The Peterbilt 330 features a versatile conventional cab configuration and was designed as a medium duty class 6 vehicle that doesn’t require a commercial driver license to be driven. With a GVWR of 26,000 pound and a wide range of engines and chassis configurations the Peterbilt is ideal for refrigerated van, pickup, delivery, wrecker and utility configurations.
Moreover, the truck is also available with hybrid technology which offers a better fuel economy and lower emissions. The 330 is not the only truck in the company’s lineup which uses Eaton’s Hydraulic Launch Assist as the 320 model is also using the same technology.
Thanks to its aerodynamic design the Peterbilt 330 has a low drag coefficient which helps it to keep the fuel consumption to a low level.
Besides the raked bonnet and the rounded front bumper, the truck also features aerodynamically styled door mirrors and round oversized wheel arches which further enhanced its slippery shape. The bumper, grille and sunvisors are all classic Peterbilt touches, but besides their aerodynamic shape they also have a strong durability as they are built to last.
The front is dominated by the huge radiator grille which received a chromed treatment and helps to keep the engine cool. For extra ventilation there are also two lateral air intakes located above the wheel arches. For easy access and serviceability, the hood tilts open 90º and is secured with a locking device to prevent unintentional closure.
The Peterbilt T330 is available with either 22.5 or 19.5 inch wheels wrapped in Bridgestone or Michelin tires.
Thanks to the ergonomically placed grabs and the anti slippery steps, access inside the cab is made pretty easy. Once inside, you’ll like the spacious cabin, but you’ll be disappointed by the interior fit and finish and the cheap plastics which compared to other truck in the segment, are light years behind. Most of the trim doesn’t fit right and truck rattles from any corners when you start the engine.
You won’t be very pleased by the NVH levels ((Noise, Vibration and Harshness) either, as the vehicle trembles without hesitations and the engine noise fills the cabin without restrictions.
On the other hand, the dashboard design is pretty convenient to leave with, as most of the main controls are can be easy reached from the driver’s seat.
Talking about the seats they aren’t the best in the business, but at least they can be adjusted and after a few minutes of struggles you’ll finally be able to find a satisfactory driving position. Luckily, the steering wheel can be adjusted more easily.
You won’t have any complains about the all-round visibility which is fairly good, thanks to the generous windshield. The windshield is also split in two sections which can be replaced individually in case of a partial damage. The gargantuan mirrors are also up to the task, while the small rectangular window mounted in the lower part of the doors, offers additional side visibility when you need to deal with congested situations.
The instrument cluster is a bit odd for our tastes and the gauges seem thrown on that flat panel without any logical sense, but after a while you’ll get familiar with them.
On the other hand, you’ll find enough cubby holes, cub holders and storage boxes to keep you things and the dash panels can be removed to allow easy access to electrical and HVAC components.
Engines and transmissions
The Peterbilt T330 is available with the tried and tested Paccar PX-6 series engines. The engines develop between 200-325 hp with maximum with torque figures between 520 -750 lb-ft.
The in-line 6 cylinder Paccar PX-6 has four valves per cylinder and is fitted with a high pressure common rail fuel system. This configuration allows it to reach the peak torque at relatively low rpms in order to have strong towing abilities. The Paccar engines pull really strong and are also pretty fun to drive.
Moreover the Paccar PX-6 series features the best power-to-weight ratio available in its class and was especially designed to deal with the Class 6 medium-duty trucks.
The Peterbilt Model 330 is also available with the Eaton Hybrid Power system whichh offers a better fuel consumption than the conventional models. The company says that the hybrid 330 utilizes components that can provide up to a 30 percent improvement in fuel economy in an urban driving cycle.
The Paccar PX-6 engines can be mated on either Fuller manual 6 speed gearboxes or on Allison automatic transmissions with 4, 5 or 6 speeds.
Peterbilt 330 Engines Specifications
Ride and handling
The Dana Spicer front axle can deal with 10.000 lb-ft. while the single rear suspension supports a maximum capacity of 21.000 lb-.ft. The suspension is tweaked, with uprated springs and anti-roll bars, but the damping remains on the sensible side of eyeball rattling.
On the other hand, the power assisted steering is fairly good and even if it won’t give any significant road feedback it is light and responsive, helping you to handle the truck without problems on the narrow city streets.
The stopping power is average and the Peterbilt 330 is available with either air drum or hydraulic disc brakes, both with ABS.
Overall, the 330 is a solid effort from Peterbilt, that can hang with just about anything else in the crowded field of medium duty trucks, even if it isn’t the most comfortable model in the lot. The exterior design isn’t something to rave about, but at least it has a low drag coefficient and all the parts and body panels are strongly built.
The cabin however, is where everything falls apart as the build quality and materials are very poor while the overall ergonomy isn’t something to rave about either. The ride isn’t great, but the steering suits pretty well the needs of a working truck.
Luckily, the Paccar engines are fairly strong and they can deal with huge payloads without breaking a sweat. Moreover, there is also the hybrid version which offers extra fuel efficiency without sacrificing the power output.