Class 5 and front-discharge mixer show variations on a theme.

Peterbilt Motors Co. has been busy in the truck-show arena. The OEM displayed a Class 5 concept truck at the recent SAE Truck & Bus Meeting, and introduced a front-discharge mixer (FDM) concept vehicle at its national dealer meeting.

The Class 5 concept, according to Peterbilt, was developed to elicit customer feedback while exploring opportunities within the Class 4-6 market. The vehicle is designed for applications ranging from P&D to farming.

Designed as a 4x2 unit, the vehicle carries a GVWR of 19,000 lb. It's powered by a 230-hp. Cummins B-Series engine and driven through an Eaton Fuller 6-speed transmission. Other specs include a Reyco 610AR rear suspension, Rockwell 7,000-lb. front and 15,000-lb. rear axles, Peterbilt 19.5-in. aluminum wheels, and a hydraulic braking system.

The truck's exterior styling reflects the design of Pete's Class 6-7 Model 330. The Class 5 cab sits low on its 9-in. frame rails for easy entry. Ground-to-floor height is just 36 in. The hood features a dramatic slope that combined with the truck's one-piece windshield affords excellent visibility. The interior features an ergonomically designed dash, electric windows, premium upholstery, and a 54x18-in. rear window.

"The Model 330 is the perfect platform on which to base development of this class of truck," notes Peterbilt chief engineer Bob Morrison. "Our aluminum cab has exceeded laboratory test and customer requirements for durability, and the chassis is capable of accommodating a variety of components."

The FDM concept is a completely integrated unit with a large payload capacity and an ergonomically designed cab. According to Morrison, this vehicle was designed to provide drivers with a comfortable working environment and to offer a chassis that can accommodate various componentry configurations. In addition, he said maintenance had to be minimized for the customer.

The mixer's rear-engine mount eases engine maintenance and provides optimum chassis weight distribution. FDM "hood" styling is derived from Pete's conventional truck lineup. The 6x6 is powered by a 305-hp. Cat C-10 engine mated to an Allison 5-speed automatic. It also boasts a Rockwell 21,000-lb.-capacity driving front axle. According to Peterbilt, this layout provides adequate power and capacity for the truck's 10-cu.-yd. mixer barrel.

Many of the driver-comfort features found in Peterbilt conventionals have been incorporated into the FDM cab. The interior also features a single-panel dash layout and ergonomically placed controls for the transmission, mixer barrel, and chute.

"Peterbilt is always investigating potential opportunities which exist in niche markets," remarked Nick Panza, general manager of Peterbilt. "When we consider entering a new market, we immediately begin to gather feedback from customers regarding the product they need for their operation."