Peterbilt aims for 6% medium-duty market share

PETERBILT'S medium-duty market share in 2002 was 3.5% — nearly double its 2.0% share in 2001, according to medium-duty sales manager Kitie Hermes. And the goal for 2003 is to nearly double 2002's growth by gaining a 6% market share.

Hermes believes Peterbilt has the product and the customer-support network to make that happen.

Hermes said that based on Peterbilt's success with the Model 330, the company has won JD Power and Associates' award two years in a row and in three of the past four years for customer satisfaction in the conventional medium-duty truck segment.

Product manager Steven Zwinggi said the Model 330 is a working truck that traverses the diverse landscape of medium-duty vocation applications, whether it's inter-city, inner-city, short haul, or construction work.

With a full 90-degree door opening, chassis-mounted entry steps, paddle-type door latches, and stainless-steel grab handles, entry and exit are safer and easier.

The interior is ergonomically designed for driver comfort, convenience, and performance, with easily removable dash panels that make servicing easier and more efficient.

Electrical problems are simple to trace and downtime is reduced by an easily serviced electrical system that features clearly numbered wires and outside circuits with aluminum tags.

There are no CDL requirements with the easy-to-service hydraulic brakes available on the Class 6 Model 330.

Cab ready for rugged use

At the heart of the Model 330 is a lightweight, rugged, corrosion-resistant, all-aluminum cab, constructed with aircraft-quality huckbolt fasteners and topped off with a one-piece aluminum roof. The result is a cab that remains solid, rattle-free, and road-ready despite the rugged demands of constant use.

Zwinggi said that while some competitors offer a riveted frame, Model 330 boats the industry's strongest frame with huckbolted frame rails. A three-piece bumper allows for inexpensive piece-by-piece replacement in the event of a minor accident.

With wheel cuts up to 50 degrees, the tight turns and narrow roadways of the inner city are easily maneuverable. Clean frame rails allow for easy body installation, and continuous piano-style steel hinge pins help the doors remain tightly sealed and properly aligned through years of constant use.

The hood opens a full 90 degrees, providing complete and easy engine access, thus reducing maintenance costs. The lap-seam construction means a stronger, more leak-resistant cab.

Fender-mounted turn signals are easily viewed from both the front and rear for enhanced safety and visibility. Stainless-steel accessories such as windshield visor, bumper, mirrors, tool, and battery boxes shine with non-corrosive durability.

Bench seating, a flat floor with no doghouse intrusion, and a smartly upholstered interior combine for a comfortable three-person cab. A standard tilt steering wheel and the Peterbilt exclusive HVAC climate-control system provide driver comfort.

Fuel tanks

Peterbilt's proprietary, all-aluminum fuel tanks are offered in either 50-, 70-, or 100-gallon capacities.

The custom-drilled frames allow for wheelbases to be spec'd in 1" increments. In-frame, hand-routed and bundled wiring and hoses combine with clean frame rails to assure quick and easy body installation. The rugged, reliable cab/chassis electrical connections simplify troubleshooting and body fit-up.

Zwinggi said proprietary air suspensions make exclusive use of aluminum components for a ride that surpasses the best spring suspensions. Three-piece crossmembers are assembled in fixtures for precise dimensional uniformity, resulting in less frame distortion and better alignment.

Peterbilt offers the opportunity to specify the location of the battery box, fuel tanks, and air tanks to match application needs.

Programs

The TruckCare program provides free emergency assistance by dialing a toll-free number 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Fleets of five trucks or more can improve efficiency by using a customized convenient services card that is accepted at more than 4,000 fuel locations and Peterbilt dealerships across North America. TruckCare Maintenance Manager is a new software tool to help customers easily and efficiently manage truck service and repairs, and it comes free with every PM contract.

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