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On the Spot with Peterbilt’s 579 UltraLoft

Posted: March 5, 2018

Peterbilt Ultraloft

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Peterbilt has unveiled a new 80-inch integral sleeper known as the UltraLoft, adding an array of features to the Model 579 that improve comfort for team drivers and enhance aerodynamics in the process.

“It has that distinctive Peterbilt style,” said Scott Newhouse, chief engineer, also referring to added storage, lower and upper bunk space, and the widest mattress in the industry. “The driver experience starts when you’re in the cab. It’s a big, open space with plenty of headroom.”

The upper mattress itself measures 82 x 36 inches, while the lower bunk is an expansive 85 x 42 inches. “The lower bunk can actually handle a seven-foot-tall person,” Newhouse said.

The interior of the Peterbilt Ultraloft with an extended aluminum ladder.

An extruded aluminum ladder to access the upper reaches of the cab tucks into the upper bunk’s frame, releasing with the push of a handle, unfolding, and locking in place on the passenger side of the vehicle. Drivers above six feet tall can also sit on the lower bunk without hitting their head on the frame above.

The double-bunk configuration features 64 cubic feet of storage space, while that increases to 70 cubic feet in the single-bunk model. The front half of a split upper bunk folds vertically, creating 14 cubic feet of storage behind it, securing supplies in place during a drive.

The wardrobe cabinet offers 42 inches of hanging space to support long shirts and jackets, while storage space in the upper cabinets can store two CPAP machines.

Power comes in the form of 12-volt, 110-volt, and USB ports next to the control panel for sleeper amenities like a new HVAC system. And those in the upper bunk have power ports of their own. “Now that upper bunk operator has that same power without having to run extension cords,” he says.

The cabinet on the driver’s side of the cab features a slide-out work surface, and can also accommodate a 1.1-cubic-foot microwave that’s said to be large enough to hold a Hungry Man dinner or rotisserie chicken.

LED bulbs illuminate the space throughout, and there’s also space for a 32-inch TV in the lower bunk.

Interior of the Peterbilt Ultraloft.

Meanwhile, an aerofoil-shaped sun visor, roof, and side wall have been structured to enhance fuel efficiency and reduce cab noise. The end result is a 2% boost in aerodynamics and 1% better fuel economy when compared to an 80-inch discrete sleeper with roof fairing.

The added features are particularly important when looking to secure a share of the market for team drivers that Peterbilt expects to remain strong.

Interior of the Peterbilt Ultraloft. Cabinets can hold up to two CPAP machines, a microwave big enough for a Hungry Man dinner, and more.

“One solution to the driver shortage is to attract less-experienced drivers and put them in training programs,” said Kyle Quinn, general manager. “We’ll continue to see large numbers of team drivers because there’s a lot of freight that has to go a long distance.”

“Peterbilt’s customers have been asking for a product that maximizes the space available in the cab, and the UltraLoft delivers on that request. This makes it an ideal truck for team drivers, training scenarios and customers that want to maximize aerodynamic performance and driver comfort,” said Robert Woodall, assistant general manager – sales and marketing. “The first customers to see and test the UltraLoft have provided overwhelming excitement and requested the first available production models.”

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