Pages of Petes
A new coffee-table book celebrates Peterbilt trucks
Seventy years ago, a logger named T.A. Peterman, in need of a way of transporting logs and wood products, turned to military vehicles, rebuilding them to handle the tough job of hauling timber out of the woods. At the same time, a truck building company, unable to survive the economic battering of the Great Depression, needed somebody to buy the business.
The two came together. Peterman applied his experience of reworking those military vehicles to the truck building company and the result was Peterbilt.
That’s the story that kicks off a new book, Peterbilt: Long-Haul Legend, by J.E. Beach. In the foreword, Beach, a longtime trucking journalist, writes, “The various truck makers all have loyal customers, and some of these manufacturers command a larger share of the U.S. Class 8 truck market each year. On the other hand, there is no denying that truckers consider Peterbilts to be special.”
Filled with photos of Petes old and new, cabovers and show trucks, highway and vocational models, the oversized book shows and tells the history of the brand.
Noting that the long-nose traditional style of the trucks has made Peterbilt especially popular among owner-operators, Beach says, “In many ways, Peterbilt’s emergence as a long-haul trucking icon is tied to the success independent truckers had in carving out a niche for themselves in a very competitive and tough trucking industry.”