Why did COE trucks go out of favor?

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Posted · Report post

I never see them on the road anymore.

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Posted · Report post

DOT changed length rules, conventional tractors are a lot safer for the driver

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Posted · Report post

I can see where they would be safer.

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Posted · Report post

A lot better ride in a conventional as well as your not sitting right above the front wheels.

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Posted · Report post

I remember hearing somewhere the trucking companies were getting tired of all the driver injuries from falls climbing in and out of cabovers

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Posted · Report post

It's just physics. A longer wheel base will give you a smoother ride than a shorter wheel base.

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Posted · Report post

i see a few coe trucks around here in mid missouri...mainly newer ones(92 an up or so)

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Posted · Report post

So then why did cabovers ever become popular in the first place?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

So then why did cabovers ever become popular in the first place?

Many reasons, here is a pros answer, These guys tell you what happened...COEs came in cause you could pull a long trailer legally, and you were a fly up front! $$$$$

Driver comfort, driver comfort and driver comfort are the top three reasons cab overs went away. Although the owners of the cabovers that are left out there will tell you their trucks are plenty comfortable enough.Now a days you have big comfy trucks where you just stand up and walk to the sleeper. No more crawling through a little hole to get in the bed. You can get a big truck with anything you want in the sleeper including the kitchen sink. Longer trucks generally ride better too. If you drop a steering tire into a hole in a cabover, you better be strapped in and holding on.

Cost verses comfort is another reason. The big truck makers, in their attempt to make cabovers more comfortable, had to raise the price to almost what it cost for a conventional truck and people just quit buying them. Today there isn't a major big truck manufacturer left in the United States that makes a cabover.

FYI: In most states a 53' trailer is the longest trailer legal on the road, without special permits. Any stock conventional tractor can pull a 53' trailer legally in any state in the country except some places in Vermont.

Source(s):

I own and drive a 1993 cabover. It is a hell of a lot easier to get around in, but I gotta admit, Ive been in some pretty comfy trucks in comparison.
I've driven both, COE & conventional. The trucks I was trained on &first drove in 1990 was a COE & have driven the old International Schneider rigs with the large doghouse to climb over to do anything in the rig to the new flat floor International's & Freightliner's.

Then I left trucking for a couple of years & when I got back into a truck, it was a conventional & I never went back to a COE.

Most of the reason is from what the poster above stated. For my personal reason why I never went back & even when I did drive one is safety. There is NOTHING in front of you to keep what is about to hit you from hitting YOU. In a conventional, you've got the engine, 2 I-beam rails that the object hitting you has to go through before it gets to you.

Yea, I've been in docks in NYC, Pittsburgh & the like with the COE & thought how sweet it was to have the maneuverability to get into those tight docks, then again in a conventional. Even though I sometimes wished I had a COE, I wouldn't go back to one.

Source(s):

15 yrs Law Enforcement

10 yrs Professional Truck Driver/Driver Trainer/Owner-Operator

Edited by G Holding

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Posted (edited) · Report post

So then why did cabovers ever become popular in the first place?

Cabovers were only popular because you could pull a longer trailer with out exceding the length limit. That went away when they changed the length limit, due to driver safety. Then they could get a 53' trailer behind a conventional tractor.

Edited by uncle potts

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for all the info everyone.

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Posted · Report post

Outsider question here:

Did the late 60s early 70s petroleum crisis had its role making COEs even more popular than conventionals. I mean that there were already conventionals before but is it just the trailer leght enough to make the industry to invest that money to change from conventionals to COEs and later back from COEs to conventionals?

I personaly am a big fun of conventionals, I like em cause they are 1000 times better looking and luxury and safer than COEs and also because I can't see them around here. Near me here in Athens there are only 2 SCANIA T series (conventionals) both of them haulin tankers wich are sorter than all the other EU trailers and I like them too but still these are with too sort hood.

COEs are beautiful in a way, European makers made miracles over the years about safety, luxury and design. Old US COEs are beautiful also and I feel lucky inough to see them on most of those 70s & 80s movies...

Kostas.

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Posted · Report post

Although it's pretty obvious that conventionals are the way to go these days, I do like what the Europeans have done with the cabovers, there...My favorites include the Scania R500's and the Man TG tractors...

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Posted · Report post

The Surface Transportation Assistance Act of about 1982 changed the market almost overnight. Prior to the STAA, state regulations limited the overall length of the combination tractor and trailer - shorter cab equals more trailer. New federal regulations went into effect for vehicles operated on Interstate Highways, connecting roads, and roads built with federal money - the STAA requirements only restricted the lengh of the trailer. Of course there were many other details and exceptions in the regulations. It instantly made the conventional more popular when the length of the tractor was no longer a factor in the size and weight requirements.

yeah, that's kind of dry, but it's late and it takes at least two cups of coffee to get through the regulations...

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Posted · Report post

In a COE you're basically the hood ornament. I can see the safety factor.

They're still popular in Europe and Japan.

I've noticed one thing especially on the Japanese trucks. They have guard rails or nerf bars along the side,I guess to keep cars and motorcycles from getting under the rig in an accident. Why don't they do that here?

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Posted · Report post

In South Africa COE are still the most popular trucks to be the legal length for pulling interlink trailers.

p45-01_zpsdef59a48.jpg

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Posted · Report post

they were more manuverable in inner-city driving as well; there was a time when long haul trucks had to transfer their loads to shorter inner city trucks to avoid creating gridlocked traffic in town... of course, these trucks weren't used out on the open highways as much.

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Posted · Report post

I can see where they would be safer.

I don't either other that entering and exiting the cab! :lol:

Actually not funny because that is what took my back out. Slipping of the step and compressing my spine. :(

I loved the old kidney busters myself and preferred them to a conventional. Just a matter of preference.

But I can remember all the youg drivers saying "I want to drive a hood" and the companies listened as the ones that wre running conventional tractors attracted more applicants!

When I was instructing truck driver training at the college almost every student was asking "which companies have hoods/conventionals? That is who I want to test for".

I know the fleet mechanics like the coventionals better! :lol:

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Posted · Report post

There's a possibility that COEs might make a comeback. All depends on how Walmart's pilot program pans out, I guess.

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Posted · Report post

That'd be the one.

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