Contemplating classic cabovers at MATS 2018

The cabover may be a design consigned largely to history, but we found it alive and well at Mid America this year.

The 1970s were the heyday of the “cab-over-engine” or “cabover” or “COE” highway tractor model, largely due to strict “length laws” at that time.

But when those laws were repealed, the “conventional” style cab – with the engine out in front of the driver, instead of under them – became the dominant style.

One of the reasons is the Federal Bridge Formula encourages “spreading out the load” among widely-spaced axles. And if axle distances are too tight, the maximum load allowance is reduced.

Thus COE’s found themselves at a distinct design disadvantage and thus gradually faded from popularity among trucking companies. 

For that reason, American Trucker didn't pass up the chance to relive the glory days of the COE by strolling along the halls and parking lots of the annual Mid America Trucking Show.

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