Anyone ever drive a cabover?

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Lab work, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. roundhouse

    roundhouse Road Train Member

    Jul 11, 2018
    First truck I ever drove, in CDL school in 1988 was an old Freightliner cabover with no power steering.

    after that I bought my own rig and got a used 1983 9670 with no power steering,and leaf springs
    had one payment left and wrecked it, bought a used 1985 Ford LTL 9000 because the Fords were half price of a Pete or KW and it was neat to have a truck that was different from everyone else.

    sold it a few years later and bought a 89 9700 international with air ride suspension and the set back steer axle, anyone who complains about how cabovers ride has never driven one with the set back steers and air bag rear suspension .

    it rode alot better than a conventional with leaf springs, and not any worse than a conventional with air ride.

    I was doing local work, making up anywhere from 5-15 stops a day,
    I loved the cabover for that, being able to just look out the window and see where the trailer was going, instead of having to open the door and lean out to see around the sleeper

    and it rode great on long trips,

    I never had any issues with the AC in a cabover, in fact when mrs roundhouse rode with me, she always complained about it being too cold.

    and now, all the conventionals are doing what Ford did 40 years ago, making the cab almost as wide as the sleeper for more room inside.

    I quit driving when my son was born, to be home more,
    and its come full circle, my son got a lacrosse scholarship to a snooty expensive private college in NJ, and after a year decided that wasnt for him, he went to tech school and became a certified welder, did that for a while building firetrucks, and against my wishes, went to the state vo/tech school for CDL class and got recruited to work at a company that does heavy haul and oversize loads, some are 265K lbs and 18 wide.
    company requires you to pass a very tight background check, and have a squeaky clean credit, criminal and driving record.
    company uses a fleet of W900-L with 650HP cummins and 18 speeds and replaces them when they get 5 years or 300K on em .
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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  3. roundhouse

    roundhouse Road Train Member

    Jul 11, 2018
  4. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    They had CDL schools then?
    Intothesunset and Bean Jr. Thank this.
  5. roundhouse

    roundhouse Road Train Member

    Jul 11, 2018
    Yes, I was living in Georgia and the state Vo/Tech schools were just starting up the CDL classes,

    I got grandfathered in to the license, by having my boss sign a form saying I had driven a truck and trailer, I was working at a state park and theyhad a F-700 and a backhoe.
    but I couldnt sign on to any company as an owner operator without the class time in a school.

    I dont know about other states, but why anyone spends $8K to attend a private CDL school, when the state Vo/Tech schools are $1600 is a mystery to me.
    Bean Jr. Thanks this.
  6. RedMan50

    RedMan50 Bobtail Member

    Mar 2, 2019
    Yes they had A/X but the heat would radiate up when you shut the engine off
  7. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    After a fashion. IF the doghouse and bunk is insulated as it should be the engine is not a problem in heat. However if you have gaps in the body work joints near the engine, you will catch a little bit of fumes etc. Used to use those screens that fit into a rolled down window to increase the fresh air.

    It depends on the situation.

    Once in a while when it's cold enough your feet are not warmed properly into a headwind and below a certain temp so you learned to stop and walkabout to keep the blood going to the feet.
  8. skellr

    skellr Road Train Member

    Jul 17, 2011
    The Village, Portmeirion
    New conventional trucks have the same problem with the super-hot DPF sitting under the cab. :D
    Bean Jr. and D.Tibbitt Thank this.
  9. Gearjammin' Penguin

    Gearjammin' Penguin "Ride Fast-Truck Safe"

    Feb 18, 2007
    Central AZ
    In the days of the cabover, who the heck ever shut their engine off? APU's were for high-zoot O/O's, so we all just idled and no one much cared.
    Dino soar and Bean Jr. Thank this.
  10. starmac

    starmac Road Train Member

    Apr 11, 2019
    Fairbanks Ak
    It may be that some parts of the country had them and others didn't .
    One member here is retired, but drove for 48 years and went to school, I am a couple of years behind him and I never heard of a truck driving school other than hard knocks back then, I don't much see the use for them even now, I have helped several get their license with no expensive school, in the process of one right now.
  11. REO6205

    REO6205 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    There were a few schools around when I started driving in the 60s. I think Truckmaster was one...I don't remember the others.
    Truck school graduates were like the punch line to a bad joke in those days. Hardly anyone would hire them.
    There was one graduate in the early 70s that was going to sue PIE tank lines because they wouldn't hire him. There was a big flap about it at the time but it didn't go anywhere. The guy didn't get hired either.
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