Peterbilt or Kenworth

Peterbilt or Kenworth? This is one of the most heated debates in the trucking world. When you are making a hundred thousand dollar investment, you darn well better make the right decision. In the United States, the authority brands for the market are Kenworth and Peterbilt. They are both manufactured by PACCAR, an American based company that has a dealer network of over 1,800 locations in more than 100 countries. Though Freightliner Trucks and Volvo sell more trucks annually, Petes and Kenworths are generally regarded as the most desirable big rigs. Peterbilts are know as the “Harley Davidson” of trucks while Kenworths are seen as more affordable, yet still premium, option.

Inside of a Peterbilt

Inside view of a Peterbilt.

Can There Be a Winner?

The problem with the Kenworth/Peterbilt debate is most trucks are made for a specific purpose. For instance, you’re going to want a different engine and transmission if you are operating a dump truck and idling all the time. Because what’s under the hood varies so much one Kenworth might be superior to a similar Peterbilt. This definitely puts a tick in the win column for Kenworth because you will save some money if you buy smart. Then there is the CAT vs Detroit debate but that is another story…

Advantages & Disadvantages

Peterbilt’s biggest advantage is resale value. You’re paying for a quality brand name that people will pay for again and again. I’ve seen owners buy a Pete, use it for years, and sell it for more than they paid! You can’t ask for a better investment. You do have to be careful though, some of the newer models have not held up quite as well in the resale market. The 387 comes to mind… Kenworths do have decent resale value as well; The W900L has a great reputation. Peterbilt still wins this argument though. There are still going to be 359s on the road for years to come.

The last big selling point for Peterbilts is their interior. As you can see in the picture, you get a pretty neat setup with a Peterbilt. A large majority of show trucks are Peterbilts so there is no shortage of customization options. Your cab is your home away from home so why not make it feel that way? They have roomy and wide cabs for long haul guys. Most Kenworths are about a foot or two narrower; you can adjust the passenger window from the driver’s seat. This much space might not always be practical for in-town trucks so once again, make sure you select the best truck for the driver and the job. We’d love to hear more feedback from you guys so please comment below! Also, if you want to throw any other trucks in the debate feel free. We have fiercely loyal Western Star fans, especially those from Australia.

We are running specials all this month of semi truck bumpers so make sure to check those out as well.

1