Peterbilt has been a famous brand among business owners and truck drivers since 1939. While the company has numerous models that have garnered significant popularity, nothing compares to the reputation of the Peterbilt 379. This blog will discuss the history of the Peterbilt 379, including its specifications and popular aftermarket upgrades.

History of the Peterbilt 379

The Peterbilt 379 is a groundbreaking conventional cab truck. It sported remarkable upgrades from the already popular Peterbilt 359, and it laid the groundwork for the classic 389. To understand the unit’s development, let’s take a look at its history.

Peterbilt 359 (1967)

In 1967, Peterbilt introduced the Class 8 Model 359, one of the most popular big rig trucks ever introduced to the market. Because of its powerful engine and excellent payload capacity, it was dubbed the “working class” truck. Furthermore, it was considered a top-of-the-line conventional highway truck specifically produced for regional hauling.


The iconic Peterbilt 359. (Source: Overdrive)

The 359 comes with an all-aluminum body with a tilting hood and a large grille to fit a large diesel engine. It has a standard Caterpillar 3406B engine with 425 horsepower mated with Eaton-Fuller 13-speed transmission. It also came with tandem rear axles, standard Air Leaf suspension, a 250-inch wheelbase, and a gross vehicle weight of 50,000 lbs.

In 1987, the 359 was discontinued due to changing market requirements. It was then replaced with the Peterbilt 379.

Peterbilt 379 (1986)

In 1986, Peterbilt introduced the 379. It served as a standard Class 8 highway tractor, sharing the same 1100-series cab with the 359. The model was distinguished from its predecessors by redesigned headlamp clusters, horizontally-mounted windshield wipers, and four standard detachable sleeper sizes.


The classic Peterbilt 379. (Source: Pacific Trux)

For 20 years, the 379 was Peterbilt’s best-selling model. Aside from its iconic long-nose build, its reliability for long-haul trucking made it famous among business owners and truck drivers.

Peterbilt 379X (2003)

Due to the 379’s popularity, Peterbilt released the 379X in partnership with PACCAR. The new iteration generally had the same design and chassis as the 379, with a few upgrades to improve its overall riding performance.

The 379X sported 7” exhaust stacks and a custom shifter knob. Aside from this, it also had a better-polished aluminum body, improving the lifespan and style of the truck’s body. It also came with unique fenders and good centerline trim.

Peterbilt 389 (2006)

After 20 years of leading the market, the Model 379 was discontinued and replaced by the Model 389. It had a similar cab to the 2005 iteration of the 379, but it was released with a longer hood, upgraded headlamps, and better aerodynamic features.


The upgraded Peterbilt 389. (Source: Truck Market)

The 389 continued the popularity of the 379, as it also became the flagship product of the Peterbilt company.

Classic Built of Peterbilt 379

To understand why the Peterbilt 379 was hailed as the best working-class semi-truck, let’s look at the model’s engine, exterior, interior, and sleeper options.


The Peterbilt 379 was manufactured to withstand all-day hauling services. It came with three engine options: the Detroit Diesel Series 60 12.7, Cummins ISX, and Caterpillar C11. 

For suspension, it was sold with Flex Air, Low Air Leaf, Air Trac, and Spring Leaf options. Furthermore, it sports an Eaton-Fuller UltraShift and Autoshift transmission. 


The 379, Peterbilt’s largest highway truck at the time of its debut, was made in two variations: a 119-inch BBC (bumper to back of cab) length and a 127-inch BBC with an extended-length bonnet. It sported a larger windscreen, which enabled windshield wipers to be installed horizontally, separating the 379 externally from the 359.

The 379 also added turn signals mounted on the headlamps (placed initially on the fender). Thus, standardizing rectangular headlamps among Peterbilt models.


Classic white Peterbilt 389. (Source: NextTruckOnline)


The Peterbilt 379 was specifically designed to ensure comfort for drivers. It was made with a spacious cab and a contoured dashboard. This allowed drivers to monitor the dashboard and control the instrument panel easily while maintaining excellent sight of the road.

Aside from all these, the 379 units also came with Platinum, Accent, Prestige, and American Class interior trim options. 

Sleeper Cabin

Peterbilt made exceptional sleeper options for the 379: the Daycab, 36″, 48″, 63”, 70”, 120” ARI, and 144” ARI. Aside from these options, they also come with rear climate control, audio control, a power inverter, TV-mounting features, cabinets, and spacious storage. 

With these features, it’s no wonder that truck drivers prefer the Peterbilt 379 model to other Class 8 models on the market. 

Upgrade Your Rusty Peterbilt Parts

Everyone knows, that Peterbilt is hailed as one of the best semi trucks on the road, but many of the steel parts on these trucks will eventually rust out. Particularly if you are running with an APU. The APU boxes/shell eventually rust out.


Stainless steel APU box for Peterbilt 379

If you are running a Carrier or Thermo King APU, we highly recommend securing a stainless steel APU box and APU parts for your semi truck. While steel APU covers have an ok-ish life span, they eventually develop  corrosion when exposed to salt on roads. 

Keep Your Peterbilt 379 Rolling with Our High-Quality Aftermarket Semi Truck Parts and APU Parts

With high-quality aftermarket semi truck parts and premium APU parts, you can make the most out of the excellent capabilities of your Peterbilt 379. This way, you can make sure to get superior productivity and profitability with the working class icon 379.

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