A conventional, American tractor with a full-time job in the Netherlands, now that’s a curiosity for sure. Since early 2008, this 2007 Peterbilt 386 has been working for the Jansen Bros. Back then, it emigrated from Montreal, Canada.
A classic, conventional Peterbilt with an aerodynamic nose and a setback front axle. Its overall length is 8.10 m (26’7”), no problem, as long as it tows a short semi-trailer to stay within the 16.50 m length limit for a tractor + semi-trailer combination. Typical examples of semi-trailers with a short kingpin setback, wheelbase and rear overhang are dumpers and tankers.
For comparison purposes, a long-distance 6×2 or 6×4 cabover tractor from a European truck maker is around 6.70 to 7.10 m long.
No stacks between the cab and the sleeper, but a side pipe exhaust on the left. The tandem is air suspended. The registered total axle load of the tractor is 23,643 kg, the usual Euro semi-trailer (tridem axle with six super single tires) has a total axle load of 27,000 kg. Combine the two and the end result is a GVM of 50,643 kg (111,649 lbs). Just perfect, given our weight limit of 50 metric tons.
Under its hood a Caterpillar C13 inline-six, maximum power output 469 DIN-hp. Or 345 kW in more formal language, if you wish.
In 2010, Caterpillar left the on-highway heavy truck engine market. Which means Cummins is the only independent engine supplier for heavy trucks in North America these days, as Detroit Diesel is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America.
Jansen’s Peterbilt tows a tanker semi-trailer for a living. Here it’s accompanied by some of its European co-workers. Note the new, shiny bumper it got.
May the Cat purr smoothly for many years to come!
I’m curious about whether an aero-bodied North American conventional gets meaningfully better fuel mileage than a brick-shaped European cabover, and whether this might justify bringing North American conventionals to Europe to haul heavy-but-not-long trailers.
Have a look here:
That is interesting, so the total length limit will be increased? But only if the truck has an aero nose of some sort and improves pedestrain/bike collision safety?
The extra length because of the aero nose won’t take away load length. Current cabover tractors and the upcoming aero nose tractors will/can tow the same semi-trailers.
Very neat! The mockup image looks like the Tesla Semi. I can only assume draft proposals of this new regulation were circulating for a number of years before this legislation went through.
Just an example, this MAN concept-tractor was presented at a major German truck exhibition 7 years ago.
Another one, the DAF XFC concept, dating back further.
Ok been dying to ask this. I am an enthusiast for automotive lighting. I have always upgraded my vehicles lighting….properly. And I have noticed tons of the European heavy semi haulersequipped with lighting that looks like it would be appropriate for the Baja 1000. Is this a “thing” in Europe? At 1st guess I would think you would need a lot of isolated long roads to get the full benefit from those light
It’s especially a “thing” among owner-operators and not-too-big hauling companies. Personally, I prefer clean fronts, so without all these extra lights all over and on top of the flat -and often very tall- snout.
You’re an enthusiast for automotive lighting?! Shut up, no way, me too!
What I notice from the pics in this post is that the truck has been retrofitted with U.N.-spec (used to be “European”, now rest-of-world, off the North American regulatory island) lights, except headlamps. It’s got the U.N. end-outline markers, the U.N. sidemarkers (all amber including the rearmost), it’s got amber rear turn signals, it’s got a rear fog lamp and a reversing lamp…but the headlamps appear to be the pathetic ones these trucks got in North America. Not that a U.N.-spec version of this same headlamp would be better—just different; it’s too small for the job, given the technology—but I did notice.
(Hi, Andre…long time no chat!)
Ive often wondered about US lighting standards headlights on the Kenworths I drove last summer were truly pathetic, fine on the Christchurch motorway with its streetlighting but on rural highways they just didnt really do anything, I guess I was too used to the DAFs I’d been in for several months on nights they have excellent lights so do Volvos Scanias and Ivecos Ive driven on night runs.
The biggest problem with US-spec lights in New Zealand is that they’re for the wrong (right-hand) side of the road.
Well, the first shot here looks for all the world like there’s a beige house-sized thing behind the cab, so Pete could Purr in the bedroom or one of the several living rooms of the truck.
A question, what’s the tank thingy attached to the rear of the cab in photo 3? In drought-prone Aus, they’re used as water storage from rainfall in tightly-spaced housing.
It looks like a water tank, most likely for the shower and toilet.
That size sleeper would not have a toilet/shower, those are only found on the VERY large ‘deluxe’ sleepers. Even then, the tanks are incorporated into the cab, not hung on the outside. Looks more like the DEF tank, I’ve seen similar set ups on American trucks.
It shouldn’t need a DEF tank based on its age. In the US the cap would also be blue, not sure if that is the norm in Euro countries or not.
Ad blu tank is usually mounted ahead or behind the fuel tank not up high like that, Thats a pretty standard sized conventional like we use here, Peterbilts arent common though.
I throw in another one, just for the sake of it. Could it be a tank for hydraulic oil?
It could be the screen wash tank or the radiator header tank Isuzu mounts the header/fill tank at the back of the cab and its roughly that size
Great photos, topic and article (as always) Johannes. Thank you. In a continent where space is at such a premium, your photos highlight why the conventional cab is so impractical in Europe. It must be a handful driving this rig in some locations.
Thanks for sharing. I worked at Peterbilt HQ when our corporate parent, Paccar, bought Foden in the UK (1981 or ‘82). Years later I heard about the DAF acquisition, which also seems to include Leland and Tatra. It’s so hard to believe that such iconic western US brands as Kenworth and Peterbilt is now part of such a global corporation. Though of course that started with Daimler’s purchase of Freightliner. Is Peterbilt officially distributed in Europe, or is this possibly some tie-in with DAF’s presence in the Netherlands?
The issue with Foden was that it was a UK operation only. Heavy UK trucks and tractors never had any success to speak of on the continent. Only a handful of them made it across the North Sea, so PACCAR still had no access to the continental market. Heck, I think we had more Macks in the seventies and eighties than all English rides together…
Now the acquisition of DAF, in late 1996, that’s another story! PACCAR not only bougth a Euro truck maker, but also an experienced diesel engine manufacturer. For example, their current MX-13 engine is an evolution of the DAF 12.6 liter, later on 12.9 liter, inline-six turbodiesel (originally introduced in early 1997).
Since then PACCAR grew and grew to the global player it is now, with production facilities all over the world.
As far as I know, there’s no official Peterbilt distribution in Europe. When you want one, you just import it from North-America, preferably from Canada. The market for conventionals is just way too small.
Nonetheless, we do have an official Kenworth importer:
Thanks for the details. When I worked at Peterbilt it did seem that Paccar was more interested in Kenworth for export markets. Aside from the Phillipines, where they were used for construction and logging, Pete’s mostly stayed in the US and in Canada. Here’s a DAF on our side of the Atlantic:
Too bad, I get this message when I click on the link:
451: Unavailable due to legal reasons
I guess the small-town newspaper local to PACCAR’s Technical Center in Washington state doesn’t want Dutch readers 😀
I’ve attached a screen shot of the picture, from an open-to-the-public day earlier this year.
Thanks! Looks like a great event for the PACCAR trucks enthusiast.
Back to your former employer. I’m quite sure this is the heaviest daily-working Peterbilt in Europe, a 2009 Peterbilt 389 with a 550 hp Caterpillar C15. Bought brand new by another Dutch company, further up north.
It has a single-wheeled steering and liftable pusher axle. The total, registered axle load (equals GVM) of the tractor is 33,622 kg (74,124 lbs). From front to back: 6,622 kg for the front axle, 8,000 kg for the pusher axle and 19,000 kg for the tandem.
Source and more: https://bigtruck.nl/nieuws/item/de-peterbilt-van-anema-2
Here’s the google maps shot of that place, a pretty impressive track, and a surprising number of trucks stashed in the woods. https://www.google.com/maps/place/PACCAR+Technical+Centeremail@example.com,-122.4386041,1231m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x548571d7bfaa689d:0x2ffd9055e210f3bb!8m2!3d48.4655054!4d-122.4411919
Nice! Mind you, with an airport right next to PACCAR’s race-/test-track.
It is a small regional airport, no big planes there. I do have to wonder if Paccar has corp jets there as there is an airport near their Renton Plant, just on the other side of Boeing. It can handle the large jets leaving but they can’t come back as there isn’t enough room for landing.
And yeah it looks more like a race track than a test track.
I’ve never seen that before, I’m definitely getting a futuristic sci-fi sphynx vibe from this truck. It’s interesting that shapes that used to be a common sight and were considered boring when new are now looking distinctive. I wonder what the Transformer wide mouth bass of today are going to look like in hindsight.