cab over trucks

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1,050
Location
Calif.
Most of those semi trucks such as Peterbilt have the engine in front. Once in a while I see the cab over type trucks like the Freightliner. The cab over type trucks seem rare and most of them are old (probably not newer than 1990s). They appear wider so I assume the inside of the cab has much more room (102" wide?). Out of curiosity, are cab over trucks still made? Many of the trucks in Europe appear to be cab over type, of course I have not seen those here before.
 
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Messages
1,928
Location
Ohio,USA
 Originally Posted By: lpcmidst128
Most of those semi trucks such as Peterbilt have the engine in front. Once in a while I see the cab over type trucks like the Freightliner. The cab over type trucks seem rare and most of them are old (probably not newer than 1990s). They appear wider so I assume the inside of the cab has much more room (102" wide?). Out of curiosity, are cab over trucks still made? Many of the trucks in Europe appear to be cab over type, of course I have not seen those here before.
The "conventional" is the Class-8 "over-the-road" configuration of choice in the US/Canadian market. Virtually every manufacturer offers multiple models. The current market leader is Freightliner LLC, which produces the Freightliner, Western Star and the recently discontinued Sterling brands. No manufacturer currently produces a Class-8 COE-type for "over-the-road" use in the US/Canadian market. The COE-type is, however, the overwhelming favorite in the European market. The overall width of US/Canadian market tractors is 96", while European models are 2500mm (~98.4"). The introduction of the "flat floor", or "semi-flat floor" COE design made it easier to move about. Previous designs placed a massive engine hump right in the middle of the cab and left the seats squeezed into a small space on either side of the hump. This required one to climb over the engine hump to get from the seat to the bunk. The new designs meant the experience was much the same as that of being in a conventional cab. The primary difference being that the floor height was necessarily higher in the COE, in order to give enough room for the power-train. Sleeper-cab lengths are much shorter in Europe due to overall length restrictions. For a good example of what a European sleeper-cab would look like, take a look at the Volvo VN420 tractor. The VN420 sleeper-cab is essentially the European COE "flat-top" configuration with a hood in front of it. Cheers
 
Messages
698
Location
Fontana, California
For over the road long trips, trucks with the hoods probably help in the aero dept. When you have a fleet of trucks and they all get .5mpg better that would pay high dividends. My girlfriend works at a freight company in Fontana, CA and the trucks that are just moving stuff locally from hub to another or local businesses within 50 miles use whatever is running, current inspection and on new tires LOL. I notice not only a couple of cabovers, they have quite a few tractors that are just 2 axles. One can maneuver a cabover easier I imagine, but out in the US we have nothing but space, except in east coast cities, where again loads would be downsized from 53's to smaller trailers and the single axle trucks for local runs. The CO are just not as popular anymore. The engines in the trucks are still probably fine but if they have had hard class 8 duty for many years the frames are done. Where i live there is a lot of construction still despite the economy. they are widening a bridge next to my work. I see a private owner/operator hired to move dirt around and he uses a cabover sleeper. He may have lost his long haul gig, but he's working every day, out to break our windshields :)
 
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14,013
Location
Retired | Wausau, WI
I drove a cabover Freightliner back in the early 70's for Frozen Food Express (FFE) that had a 290 Cummins, what a slug. It was great once you got in to town for maneuvering city streets or trying to back in to tight locations, but on the road it would beat you to death. You did not want to have a left front tire blow out on the highway, as your butt was setting right on top of it. Every time you needed to get to the engine, you had to jack up the cab, and if it was not secured, everything inside would wind up in the floor or on top of the dash. Fuel mileage was terrible. They were popular back in their day but the main reason for fazing them out in the class 8 category was fuel economy.
 
Messages
180
Location
mcminnville tn
Just to add .5 MPG may not sound like much but when your running 2500+ miles per week and only get 6 MPG. A .5 MPG difference when fuel is $4.00 a gallon the difference could almost make a truck payment. At least it did for my father in law.
 
Messages
1,928
Location
Ohio,USA
Don't assume a conventional has an aerodynamic advantage. You might be amazed at the numbers that a modern COE can turn in. How does more than 10 mpg sound? And I mean more than a tenth or two. I've seen these figures in real-world tests. Cheers
 
Messages
18,449
Location
East of IGO
There is a possible better ride due to not sitting over the front axle but I am not really sure. The COE allows a shorter wheelbase.
 
Messages
1,928
Location
Ohio,USA
 Originally Posted By: Steve S
There is a possible better ride due to not sitting over the front axle but I am not really sure. The COE allows a shorter wheelbase.
Modern European COE designs provide a more comfortable ride. The reason is that the new cab designs are typically fully suspended on an air-ride suspension. Conventionals, and the older COE designs, use a system which features a relatively solid forward pivot in combination with a cushioned rear mount. In the old days, the ride of a conventional tractor was aided by the fact that it's front suspension was far more likely to get routine maintenance. Think grease nipple...
 
Messages
21,666
Location
Apple Valley, California
The cabovers were originally designed/used because 50 years ago many states had restrictions on total truck lenght. Usually around 40 ft total. Using a cabover allowed them 5 extra feet of trailer space. Cabovers do tend to ride rough because you are sitting on top of the front axle which makes the ride go up and down instead of behind it where you just rock in place. Your feet are the first thing to the scene of the accident. They used to be available as a special order. I don't know if thats still true. Peterbilt designed the "football helmet" cabover for fuel milage. It was very aerodynamic. Probly more aerodynamic than even the new conventionals. http://www.truckpaper.com/listings/detail.aspx?OHID=2031598&GUID=d37520af15c54bef859ee606c72201bc http://www.commercialtrucktrader.com/big-trucks/find/listing/1991-PETERBILT-372-94749387
 
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Messages
1,928
Location
Ohio,USA
We recently had a bad crash locally that killed a driver. He was driving what appeared to be an International, but it was so horribly mangled that I couldn't be positive. With the crash standards they've implemented in Europe, I'd rather be behind the wheel of a European COE than a typical North American conventional. North American standards are non-existent, literally. Freightliner was the last provider of a class-8 over-the-road COE design in the US market, but stopped offering it a few years ago. They simply weren't selling at a high enough volume to warrant the effort. They still sell them in the Latin American markets, though. I remember the old Peterbilt 372, it was quite an attractive looking design. Well, it was for those who like the "futuristic" look. The only problem was that it seems Roger Penske's racing teams were the biggest customer for the 372. Peterbilt's sales of the type only managed to average just over a dozen a year. Like most advanced concepts in the North American transport industry, it was ignored.
 
Messages
193
Location
Canada
I absolutely HATE working on cab overs. The only cab over model International offers now is the small inner city CF model. They aren't too bad to work on seeing as how they are small and the cab is relatively easy to lift.
 
Messages
572
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Chris142
The cabovers were originally designed/used because 50 years ago many states had restrictions on total truck lenght. Usually around 40 ft total. Using a cabover allowed them 5 extra feet of trailer space.
Exactly. The length restrictions spawned some interesting vehicles (thinking of the "sliding frame" trucks you could shorten up when hooked to a trailer, and stretch back out when driving bobtail. [I knew I had a photo somewhere, the Studebaker based "Trailer Toter"]. http://i47.tinypic.com/1zbf41x.jpg history of this particular type unit; http://www.ameshistoricalsociety.org/exhibits/whattoff4.htm Alex.
 
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Messages
1,417
Location
Alaska
My 05 Unimog U500 camper is almost a cab-over. The cab is easy to tilt with its' built-in hydraulic ram. It rides well w/coil springs and shocks for the cab and air seats. It's toasty warm in the winter in Alaska even with its' enormous (heated) windshield. Most of all the layout allows a 16' camper with only a 154" wheelbase. With a giant Freightliner 379-like hood the camper would be miniscule on that wheelbase. http://www.unicat.net/en/info/TC49compact.html Europe pays $6-8/gal for fuel. Everything about the trucks is designed for economy; Euro IV emission specs are designed so advanced timing controls particulates enough, along with burning residual particulates in the front part of the SCR-urea system. No DPF regens, no EGR. Admittedly Euro IV is less stringent than 07 EPA. If COEs were inherently bad on economy they wouldn't be using them in Europe. Charlie
 
Messages
5,112
Location
Airlie Beach Australia
Hi, COE tractors are the most popular here in Australia in average "Pan" type line haul work. Aerodynamics play a very big role here! Road trains and others with a lessor OAL and max speed requirement use conventionals When Daimler AG took over Freightliner around 1979-80 they married their COE and a bonnet to become a crash conforming Euro design. It met the "swinging and dropped pendulum" and other such crash tests of that era. I was involved in the "marriage" of the two (in Germany) and the "seeding" of the Freightliner FL series by Mercedes Benz into Australian Fleets around 1987. This was a part of their durability testing Modern Euro COEs (MB, MAN, IVECO etc) are very good to drive and safe. I have investigated many truck accidents and I can truely say that seat belt use is a 50/50 matter and so is the result to the driver from an accident in a COE or conventional. That said I would always use a seat belt In Australia most heavy vehicles accidents are simply a rollover or a frontal off road All of my own vehicles were conventionals!
 
Messages
59
Location
San DIego
The only thing i can think of that is more dangerous to work on other than an articulated loader, is a coe semitractor. Have seen and heard of way more injuries due to coe than almost anything else.
 
Messages
8,598
Location
Florida
An automotive teacher told me that one time he had to tilt the cab of a COE to repair the engine. Unfortunately, the driver didn't tell the auto teacher that his wife was asleep in the sleeper cab! When the cab was tilted, his wife fell and hit the windshield. Anyway, I was thinking of another cab over engine... The Japanese vans of the 1980s, and the Toyota Previa. What are your opinions on those?
 
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