Introducing the Peterbilt Supertruck

Introducing the Peterbilt Supertruck
Peterbilt 387

Students pursuing dispatching training might one day have the opportunity to drive an innovative semi-trailer truck that’s not only extremely fuel efficient, but is also freight efficient. Any automotive mechanics school graduate knows that most semi-trailer trucks have an average efficiency of about 6 miles per gallon, or 39 litres per 100km—which is actually not very “efficient” at all. However, Peterbilt—the Texas-based trucking manufacturer—has partnered with American engine company, Cummins to design and create the ultimate semi: the Peterbilt-Cummins Supertruck. Read on to learn more about the vehicle that might have the ability to completely alter the trucking industry.

The Class 8 Peterbilt 587

The Peterbilt-Cummins Supertruck—also known as the class 8 Peterbilt 587—was developed as part of a program that was initiated by the Department of Energy (DOE). The program’s main focus is on advanced and efficient engine systems and technologies that meet all of the safety requirements for Class 8 trailer vehicles. This semi was designed and built to improve Class 8 vehicle fuel efficiency, and it has rendered very positive results. The truck is powered by a 6-cylinder, Cummins ISX15 engine and boasts 400-600 horsepower, and the vehicle also comes complete with energy saving subsystems. These include waste heat collectors, a navigation system that reroutes the driver to maximize fuel efficiency, and low-rolling resistance tires.

Freight Efficiency

Individuals who have had dispatcher training understand that freight efficiency refers to a calculation that measures the amount of cargo that can be moved over a given distance, by a given amount of fuel. This calculation is extremely important to dispatch companies, as it accounts for the amount of work being done as well as the amount of fuel that is being consumed. Compared to other traditional semis, the Peterbilt-Cummins Supertruck boasts an approximate 68% gain in freight efficiency over a 24-hour drive cycle and a 50% gain over an 11-hour drive cycle.

Fuel Economy

This is one major bit of information about the Cummins-Peterbilt Supertruck that is sure to capture the attention of dispatching CEOs everywhere. Due to its fuel economy, this semi would save an approximate amount of $27, 000 annually per truck (travelling 193, 121 km per year). Of course, this number was estimated based on today’s diesel fuel prices, which can potentially change at any time.


Just last year, President Obama ordered the development of new fuel standards for heavy-duty trucks. The main goal of Obama’s mandate is to cut back on the large amount of greenhouse gases which are emitted by these trucks regularly. Apparently Cummins and Peterbilt had already intended to create a completely efficient vehicle, because their truck was ready just in time for Obama’s announcement. Because of its increased fuel economy, the Supertruck would provide an approximate annual 43% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions per truck, making it the first-ever “green” semi-trailer truck.
Do you think this truck has the ability to one day make other semis obsolete?

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