An interesting debate brewing over the ‘long-nosed’ era coming to a close! I would have to join sides with the traditional stylists and say if the ‘long and tall’ era is coming to an end, then so is my career in the trucking industry.
Being around the trucking business ever since I was a child, now 40-plus years of age, I cannot imagine switching over to the ‘slippery aerodynamic’ versions of Class 8 trucks, not for the kind of work we do out here in Alberta and B.C.
The aerodynamic versions may be of some advantage when pulling a van across North America at 80,000 lbs GVW, but not pulling super-train loads of building materials over the Roger’s Pass grossing 63,500 kgs! In my opinion, the advantages of the long hood conventional by far outweigh the disadvantages: Increased air-flow under the hood translates to lower operating temps (especially with the new ‘environmentally-friendly engines’).
Ease of maintenance; any mechanic will choose a clutch job on a long hood over an aerodynamic model in a heartbeat.
As far as fuel efficiency goes, my 98 Kenworth long hood consistently averages 5.8-6 mpg when driven at a reasonable speed, which I think would be tough to better, even with a round truck. We are on a slippery slope in the trucking industry right now: over-regulation has already forced many drivers with years of experience out of out profession. No longer will we have drivers who pride themselves on providing an essential service with a classy looking rig; but rather employees with a unit number instead of a name, just in it for the paycheque.
S.T. Schmidt Transport Olds, Alta.
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