Like many Americans, I’m an avid baseball fan. One of my all-time favorite sports movies is the Field of Dreams. In one of the scenes in the movie, Dr. Archibald Graham (played by actor Burt Lancaster) reminisces about playing just one inning in the Major Leagues. “You know, we just don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they’re happening. Back then I thought, there’ll be other days. But what I didn’t realize is that was the only day.”
I recently had the experience of attending the Model 589 Reveal Event by invitation from Peterbilt Motors in Denton, TX. It had been many years since I’ve seen this movie, but this line came flooding back to my mind as I was in the middle of a tour at the Peterbilt manufacturing facility. It was a movie line I would recall several times during the course of attending the legendary Model 589 Reveal Event.
I was given the privilege of going to this event by Peterbilt Motors, along with Dan and Shannon Linss, owners of 10-4 Magazine. The formal activities occurred on Monday, May 8 through Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at the Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) in Fort Worth, TX. TMS is located approximately 16 miles southwest of the Peterbilt plant in Denton and was an ideal location for the over 200 Peterbilt trucks and combos that were invited to the event. But more on that later in this article.
The host hotel for the event was the Marriott Hotel & Golf Club at Champions Circle, located just across the street from the speedway. It was a beautiful and well-appointed facility. Several planned activities were held at this location throughout the 3-day event. It was a perfect setting for hosting such a prestigious event such as this one.
Prior to the event, Peterbilt sent us a detailed agenda outlining the activities we would participate in for the three days of the event. Looking at the agenda, it was obvious Peterbilt put a lot of thought and effort into making this a legendary event. I’m old enough to remember Peterbilt not having a reveal party like this for the 359, 379, or 389 models, so it was clear to me they were working hard to make a great first impression.
The 589 Reveal Event consisted of three specific groups of attendees. We were part of the invited media group covering this historic event. The biggest group was the Peterbilt Dealer Groups and their invited customers. The final group of attendees were the owners of the 200+ Peterbilts who were invited to display their incredibly beautiful and unique trucks from all over the United States and Canada in the Pride & Class Truck Show at TMS.
I have been to some of the biggest and best trucks shows in the industry and seen an incredible array of beautiful and highly customized Peterbilts, but nothing on this scale that compares to the beauty, quality, and quantity I witnessed at this event. It could be called the Superbowl of Peterbilt shows, or any other cliched premier sporting event you can think of, but in my many years of attending truck shows, I’ve never seen a finer gathering of Peterbilt trucks. From the oldest to the newest, and everything in between, they were all there in spades.
There were many scheduled events for the Peterbilt Model 589 Reveal Event including banquets, plant tours, the truck show, awards ceremony, the 589 reveal ceremony, a concert, an after party, and 589 ride and drives. As you can see, there were a lot of special, entertaining, and informative activities planned by Peterbilt Motors, neatly packed into the three days. As important as the planned activities were, seeing old friends and meeting new people at this event were just as important. There just didn’t seem to be enough time to do all the planned activities, look at all the amazing trucks, socialize with everyone in attendance, and participate in the 589 Reveal event. But we did our best!
Judging for the Pride & Class Truck Show was done by representatives from Peterbilt. I didn’t envy the judges, because it would have been a difficult challenge to pick the top five Peterbilts for the awards presented. The awards were announced prior to the Model 589 Reveal and included Best Antique – Jake Wheeler (red and black 1967 Peterbilt); Best Bobtail – Josh Burch (blue and black Peterbilt 379); Best Combo – Troy Massey (white and light blue Peterbilt 389 with a polished cattle pot); People’s Choice – Conrad Shada (purple and black Peterbilt 389 with a polished cattle pot); Best of Show – Zach Strayer (cream and dark green Peterbilt 389 with a polished cattle pot). Congratulations to these five deserving winners, as the competition was at its best… dare I say legendary!
As important as all these planned activities were, the main focus at this event was the 2024 Model 589 Peterbilt. The build-up to the 589 was very well scripted. On each side of the stage, under covers, were dark red 589 Peterbilts, with one of them featuring the Legendary Package. Jason Skoog, PACCAR Vice President and Peterbilt General Manager, was the host of the 589 Reveal ceremony. He did a great job of building up the hype and providing detailed information about the new 589 before the reveal. There was great background music, incredible videos on large screens, black curtains raised, and fireworks, all leading up to the reveal. It rivaled any Hollywood red carpet movie opening!
Some of the highlights Mr. Skoog covered in his presentation included the redesign of the exterior of this flagship conventional, the robotically assembled cab, all-aluminum hood, bold and bright 15-inch external air cleaners, 7-inch exhaust stacks with heat shields, a redesigned polished stainless visor, redesigned driver and passenger doors and windows, and most noticeably, the large one-piece curved windshield.
The styling of the 589 is supported by the most advanced engineering and innovative technologies like air-assisted hydraulic clutch (manual transmissions), the newest collision mitigation system, and predictive cruise control. Extensive feedback was provided by Peterbilt drivers who contributed to the design and style of the interior of the cab and sleeper. Access to the cab was improved with larger tread steps for easier entry and exit of the cab. A new and upgraded digital instrument panel was designed to reduce glare and provide better overall visibility for the driver.
A variety of trim packages provide a broader selection for creating a custom interior look and the latest in creature comforts for both driver and passenger including high performance automatic climate control, abundant storage space, and larger dual cup holders. The interior of the first 589 Model 589s built will include an individually numbered plate, installed on the passenger side of the dash, with the truck’s build number.
Along with the 589 Peterbilt was the introduction of a special version 589 with the Legendary Package. It is inspired by the tradition, styling, and innovation that represents both the past and future of the flagship conventional Peterbilt truck. The Legendary Package includes the following unique features: the Peterbilt script flanked by spears on each side of the hood, exclusive bright work with polished fenders and rockers, an elegant interior that consists of rich leather seats that include the Peterbilt script logo embroidered in the headrests, unique stitching, and exclusive interior badging on the door panels and dash. The Legendary Package, along with the Model 589, will be available for orders beginning in August 2023, with delivery starting in early 2024.
Following is additional technical information for the Model 589 Peterbilt. The new Class 8 on-highway truck has an inline six engine configuration, either a PACCAR MX13 or a Cummins X15, with horsepower ranging from 405 to 605-hp, 12.9-liter to 14.9-liter engine displacement, 1450 to 2050 foot pounds of torque, a 12,000 to 22,800-pound front axle, 21,000 to 78,000-pound rear axles, sleeper dimensions of 44 to 80 inches long, and a base warranty of up to 2 years / 250,000 miles.
To the Peterbilt faithful and loyal owners, Peterbilt Motors Company is recognized as the “Class” of the industry. At the top of the Peterbilt “Class” has been the 359, 379, 389 models, and now the Legendary Model 589. To quote PACCAR Vice President and Peterbilt General Manager Jason Skoog, “The Model 589 truck is truly built for the quintessential Peterbilt customer, with its legacy characteristics and workhorse powertrain. It’s incredible, and we are pleased to share the new model 589 with our customers, as they are unequivocally the design and development inspiration of this legendary truck.”
I learned to drive a truck and was issued my chauffeur’s license in a 1969 cabover Peterbilt. My father was a proud Peterbilt owner who had three different Peterbilts during his trucking career. I have an original key on my key ring from the first new Peterbilt he owned, which was a 1978 359 standard hood with a 36-inch bunk, powered by a 335 Cummins hooked to a 13-speed. My love for Peterbilts began in the late 60s when I worked at a truck stop as a teenager. It will be a lifelong passion and love. Unlike the fictional character Archie Graham in the Field of Dreams movie, and his realization after the fact, the importance of that moment in time of playing one inning in the major league, I realized the true significance of what I experienced those three days in Texas at the Model 589 Reveal Event.
This was a fun event I was very fortunate to attend, one I’ll never forget, and an event like it that I’ll probably not get to experience again. Fortunately, I have several memories and mementos to remind me of my time in Texas to be a part of this legendary event. As a side note, the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex is loaded with many great places to eat. I was fortunate to experience In-N-Out Burgers for their great hamburgers, Hard 8 for their delicious brisket and ribs, and Braum’s for their tasty milk shakes.
I would be remiss in not giving thanks to those people who made this experience possible and so memorable. Special thanks to Melissa Epping, Senior Communications Manager at Peterbilt, Rick McClerkin, organizer of the Pride & Class Truck Show at TMS, and Tonyah Dillahunt, Marketing Communications Manager at Peterbilt. Also, thanks to Dan and Shannon Linss of 10-4 Magazine, Jamie and Malona Williams of J&L Contracting, Steve Moss of Jack C. Moss Trucking, Gaylon and Melody Hammett of Hammett Excavation, Jay Hawthorne of C&J Trucking, and last but certainly not least, my friend Jacob Gunderson of JG Photography. I cannot thank you all enough for making a dream come true I’ve had my entire adult life.
By now, it’s obvious that the term “Legendary” was used often in this report. That’s by design. It was a theme used extensively by Peterbilt for the Model 589 Reveal Event. We at 10-4 Magazine were privileged to be invited to and participate in this legendary event! And for those of you that are still not certain about how you feel about the new 589, just give it some time. Like every other new flagship truck Peterbilt has introduced over the years, it took time for people to get used to them and accept them, but they always do – and such is the case for this one, too.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Photos for this report were provided by Eric Hill, Daniel J. Linss, Jacob Gunderson and Peterbilt Motors Company.