Peterbilt Motors Co.
T.A. Peterman, a logger and manufacturer, needed a better way to get his lumber to market so he started rebuilding surplus army trucks for that purpose. In 1939, he bought Fageol Motors Co. of Oakland, CA, which had gone bankrupt in 1932, and started building trucks under the “Peterbilt” brand name. After his death in 1944, Peterman’s wife, Ida, sold the company to seven individuals within the Peterbilt organization, who then later sold the company to PACCAR in 1958. The famous red oval logo dates back to 1953. PACCAR relocated Peterbilt’s factory to a new facility in Newark, CA, in 1960. In 1986, Peterbilt’s production facilities moved again, to a new plant in Denton, TX, but its headquarters and engineering operations remained in California until 1992, until they, too, relocated to Denton. The company also established a plant to build heavy trucks for the east coast U.S. market in Madison, TN, back in 1969 but closed it in 2009, relocating that production to Denton.