Peterbilt revamps 387 electronics, debuts new crew cab conversions

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Peterbilt announced Monday, Dec. 8, that its Model 387 has been enhanced with new standard multiplex instrumentation and the addition of a state-of-the-art Driver Information Center, providing drivers with real-time information to improve their fuel efficiency, performance and serviceability.

The Denton, Texas-based truck maker also announced the continued availability of crew cab conversion options for customers seeking to obtain additional cab space and a four-door crew cab for Peterbilt’s medium-duty Models 325, 330, 335 and 340.

Peterbilt says the driver’s environment for the aerodynamic Model 387 — which is certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program — now features new elegant stylized instrumentation and rocker switches; and efficient LED backlit gauges, switches and controls. The new LED-powered environment is designed to provide a consistent appearance, reliability and a reduction of eye fatigue in nighttime driving situations; while a new multifunctional turnstalk also enhances the driving experience by integrating a number of commonly used functions, such as flash-to-pass and windshield wiper controls, into one convenient location.

“The enhanced driver environment makes it safer and easier to monitor the vehicle systems and engine information,” says Landon Sproull, Peterbilt chief engineer. “We’ve improved the entire system, and drivers will notice the ease of serviceability and troubleshooting. Wiring has been simplified by color-coding and numbering, and reliability has been improved through the addition of positive locking connectors at the critical connections.”

Peterbilt says the enhanced functionality of the Driver Information Center provides drivers with a new tool to cut costs and improve fuel performance. By having access to critical vehicle performance data via the system display, drivers easily can monitor the engine and transmission and adjust their fuel economy for optimal operating performance, according to the company; no longer will drivers have to look up fault codes, as they are replaced by easy-to-understand text-based readouts for more accurate diagnostics and less downtime, all controlled by a conveniently mounted MCS (menu control switch) for display navigation. Other features include an integrated clock with alarm, an automatic transmission display and an optional controlled idle timer. The system also is equipped with the ability to change driver settings for items like language (English, Spanish and French) and time format (12H/24H) to help accommodate multiple drivers and truck resale.

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Peterbilt says the new multiplexed electrical system is supported by its Electronic Service Analyst (ESA), a computer-based diagnostic tool that accurately monitors the electrical system, isolates sensors and gauges, and maintains an event log for historical purposes. ESA is designed to enable technicians to review codes stored in the components, verify instrument functions to accurately pinpoint a malfunction, and quickly troubleshoot dashboard electronics.

The crew cab conversion options extend the BBC length to 157 inches and utilize a one-piece fiberglass roof extension to increase interior height up to 61 inches. In addition, the crew cab conversion options also increase the driver’s interior cab space by adding 52 inches to the length of the cab with a total of 84 inches wide at the rear.

“By offering a wide selection of conversion options, Peterbilt provides our customers the added advantage of increased cab space and overall comfort that a four-door cab conversion kit provides,” says Larry Reding, Peterbilt assistant general manager of sales and marketing. “Our goal is to make certain we provide our customers with the ability to spec a truck that ensures their work environment is the utmost in comfort, productivity and overall performance.”

Additional crew cab options include an extended horizontal exhaust pipe, separate heater or heater/air conditioner, exterior access steps, carpet and custom trim packages, as well as DuPont Imron Elite base/clear paint. Bench and bucket seats are available in addition to fire service SCBA seats.

Peterbilt crew cab conversion is done in partnership with three separate suppliers – Bentz Transport Products, Schwable Trucks and Weldon Manufacturing – to provide all the necessary components to convert a medium-duty two-door day cab into a four-door crew cab. For more information, go to