Keep up to date on all the inside information and news.
Air cleaner light bars are a great addition to any truck. Adding front and rear bars helps to increase visibility on the roads – while adding some personal style to your rig.
- FAQ – VOL II
FAQ – Volume II
There are many questions that our customer service team receives on a regular basis. We thought we would answer some of the common ones in our second installment of FAQ. Here are the answers to three of the top questions we receive.
Question 1 – Male vs. Female wiring harnesses?.
While it may seem straight forward, the male and female wiring harnesses actually refer to the connection on the inside of the plug – be it a metripack or a bullet plug. Diagrams are available of the harnesses on the website, and we can always email you a bigger diagram if you need it.
This is one that still makes our customer service team flinch – everytime there is a call for wiring harnesses. We often need to take a few minutes to look into the customer’s question and call or email back the information – as we value our clients time and know that it is more efficient for us to take your contact information and look into the question and call you back, instead of keeping you on the line. We often also double check with other members of the team, or our Research and Development department just to make sure we are providing the accurate information.
Question 2 – Kenworth T680 transition panels – highroof vs. mid-roof – what’s the difference? For Kenworth T680 sleeper models with underbody exhaust, there are transition panels designed to link the cab panels to the sleeper panels. As there are different variations on the trucks – either high-roof or mid-roof – there needs to be a specifically designed transition panel for each application. For high-roof models, there are a few more panel options offered for this piece, due to the shape. Unfortunately, for mid-roof models there is only one option available for this piece, 20962029. Due to the size and shape of the panel, no lite options are available.
Question 3 – Peterbilt 579 – why only a filler panel for EPIQ models? Along the same lines as the question above, we often get asked about transition panels for the 579 underbody exhaust sleeper models. When it comes to the Peterbilt 579 (and 567 for that matter) there are many variations available – from shorthood (117” BBC) to long hood (123” BBC), underbody exhaust, cab exhaust, Ultraloft and EPIQ packages – that our Research and Development team carefully designed panels to meet the many options. As a result, Peterbilt 579 sleeper models with the EPIQ package require specific cab, transition and sleeper panels. The transition panel for the EPIQ model is available under part number 10962032. For those Peterbilt 579 sleeper models with underbody exhaust but without the EPIQ package, the transition panel that links the cab and sleeper panels is built into the sleeper panel. .
- NEW PRODUCTS – LET US KNOW!
Our customer driven approach!
As Panelite strives to continue to be the aftermarket brand of choice for truckers everywhere, our product lines are driven by customer demand. While our Research and Development department works on creating new products or altering existing offerings as changes to trucks occur – one of our greatest resources is you, our customers.
Many new products are developed as requests from the truckers, mechanics, fleet managers, owners and salesmen come into our office. From the need to protect glass from breaking, which is how the Freightliner Cascadia rear window guard was developed, to protecting from glare from the side light, our engineers carefully examine the requests and work towards a solution.
We welcome all feedback and inquiries – from requests to modify a product, further explain installation instructions, or ask for a new product – our customer service team answers each and every email or phone call we receive in a quick and detailed manner. Connect with the team to let us know what products you are looking for – we’d love to hear from you! Of course, not all suggestions and requests can be developed – either due to location, size and reliability or other factors – the Research and Development team do try to get the customer the product they are happy with.
New products are rolling out on a regular basis, and while we try to print catalogs as often as needed – one of the best resources for the latest products is our websites and our social media handles.
Listening to our customers, and delivering a product that not only meets their expectations but exceeds them, is one of the factors that Panelite and Dieter’s strive to achieve to keep our reputation stainless.
Trusted as an industry leader in quality & innovation, Panelite is the preferred lite panel and “chrome” accessory supplier to nearly every heavy truck manufacturer in North America. On the assembly line, at the dealership or in your garage, Panelite puts the original in original equipment. After all, in a world of knockoffs, be original. Choose Original. Panelite.
So wherever you buy parts – spec the most original equipment available & demand Panelite.
- 5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
5 things you should know – some insights of behind the scenes
We hope that our blog posts have been providing some great information and explaining some of the common questions asked about our accessories.
As a customer driven company, each and every employee strives to do their best to bring the customer a high-quality product they can be proud of. Each member of the Panelite and Dieter’s team, takes our slogan of Our Reputation Is Stainless! to heart and understands that our customers have a lot riding on our products – after all it is being installed on their livelihood, their rig!
Here are some 5 things you should know about how things go on behind the scenes at our manufacturing facility.
- Our CAD (Computer Aided Design) files that our Research and Development team use to develop and create product are typically supplied by our OE partners to ensure exact fit applications. That being said, many of the parts are developed by using the actual physical truck that product is being designed for. This allows just another level of quality assurance, to confirm fit, installation technic, feasibility and reliability.
- All of the products that leave our facility has labels and barcodes on the one side. While this does help identify the part and component, it also gives us a lot of information should there ever be a warranty inquiry or question. We use this information to trace the product and component back to who packaged the item, who it was assembled by, who cut and formed the piece, which sheet of metal was used and when all of this was completed. By doing this, we can provide further training if needed to our team, or identify improvements in our process to help our high level of quality.
- Just about all of our products have lights – from ¾” round to 4” round, and many different oval sizes. While we do not manufacture the physical lights themselves, we do hold these components to the exact same high quality standards as our stainless steel. For example, for any new light type we bring out in our product offering we put it through rigorous testing. This testing includes water testing – our vice-president has been known to have containers of lights immersed in water sitting on a shelf in his office, just to make sure that they are water tight.
- We are currently registered to ISO14001:2015.Why is this an achievement? ISO14001:2015 Environmental Standard is written by the International Standards Organization (ISO). We are required to pass a yearly audit completed by an independent company to ensure we are conforming to a standard set of requirements. This registration sets us apart from companies that do not have a registered Environmental Management System because as a company we are demonstrating our commitment to protecting and improving the environment by complying with environmental regulations, including reducing waste, increasing recycling and ensuring that our processes are being carried out with the smallest carbon footprint possible.
We are currently registered to IATF16949:2016.Why is this an achievement? IATF16949:2016 the International Standard for Automotive Quality Management Systems written by the International Automotive Task Force. This standard piggy-backs on the ISO9001:2015 standard which means we need to meet the requirements of both standards. We are audited yearly by an independent company to ensure we are conforming to all the requirements of both standards. This certification gives us credibility to supply the automotive industry and creates a continual improvement culture that improves our efficiencies. It also requires a systematic process of problem solving that reduces the impact of issues when they occur and decreases the time needed to recover from issues which improves customer confidence and satisfaction.
- We pride ourselves in the industry leading customer service. On a regular basis we hear from dealerships, end users and other customers on our immediate or faster than normal response times. Our customer service team is well trained to quickly and efficiently find the answer our callers and email inquiries are looking for. After all, Our Reputation Is Stainless!
- ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT – OUR BRAND
Everyone has their favorite brand – from clothes to food, vehicles to beverages and everything in between people prefer one over another more often than not.
The same can be said about trucks – from Freightliner and Western Star, Kenworth and Peterbilt, Mack and Volvo as well as International – each driver, owner, fleet manager, mechanic and salesman has their brand.
Panelite products are the preferred brand for truck accessories, since Our truck accessories don’t just belong in a show-and-shine, they belong on the highways and backroads of North America. At Panelite, listening to the customer and delivering a product that is worthy of your hard earned dollars. Dieter’s and Panelite have become the high quality accessory manufacturer of choice for North America’s heavy truck OEM’s. We use only the highest quality, non-magnetic 304 stainless steel and back it up with award winning customer service. In fact, we are so confident in our products, we stand behind them for a full two years. Try finding that with one of our competitors! Have rust spots? Impossible! Our stainless steel products are manufactured using non-directional 304 stainless steel – which does not rust or corrode. After all, Our Reputation Is Stainless!
Quality parts will save you money. This can be seen in many ways, for example, after you decide to buy and fit quality parts for your rig, you will avoid cases where you will be required to buy other parts more often. You will also eliminate cases you will have to hire a mechanic who will replace parts on your truck. This will – at the long run – lead you to saving a lot of money which you can use to meet other financial obligations. In order to realize the value of your money you should always insist on buying quality. After all, in a world of knockoffs, be original. Choose Original. Panelite.
There was recently an article on trucknews.com about how the trucking symbols and nameplates came to be – check out the inspiration behind the symbols here
As always, our customer service team is available to assist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-331-7952.
- A BEGINNER’S GUIDE
Where to start with accessories? With so many options to choose from, where should you start to personalize your rig? While many accessories add to the look of the truck, there are many practical accessories to safeguard your investment. From fender guards to grille surrounds, bug and rock deflectors to sunvisors – put your hard earned dollars where they will bring the most benefit.
Our truck accessories don’t just belong in a show-and-shine, they belong on the highways and backroads of North America.
Quality parts will save you money. This can be seen in many ways, for example, after you decide to buy and fit quality parts for your rig, you will avoid cases where you will be required to buy other parts more often. You will also eliminate cases you will have to hire a mechanic who will replace parts on your truck. This will – at the long run – lead you to saving a lot of money which you can use to meet other financial obligations. In order to realize the value of your money you should always insist on buying quality.
Now that you know you’re buying quality parts – which should be the part to buy?=
We always recommend the key areas to protect – fender, windshield and cab. That would be purchasing fender guards, bug/rock shields to protect the windshield and a sunvisor.
Fender guards are the best defense against road debris and the effects of high mileage wear and tear.
Bug/rock shields Helps protect the hood and windshield from rocks and road debris. The bug and grille deflector kits and surrounds provide full frontal coverage to the rig.
Sunvisors – one of the best sources of protection for the driver. There are lots of places you want to soak in the sun – but your cab isn’t one of them. Our extended sunvisors help keep the cab cooler while reducing eye strain.
- FAQ – VOL. I
There are many questions that our customer service team receive on a regular basis. We thought we would answer some of the common ones in our first installment of FAQ. Here are the answers to three of the top questions we receive.
Question 1 – where are your products available for purchase?
Our Panelite line of products are available for purchase through all OEM dealerships in North America. Any dealership – Freightliner, International, Kenworth, Mack, Peterbilt, Volvo and Western Star – are able to purchase all of the products regardless of manufacturer. That means even if you drive a Peterbilt, your local Western Star dealership is able to order that sunvisor for you. That being said, there is a bit of secret code for each OEM dealership to have our part numbers load in their ordering system. In order for the parts contained in this catalog and on the panelite.com website to load in your ordering systems, the following pre-fix or suffix is needed:
Western Star: PNL…
Question 2 – what is the warranty on our products?
Panelite stainless steel products, excluding any electrical components, are warranted against defects in material or workmanship for two years from the original retail purchase date. This warranty does not cover damage due to accident, abuse, misuse, corrosive environment, improper installation or other mishandling. Only the defective component part will be replaced. This warranty is applicable only to the original purchaser. The defective part, accompanied by the date and proof of purchase, must be returned freight prepaid to Panelite. If determined to be defective, the replacement part will be returned freight prepaid. Panelite assumes no responsibility for the cost of installation or removal of any products.
Question 3 – 304 quality
Listening to the customer and delivering a product that is worthy of your hard earned dollars. Dieter’s and Panelite have become the high quality accessory manufacturer of choice for North America’s heavy truck OEM’s.
We use only the highest quality, non-magnetic 304 stainless steel and back it up with award winning customer service. In fact, we are so confident in our products, we stand behind them for a full two years. Try finding that with one of our competitors! Have rust spots? Impossible! Our stainless steel products are manufactured using non-directional 304 stainless steel – which does not rust or corrode. After all, Our Reputation Is Stainless!
- SUNVISORS – SO MANY STYLE OPTIONS!
Sunvisor style options
Now that the boltless sunvisor mystery has been explained (see previous blog post Boltless sunvisors 101 – how do they attach to the truck?) it is time to clear up the other styles and descriptions we use for our sunvisors.
Straight style – this visor is a box style that is mostly straight across the top and the bottom. Not many of our sunvisors are designed in this style, as most have at least a small degree of angle.
The bowtie sunvisor – this visor appears just like it sounds, like a bowtie. Wider on the outsides of visor, at the edges closest to the doors, tapering at the center of the sunvisor. The visor can either be directed upwards to a point in the center, or be directed downwards towards the windshield.
Flat bottom bowtie – this visor is similar to a bowtie sunvisor but has a straight edge along the bottom. The wider part of the visor is still at the edges at the doors, but narrows in the center at the top of the visor only.
Flat top bowtie – the opposite of the flat bottom sunvisor. Similar to the bowtie, with the wider part of the visor at the edges, and narrow in the center. The flat top bowtie sunvisor is straight along the top of the visor.
V-bottom sunvisor – this is the most common style of sunvisor offered. Exactly as it sounds, the visor comes to a point in the center to form a v shape. The top also angles in to the center, although not as at a sharp of an angle as the lower portion of the visor.
Any of the styles of visor offered could also be the boltless design. Each of the Panelite sunvisors are expertly designed for proper fitment of the intended make and model – no cookie cutter options! The knowledgeable engineers carefully design the sunvisors based upon application – low roof, midroof, highroof, daycabs or sleepers – to ensure quality. We will not offer a sunvisor that doesn’t bolt up 100% safe and secure, in fact we use CAD software and CAD data from our OEM partners to ensure the fit is solid and watertight.
To determine which the right visor for your truck is, connect with our customer service department at email@example.com or 800-331-7952.
- Keeping it clean!
Pride in your ride – long miles on the road can have a dirty impact on your rig and accessories. Just like the engine, regular maintenance and cleaning can go a long way.
Having the right tools for the job is key to cleaning your stainless steel accessories – a good quality microfiber cloth and towels is a great place to start. Microfiber cleaning cloths are the preferred choice when clean ing and polishing stainless steel because they do a great job at absorbing all of the water without scratching the surface. The majority of the smudges will most likely disappear without the need of special chemicals.
For dirt – a cloth and warm water is the perfect way to tackle the grime. Wipe the surfaces with the microfiber cloth moistened with warm water. The warm water and cloth will be enough for the routine cleaning. Dry with a towel or cloth to prevent water spots.
When dealing with tougher dirt and debris, adding a drop of mild soap to the warm water helps. The combination of the soap and water won’t damage the stainless and is often all you need to get the dirtiest deposits off. Make sure, after cleaning with soap and water, to rinse well. This helps to avoid water spots. Towel dry to further reduce the probability of water spots.
Of course, water spots will happen. The simple combination of a microfiber cloth and household vinegar to the rescue! This will not damage the stainless but will remove the spots while restoring the shine. Vinegar is a wonder product to spiff up stainless steel surfaces – spritz on white vinegar and wipe down. Make sure to dry with a soft towel or microfiber cloth to make it extra shiny!
Have rust spots? Impossible! Our stainless steel products are manufactured using non-directional 304 stainless steel – which does not rust or corrode. After all, Our Reputation Is Stainless!
- Boltless sunvisors 101 – how do they attach to the truck?
If a sunvisor is boltless – how does it get attached to the truck? That’s a question our customer service team often receive. It isn’t a magic trick or an optical illusion – while the name of the visor has boltless in the description – the boltless sunvisors do attach to the truck in a safe and secure manner – using bolts and special brackets. A boltless sunvisor is simply a visor that has a smooth face – with no visible bolts. Simply put, we have engineered the visor to hide the external fasteners to provide a clean, smooth appearance.
The boltless sunvisor is a popular choice for those wanting a clean modern look to their truck. Due to this clean appearance some customers have even opted to color match their sunvisor to their truck, the lack of visible bolts makes this easier to do as they don’t need to worry about painting the face bolts. Afterall, there are plenty of places you want to soak in the sun, but your cab isn’t one of them. Stainless or body match our sunvisors help keep the cab cooler while reducing eye strain.
Available for many makes and models – either as an OEM replacement or for those rigs that did not come with a factory sunvisor. Each of the Panelite sunvisors are expertly designed for proper fitment of the intended make and model – no cookie cutter options! The knowledgeable engineers carefully design the sunvisors based upon application – low roof, midroof, highroof, daycabs or sleepers – to ensure quality. We will not offer a sunvisor that doesn’t bolt up 100% safe and secure, in fact we use CAD software and CAD data from our OEM partners to ensure the fit is solid and watertight.
To determine which the right visor for your truck is, connect with our customer service department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-331-7952.
- BACKLIT VS. UNDERLIT
Backlit vs. Underlit – what is the difference?
It is a common question our customer service department receives – what is the difference between underlit and backlit? While the two styles are similar, they are different. Panelite has developed these unique accessories that feature the lites in the underside of the panel instead of the face. There are 2 options for these panels – backlit and underlit.
Backlit is the style that was created for the Kenworth W900 Icon package. The lights are on the lower edge of the stainless steel skirting, out of view. The stainless is bent at an angle – hiding the lights and creating a glow effect.
Underlit is a similar style where the lights are also on the underside edge of the stainless steel skirting, but visible.
Both styles use 3/4″ round LED lights – which are amber with a clear lens.
Each of the styles creates a unique look. Not all makes, models and years are able to have the underlit or backlit skirting based upon design or possible interference.
For assistance in determining part numbers, connect with a knowledgeable representative in our customer service department at email@example.com or 800-331-7952.