389.

Both of these have been especially designed for highway driving, and have excellent navigation and safety features. 

They are both equipped with PACCAR’s engines, which helps to give them some of the best fuel economy for truck’s their size.

They are aerodynamic in design and can crest hills with ease, which saves you even more on fuel. 

Lastly, these models are finely designed on the inside as well, which helps to ensure the driver is comfortable and well-rested for their journey.

All in all, these trucks have some of the best ratings.