The long-nose tractor has been dead for a long time. It just won’t fall over. If there was an offering of a COE like a Freightliner Argosy or the last Internationals, they might be adopted a bit more by the long-nose freedom trucker crowd.
These are the people that should recognize that a more versatile (we pull tanks, vans and long overdimensional loads and trains) unit that is very similar to a Class A motor home (what truck driver doesn’t want one?) would be more valuable to them as they could go to any job from hauling bananas to bridge beams and then be re-sold into vocational service, instead of joining the thousands of big sleeper conventionals that are almost impossible to get rid of. But then if you spend all your time looking in the mirror, practical money-making decisions go out the window. Think what some of these people pay out in additional ferry charges purchased on a footage basis per year just to look “cool.”
Try hauling 24-metre pipe and fit provincial regs without having to use an escort vehicle. If you do enough of this work you can buy a new truck two years sooner, but then who cares when looks matter most?
As a fleet owner, we have built our fleet and made 10 or 15% more net money consistently because our Super-B trailers are 30-32 which are pulled comfortably by a 210-inch wheelbase, 100-inch BBC cabover, that also pulls various lowbed combinations without pilot cars and also moves bridge beams or long steel with long front projection. It is very frustrating to not be able to purchase the same trucks in North America that the Australians can get and use effectively there.
Many of the owner/operator bling types could also use the revenue generated by drome decks or boxes that a longer cabover would allow. But then I guess it’s not about money when you can’t recognize that speed limiters have a considerable impact on safety and efficiency.
I dare any of the long-nose crowd to test drive a late model Argosy and enjoy the view and the ride. They’re not your grandfather’s cabover anymore. With an automated transmission and a back-up camera you can’t tell that you’re not already driving that 40-foot diesel pusher that is first on the bucket list.
This debate will go on for a while I’m sure, but I know what I want to buy to be profitable and versatile.
Fort St. John, B.C. Via e-mail
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