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Home > Vehicles> Trucks > Fire Trucks
Founded in 1939, Peterbilt operates manufacturing facilities in Madison, Tennessee (1969), Denton, Texas (1980), and Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec. From the early 1960s until the mid 1980s, the company was based in the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California, with its headquarters, parts department, and main plant all in Newark, California. The Newark plant closed in 1986; headquarters moved to Denton, and engineering moved to Denton in 1993.
In the early part of the 20th century, Tacoma, Washington plywood manufacturer and lumber entrepreneur T.A. Peterman was faced with a lumber logistics problem. He couldn`t get freshly felled logs from the forest to his lumber mill quickly, or efficiently. In order to develop forest assets, it would be necessary to improve upon the contrived methods of the day: floating logs down river, or the use of steam tractors, and even horse teams. Peterman knew that if he could develop the then nascent automobile technology and build trucks, he could go a long way towards solving his problem.
To this end, he was rebuilding surplus army trucks, improving the technology with each successive vehicle. Shortly thereafter, he purchased the assets of Fageol Motors of Oakland, California in 1938 in order to supplement his need for a custom built logging truck chassis. Fageol had gone into receivership in 1932. By 1938, the Great Depression had driven the value of the assets to nearly zero. Peterman acquired the defunct truck manufacturer and began to produce customized chain-drive trucks for exclusive use by his timber concern. In 1939, he began to sell his remarkable trucks to the public. T. A. Peterman died in 1945. His wife Ida, sold the company to seven individuals within the organization (management) less the land. They expanded it into a serious producer of heavy-duty trucks. In 1958, Ida Peterman announced plans to sell the land to develop a shopping center. The shareholders, not having the desire to invest in a new manufacturing facility, sold it to PACCAR. PACCAR (Pacific Car & Foundry Co), then primarily a manufacturer of railroad freight cars, was looking to expand into truck manufacturing. PACCAR, which had acquired the assets of Kenworth in 1945, was already an up and coming player in the heavy truck market.
Some movie appearances:
-A Peterbilt 379 appeared in the movie Transformers (2007) as the Autobot Optimus Prime.
-Various 359 Peterbilts can be seen in all three Smokey and the Bandit films, and in Convoy.
-A Peterbilt 379 appeared in the movie Joyride and in Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000).
-An animated version of a Peterbilt is featured in Cars (2006), mistaken by the lead character Lightning McQueen to be his driver Mack, to which it responds, "Mack? I ain`t no Mack, I`m a Peterbilt, for dang sakes! Turn on your lights, you moron!"
-A Peterbilt 281 appeared in the Steven Spielberg movie Duel (1971).
This digital model is based on the design of a Peterbilt 379, modified for use a fire truck.
-Left and right front-cab area.
-Left and right rear compartment.
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