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Comparing Cabovers With Conventional Tractors


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Knowing that there are people here that prefer one over the other, i was wondering what the advantages were of one format over the other. In the US, heavy tractors are almost exclusively conventional trucks, which implies that there must be downsides to cabovers that override their benefits. If you have driven cabovers, but prefer conventionals, what don't you like about the cabovers?

I am not interested in starting an argument, just wondering what informed opinion was. Thanx.

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Knowing that there are people here that prefer one over the other, i was wondering what the advantages were of one format over the other. In the US, heavy tractors are almost exclusively conventional trucks, which implies that there must be downsides to cabovers that override their benefits. If you have driven cabovers, but prefer conventionals, what don't you like about the cabovers?

I am not interested in starting an argument, just wondering what informed opinion was. Thanx.

Personally I prefer a cabover and owned four (1-H67 and 3-MH612) but I have never owned a conventional. I like the COE look, better forward visibility, and shorter turning radius. Downsides: COE tends to ride rougher, harder to get into (getting out is easy - just fall out), less room in the cab, have to tilt cab to work on the engine, and not as good fuel economy. My next truck (toy) will likely be a conventional.

Ken

HOF City, PRR Country, and Charter member of the "Mack Pack"

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Personally I prefer a cabover and owned four (1-H67 and 3-MH612) but I have never owned a conventional. I like the COE look, better forward visibility, and shorter turning radius. Downsides: COE tends to ride rougher, harder to get into (getting out is easy - just fall out), less room in the cab, have to tilt cab to work on the engine, and not as good fuel economy. My next truck (toy) will likely be a conventional.

Hello, down here at the bottom of the world cab overs are used to pull B doubles, they have a better turning circle and easier to reverse with a B double, B triple or backing up to a third trailer on a triple road train, they are quicker at chasing the two trailers and dolly. how ever they are bumpy and have a rough ride. for some unknown reason most ab overs down here are aerodynes, you see more of these than any other, I prefer the 110 argosy my self, plenty of room and no need to be a monkey to get in the thing! plus they have a flat floor unlike the Kennys.

Grant

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Having lived in one for almost a month during the winter of '77 I can say that one benefit of a cabover is that the sleeper floor is kept warm by the engine heat (we were allowed to idle overnite back then)but climbing over the doghouse to get in the bunk could be a pain when you're fully dressed. Maneuverability and visibility were great, but the ride isn't as good as a conventional. I liked the wraparound dash. Mike

Is it just me or did those buffalo wings taste like chicken?

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I have owned/driven both, they each have their good and bad points. cabovers are notoriously hard riding, very little room/creature comforts not always the best access to everyday things re: checking oil,water etc. pain in the ass to jack-up the cab most times! you dont want to leave ANYTHING loose in the cab when its time for service! or could be goodbye windshield! themos bottle,TV etc. takes some practice to learn to get dressed/undressed while lying down too! generally no access to the luggage compartment from inside the cab,very little storage space. but, there are times even now when i get in a tight spot i sure miss my cabovers manueverability!................Mark

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Mack Truck literate. Computer illiterate.

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As a fleet slipseat driver I have driven both and find good things about both.The first few orders of MH cabovers @UPS didnt have power steering or cruise control. The last bunch did have both and the steering was so quick that it would scare the hell ot of you at times. I loved the big doghouse. It was a bed ready at anytime even in a daycab.I still miss the extra room for the radiobox and extra stuff you might need.

The conventional cab stays cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Just not as much area to ventilate I guess.When your supervisor rides with you it feels cramped with that blasted computer right in the middle with a small "table " in between the seats too.Most of the drivers prefer a Mack to most anything else.we havent seen any new Macks in Lexington for a about 5or more years now.Other locations have gotten some.

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Well, it depends...

With a day cab, even a conventional can be pretty manueverable, so the cabover doesn't have much advantage there. But for inner city driving where manueverability and visibility are everything, you can't beat a Mack MR... I still miss the ones I drove at the Postal Service. With a sleeper though, and especially a long one, manueverability really suffers. Here a cabover shines- even with a long sleeper a cabover can be very manueverable.

As for "unofficial" overnight accomodations, the cabover wins hands down- I still haven't found a conventional I can comfortably sleep across the cab of. The old pre-Mercedes Freightliners seemed to be designed to be slept in, with a couple inch thick upholstery cushion on the doghouse. I'm amazed that none of the manufacturers have had the wisdom to provide something similar, with a cushion between the seats and a good wide cab to stretch out across.

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