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Don’t count out long-nose conventionals just yet

It appears as though Jim Hebe has stirred things up yet again. Mr. Hebe is a well-known exec over at Navistar who reported recently that long-nosed Class 8s are losing market share. He is correct, mar...




It appears as though Jim Hebe has stirred things up yet again. Mr. Hebe is a well-known exec over at Navistar who reported recently that long-nosed Class 8s are losing market share. He is correct, market share for these beautiful beasts is on a constant decline, but that doesn’t mean you’ll stop seeing them anytime soon.

You see, owners of these machines are a passionate lot. They eat, drink and sleep long-nose and to even suggest changing to a more environmentally-friendly truck would, at the very least, result in a long-winded heated debate (a debate that will probably go on for years).

I, for one, love to see these rigs rolling down the road. You just know the person behind the wheel is a trucker in the purest sense. I suppose it’s something that I absorbed at a very young age. In those days, as I’d watch our old RCA, it seemed that whenever Hollywood needed a truck, they’d feature a long-nose driven by a John Wayne-type guy. (Sorry ladies, there weren’t any Mrs. John Wayne-type girls driving way back when).

Bragging rights may have a lot to do with why someone runs a longnose. I’d think there’d be very few who would deny the beauty of a washed and waxed traditional-style tractor. Sure, they may drink more diesel than others but their owners know this going in.

They argue that there are many factors that contribute to fuel efficiency, and just because it’s a longnose conventional doesn’t mean it’s not fuel-efficient.

One could compare this debate to the classic muscle cars of the 70s. They were all the rage back in the day, but slowly lost market share as gas prices ramped up (remember 39 cents a gallon? Me neither, but it did exist). Anyway, 40 years later they are back and a growing segment of the new car market.

I love the new Camero, great lines and it goes like stink. It’s a perfect example of why the classics, despite what some perceive as ancient technology can survive and prosper when fueled by the passion of their owners.

The long-nose conventional will survive as long as the passion remains.

I’m betting that the majority of future long-nose owners will be the sons and daughters of today’s longnose owners. It gets in your blood, or so I’ve been told.

-Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and can be reached at 416-510-5123.


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