What Is a Glider Truck?

Many people are unfamiliar with glider trucks, which rely on another vehicle to pull them as they do not have an engine. They often transport large items, such as furniture, appliances, and vehicles. Suppose you are looking for an alternative to traditional moving companies. In that case, a glider truck may be suitable due to its cost-effectiveness and lower pollution emissions. However, it is essential to consider the pros and cons of using a glider truck before deciding.


The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Glider Truck

Glider trucks are cheaper than traditional trucks and emit less pollution, making them an attractive option. Additionally, they can be more maneuverable than conventional trucks. However, they require another vehicle to tow them and are slower than traditional trucks.

What Is the Purpose of a Glider Kit?

A glider kit is an innovative way to reuse and repurpose damaged trucks by salvaging the working components, primarily the powertrain, and installing them in a new vehicle. This can be a cost-effective solution for truck fleet operators who need to get their vehicles back on the road quickly and efficiently. In some cases, it can also be more environmentally friendly than purchasing a brand-new truck since it reuses existing components.

What Is a Peterbilt 389 Glider?

The Peterbilt 389 Glider Kit is a high-performance truck designed to meet the needs of drivers. It is equipped with pre-emission technology and meets the highest emissions and fuel economy standards. The 389 is reliable and robust, making it an excellent choice for handling heavy loads. Its versatile design makes it suitable for various applications, whether for business or pleasure.

Are Glider Trucks Allowed in California?

Effective January 1, 2020, glider trucks in California can only have 2010 or later model-year engines. This regulation is part of the state’s efforts to align its greenhouse gas standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and trailers with the federal Phase 2 standards for 2018–2027 model-year trucks. The goal is to reduce emissions from glider trucks and improve air quality in the state. However, there are exceptions to the rule, such as certain vehicles used for agriculture or firefighting purposes. Overall, this new regulation is a positive step in reducing emissions from glider trucks and safeguarding air quality.

Are Glider Kits Legal?

Glider kits are truck bodies and chassis assembled without an engine or transmission, typically sold as a cheaper alternative to buying a new truck. However, the EPA has classified glider kits as used trucks, which requires them to meet stricter emissions standards, effectively making their sale illegal. This has caused controversy among truckers, who argue that the EPA’s regulations are unrealistic and will increase business costs. Despite the EPA’s mandate to protect the environment, whether this will impact truck emissions remains to be seen.

Identifying a Glider Truck

Suppose you’re considering buying a truck assembled with a new body but an older chassis or driveline. In that case, you should determine if the truck is considered a glider. In the trucking industry, a glider is a partially assembled truck that uses new parts but lacks a state-assigned vehicle identification number (VIN). Most glider kits come with a Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO) or Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) that identifies the vehicle as a kit, glider, frame, or incomplete.

If the truck you’re considering doesn’t have either of these documents, it’s likely not a glider. When buying a glider truck, it’s essential to consider the age of the engine and transmission. Glider trucks often use older engines that may not meet current emissions standards. Additionally, because these trucks lack state-assigned VINs, they may not be covered by warranty or other protection programs. Therefore, it’s crucial to research before buying a glider truck.

The Difference Between a Peterbilt 379 and 389

The Peterbilt 379 is a class 8 truck that was produced from 1987 to 2007, replacing the Peterbilt 378 and eventually replaced by the Peterbilt 389. The primary difference between the 379 and the 389 is in the headlights; the 379 has round headlights, while the 389 has oval headlights. Another significant difference is in the hood; the 379 has a shorter hood, while the 389 has a longer hood. The final 1000 examples of the 379 were designated as Legacy Class 379.


Glider trucks are typically outfitted with older, less fuel-efficient engines. The new California rule intends to help reduce emissions from glider trucks and improve air quality in the state. Glider kits are truck bodies and chassis assembled without an engine or transmission. The EPA has classified them as used trucks, requiring them to meet stricter emissions standards. While the EPA’s mandate is to protect the environment, it remains uncertain whether this will impact truck emissions. When buying a glider truck, it’s essential to consider the age of the engine and transmission and conduct thorough research.

About the author, Laurence Perkins

Laurence Perkins is the passionate car enthusiast behind the blog My Auto Machine. With over a decade of experience in the automotive industry, Perkins has knowledge and experience with a wide range of car makes and models. His particular interests lie in performance and modification, and his blog covers these topics in-depth. In addition to his own blog, Perkins is a respected voice in the automotive community and writes for various automotive publications. His insights and opinions on cars are highly sought-after.