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Peterbilt Truck Buying Guide

Peterbilt semi trucks are renowned for their performance and enduring quality, not to mention turning heads at every truck stop. Whether you’re interested in the legendary Peterbilt 379 or the modern Peterbilt 389, our guide covers everything you need to know about these iconic trucks and how to choose the best used Peterbilt truck for your needs.

Brief History of Peterbilt Trucks

Peterbilt Motors Company has a long and impressive history that spans over eight decades, characterized by innovation, toughness, and a dedication to quality in the trucking industry. The story of Peterbilt semi trucks dates back to 1939, marking the company’s transformation from its roots in the logging industry to a major participant in the heavy-duty trucking industry.

During World War II, Peterbilt trucks shifted their focus to help with the war efforts. After the war, Peterbilt started producing vehicles for civilian use again and came up with new ideas such as making cabs out of lightweight aluminum to carry more weight. The time after the war was a turning point for Peterbilt, where they introduced new models and created the famous red oval, marking a new era for the company’s history.

Peterbilt Truck Model Features

Discover the distinct features of various Peterbilt semi truck models like the 379EXHD and the 389. Understand what makes each model unique, from engine performance to cabin comforts, and why they remain popular choices among trucking professionals.

Peterbilt 379

The Peterbilt 379, manufactured from 1987 to 2007, quickly became one of the most popular and recognizable semi trucks in the heavy-duty trucking industry. This Peterbilt truck is renowned for its durability, performance, and customization options. It is highly sought-after in the used semi truck market, thanks to its impressive combination of power and style.

The Peterbilt 379 is especially noted for its comfort and productivity. For truckers who spend long hours on the road, the sleeper system in the Peterbilt 379 offers a quiet and comfortable space with an extra roomy cab and a contoured dash. Options like rear climate control, audio control, power inverter, and TV bracket mounting capabilities make the sleeper space more livable and enjoyable.

The longevity and reliability of a used Peterbilt 379 contribute to its productivity. Its robust build quality means less downtime for repairs and maintenance, ensuring that drivers can spend more time on the road. This Peterbilt semi truck model also offers powerful and reliable engine options, including Detroit Diesel, Cummins, and Caterpillar engines, to meet a variety of hauling needs.

These features collectively make the Peterbilt 379 a preferred choice for owner-operators and fleet companies.

Peterbilt 389

The Peterbilt 389, introduced in 2006 as the successor to the esteemed 379 model, has become a flagship in the realm of heavy-duty trucks. Known for blending classic styling with modern enhancements, the Peterbilt 389 has earned its reputation in the heavy duty trucking industry for its robust performance, advanced technology, and extensive customization options. This model continues to be a top pick in the used semi truck market.

The Peterbilt 389 stands out for its driver-centric design, prioritizing comfort and functionality. The model features a spacious and ergonomically designed cab, complete with advanced sleeper systems for those long hauls. These sleepers offer amenities such as climate control, audio systems, power inverters, and TV mounting capabilities, ensuring a home-like environment on the road.

Durability and reliability are cornerstones of a used Peterbilt 389. Its solid construction minimizes the need for frequent repairs and maintenance, translating to more time on the road and enhanced productivity. Under the hood, a Peterbilt 389 comes equipped with powerful engine options from leading manufacturers like Cummins and Caterpillar, providing ample power for diverse hauling requirements.

The combination of these attributes – from its timeless design to its modern comforts and powerful performance – positions a used Peterbilt 389 as a preferred choice among owner-operators and fleets alike.

Peterbilt 378

The Peterbilt 378 is a versatile and reliable semi-truck that is commonly used in construction and short hauls due to its sturdy design and efficient performance. Its customizability and adaptability make it a valuable asset in the used semi truck market.

The Peterbilt 378 has a user-centric design. Its comfortable and functional cab is engineered to reduce driver fatigue and increase productivity. This Peterbilt semi truck has powerful engines, offers reliability for heavy-duty tasks, and has a sturdy chassis and suspension for tough environments while providing a smooth ride.

Overall, the Peterbilt 378 stands out for its combination of strength, versatility, and driver comfort, making it a preferred choice for those in need of a dependable and adaptable used semi-truck.

Peterbilt 579

The Peterbilt 579 is a fuel-efficient and technologically advanced semi truck. It underwent million-mile endurance tests and user interviews resulting in a sleeker and aerodynamic design with increased fuel efficiency. It boasts safety features, connectivity solutions, and ergonomic design for a safe and comfortable driving experience. The sleek profile of the truck not only adds to its appearance but also helps to reduce wind resistance for improved fuel efficiency.

The Peterbilt 579 has a comfortable cab and sleeper designed for long-haul journeys. The interior is thoughtfully laid out with easy-to-reach controls, noise reduction features, and a functional sleeper area for resting. A used Peterbilt 579 is powered by engines that balance power and fuel economy, meeting the diverse needs of the heavy duty trucking industry.

Benefits of Owning a Used Peterbilt Truck

Owning a used Peterbilt truck comes with several distinct benefits including:

  1. Durability and Longevity: Peterbilt semi trucks are known for their robust construction and long-lasting durability. They are built to endure the rigors of heavy-duty trucking, which means even older models can often be relied upon for continued service.
  2. Strong Resale Value: Peterbilt semi trucks generally maintain their value better than many other brands. This strong resale value is a testament to the brand’s reputation for quality and dependability, making a used Peterbilt truck a smart investment.
  3. Customization and Versatility: Peterbilt semi trucks are highly customizable, which is a significant advantage for buyers looking for specific features or configurations. This flexibility allows owners to tailor their vehicles to specific needs or preferences, whether for comfort, functionality, or aesthetic reasons.
  4. Comfort and Driver-Focused Design: Peterbilts semi trucks are designed with the driver’s comfort in mind, featuring spacious cabs, ergonomic layouts, and advanced technology. This focus on driver comfort can lead to reduced fatigue and increased productivity on long hauls.
  5. Performance and Reliability: Known for their powerful engines and efficient performance, Peterbilt semi trucks deliver consistent and reliable service. This makes them a preferred choice for a wide range of trucking applications, from long-haul transport to more specialized vocational tasks.
  6. Wide Network of Service and Parts: Peterbilt has a broad network for parts and service, which makes maintenance and repairs more convenient. Access to quality parts and expert service ensures that used Peterbilt trucks can be maintained effectively over their lifespan.
  7. Iconic Style and Brand Prestige: Peterbilt semi trucks have an iconic status and aesthetic appeal that is recognized and respected in the heavy duty trucking industry. Owning a used Peterbilt truck can be a matter of pride and carries a certain prestige, reflecting a commitment to quality and tradition in trucking.

Inspection and Maintenance Essentials for Used Peterbilt Trucks

At Ohio Truck Sales and OTS Truck Centers, each used semi truck in our inventory undergoes a rigorous inspection process in line with FMCSA guidelines, ensuring they’re up to the task of safely transporting heavy loads. Moreover, we take extra steps to inspect, clean, and refurbish each semi truck to align with our stringent quality standards.

Maintaining the condition of your used Peterbilt truck is crucial for ensuring its safety, performance, and longevity. Once you’ve selected a reliable truck from our inventory, it’s important to conduct regular pre-trip inspections and adhere to the recommended maintenance schedules. Here are essential checks to perform before each journey:

Exterior Inspection:

  • Assess the truck’s body, lights, mirrors, and windshield for any visible damage.
  • Check tire inflation, tread depth, and look for signs of wear or damage.
  • Ensure all lights, including headlights, brake lights, and turn signals, are functioning correctly.

Engine Compartment:

  • Verify fluid levels, including oil, coolant, power steering, and brake fluid.
  • Examine belts and hoses for any wear or damage.
  • Inspect the battery for corrosion and secure mounting.

Brake System:

  • Test the entire brake system, particularly air brakes, to ensure they are functioning effectively.
  • Inspect brake drums, shoes, and rotors for signs of wear.
  • Check brake lines for any leaks and secure connections.

Suspension and Steering:

  • Look over the suspension components for wear or damage.
  • Verify proper alignment and examine the steering system for potential issues.


  • Inspect the undercarriage for leaks, loose bolts, or damaged components.
  • Check the exhaust system for any loose or damaged parts.

Consistently maintaining a used semi truck is not only pivotal for road safety but also enhances fuel efficiency and extends the vehicle’s lifespan. Adhering to a thorough inspection and maintenance routine is essential to keep your Peterbilt semi truck in prime condition. Always follow relevant regulations and seek expert assistance when necessary, ensuring your truck remains a reliable asset for your transportation needs.

Used Peterbilt Semi Truck FAQs

Get valuable insights for purchasing a used Peterbilt truck, from performance specifications to maintenance advice.

What should I look for when buying a used Peterbilt truck?

Check for engine health, body integrity, signs of rust or damage, tire condition, and overall maintenance records. Ensure that the truck’s frame and suspension are in good condition, and there are no significant fluid leaks.

How do I determine the value of a used Peterbilt truck?

The value of a used Peterbilt truck is influenced by its age, mileage, model, overall condition, and any added features or customizations. Researching the market for similar models and consulting price guides can help you estimate its worth.

What are common maintenance needs with used Peterbilt trucks?

Used Peterbilt trucks may require maintenance on common areas like the engine, transmission, brakes, and electrical systems. Check for wear and tear on components such as belts, hoses, and brake drums and shoes. Regular oil changes, tire checks, and engine maintenance are crucial.

Can I customize a used Peterbilt truck to fit my needs?

Many used Peterbilt trucks can be customized to fit specific needs. This includes upgrades to the sleeper cab, interior modifications, engine tuning, and exterior styling. However, the extent and cost of customization can vary based on the truck’s model and condition.

What financing options are available for purchasing a used Peterbilt truck?

Financing options for a used Peterbilt truck can include traditional loans, leasing options, or dealer-specific financing programs. Terms can vary based on credit history, the age of the truck, and the price. Having an effective budget in place is crucial to ensure a smooth and financially stable transition.

At Ohio Truck Sales, we partner with Fleet Capital, to offer unique and customized funding solutions.

How do I verify the history and condition of a used Peterbilt truck?

Obtain a vehicle history report and maintenance records to check for past accidents, ownership history, and service records. A thorough inspection by a qualified mechanic can also provide insights into the truck’s condition.

Are there warranty options for a used Peterbilt truck?

Used semi truck warranties are available for semi trucks that are 14 years old and newer. All eligible trucks have standard 90-day or 12-month warranty options available, and the option to upgrade further. Each truck must pass an expert’s certification to meet the criteria for the warranty company to certify the used semi truck and be warrantied.

Customer Experiences and Success Stories

Read firsthand experiences from satisfied customers and discover how Ohio Truck Sales has helped clients find their perfect Peterbilt trucks.

I gotta give a fantastic shout out to Brittany for helping with the purchase of my Peterbilt, She was very informative and answered all the questions I had about the truck without hesitation. She knows trucks!! I’ve purchased several trucks over my career and this truck was actually more than I expected to be honest. She went above and beyond to accommodate my schedule to see the truck. After flying in from MS , she arranged shuttle service and accommodations during my overnight stay. If you’re in the market for a truck I highly recommend giving her a call you will not be disappointed in the customer service she provides. If I look for another truck, she’ll be my first call! Thanks Brittany you done a great job!!!!

David Lee

Ohio truck sales and our sales person Brittany  were professional and excellent to work with! They were super friendly and helpful from the beginning to the end. Brittany is a wonderful and had great communication skills! Ohio truck sales has a wide selections of trucks. I was able to find the truck I always wanted. Most importantly they found me the best lender that completed my needs. If you are buying out of state it is not a problem because they have an airport shuttle van and provide hotel accommodations if necessary. I would definitely would recommend them as your dealer and in the future I will buy another truck with them.

Aisley Orantes

Go see Mara, and I promise you she’ll get you in the right truck for you!  We were incredibly specific about what we wanted, and she came through. We bought a ‘99 Pete 379 from Mara. The first thing I want to say is that Mara was 100% honest and transparent about every truck we looked at. We ended up buying a different truck than the one we showed up to buy, and are absolutely thrilled with our purchase!


Eric was amazing to work with. He made the process very easy. He wasn’t the least bit pushy but always had time to answer my questions. Working with Joann in finance made securing the funds effortless. Thanks everyone!!

Ed Hunter

Financing Options and Warranty Information

Our goal is to simplify the process of financing used semi trucks, making it more attainable for small business owners and individual operators. Our financing approach for a used Peterbilt truck can be done in 3 easy steps.

  1. Apply with Sales – We’ll match you with a lender.
  2. Get Approved – We gather all the important paperwork needed to obtain a loan from the lender.
  3. Get Funded – Just sign a few papers, and then you can drive away in your used semi truck.

When it comes to warranties, we offer comprehensive options for Peterbilt semi-trucks that are 14 years old or newer. All eligible trucks are backed by a standard 90-day or 12-month warranty, with the possibility of extended coverage.

Our warranty plans encompass crucial components such as the engine, radiator, fuel tanks, HVAC system, transmission, rear end, and exhaust after-treatment systems, which cover over 45 specific parts, as well as auxiliary power units and gap coverage. To ensure the highest standards of reliability and performance, each truck is subject to a thorough certification process before qualifying for our warranty program.

Ready to find Your Used Pete?

Are you interested in exploring our inventory of used Peterbilt trucks? Contact us today to discuss financing options or if you have any questions. Let us help you find the perfect used semi truck that fits your needs.

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