Peterbilt 335

It’s been said that old truckers never die; they just get a new Peterbilt. However, a
trucker can now retire from a Class 8 Peterbilt tractor to another Peterbilt, a Class 6
Model 335, ideal for towing large fifth-wheels. High miles and mountain passes will present
no obstacles even with a 12-ton fifth-wheel, and the Pete’s as easy to operate as most
pickups. This Peterbilt 335 conversion comes from Doonan Truck & Equipment’s custom
vehicles division. A standard 335 goes through body modifications where the
aluminum-paneled crew cab is created, and the whole assembly is finished off to Doonan’s
specifications. At the business end, this 335 carried a Trailer Saver air hitch well aft of
the axle centerline, a setup that allowed for some carrying space on top of the “bed” ahead
of the trailer, and produced no ill effects on handling or towing. The aft section of the
truck is constructed of steel and covered in Rhino-Lining on the top deck. Except for the
hitch-mount depression, it is flat and free of obstructions, and has a sizable headache
rack with a window cutout at the leading edge. The trailer connector is on the right side
of the hitch away from all the levers and latching arms, although we would add a dedicated
eyebolt for the breakaway cable. Though it operates as easily as one, this Pete 335 does
not drive like a pickup, but it is surprisingly quiet and ride comfort increases notably
with no detriment to handling when two tons are added to the rear. Our test unit carried a
sticker of just less than $100,000. A quick look at some of the warranties on the Pete —
almost all time-based with unlimited miles (2 years basic, transmission and major
mechanical; 3 years on the frame and structure; 1 year on the batteries; 5 years on the
wheels; and 1 year/50,000 miles on the gaskets and seals), may tell you everything else you
need to know. Pick up the April 2005 issue of Trailer Life for full test impressions and
details on the Peterbilt 335 — then subscribe to Trailer Life, so
you can stay informed on the latest tests, previews, tow vehicles, and technical and
RV-lifestyle information. Doonan Truck & Equipment Inc, (316) 722-6034, doonantruck.com

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