Tractors, Class 7 And 8, Never Seen (or Hardly Ever Seen) In America Anymore By Me.

Topic 26392 | Page 1

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Donald B.'s Comment
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-Ford -Chevrolet -GMC General -cab-over -classic-style conventional tractors as made by Peterbuilt, Kenworth and Western Star pulling trailers for major freight carriers as Swift, Prime, Hunt, Schneider, etc.: "classic-model" tractors are mostly seen by me in logging, construction and in the hands of owner-operators these days

The American highway is now dominated by geeky aero-looking things. The Fonz on Happy Days might say a new Cascadia looks totally uncool. It's a neat treat to my eyes to see a more classic-looking truck sometimes. Modern (21st century) vehicles be it cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles and trains are seldom candidates for blue ribbons or gold medals in the styling department. I guess in 2019, a vehicle has to necessary look "uncool" and devoid of individual personality to be economically sensible.

Do any drivers here still have a soft spot in their hearts for the old-school-style trucks? I'm an Elvis man and not a Justin Beeber man. There was a time when drivers took personal pride in the rigs they drove based upon style and often speed. The bragging rights for drivers these days must be in regards to how much money a year they can net at this craft. Where does your pride lie as a driver?

Turtle's Comment
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In an increasingly competitive market, style simply does not pay the bills. Functionality trumps form.

I'm a practical man. Shiny objects don't do it for me, and I've never felt the need to have them in order to impress others. To me, a tool is nothing more than a tool to help me get the job done.

Don't get me a wrong. I like to looks of a long-nose Pete as much as the next guy. But at the end of the day those looks do nothing for me.

Where does your pride lie as a driver?

Being the most efficient, productive, and profitable driver I can be, every day. Getting it done.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Michael B.'s Comment
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As a company driver my pride is in my bank account size. I also like to see the old trucks still rolling though I wouldnt want to be rolling in one. Like Turtle said, functionality trumps form. Since I live in my truck comfort means more than "cool" to me and as mentioned, cool to me is comfort and a big bank account.

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
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Personally I like the looks of the new trucks, especially the Mack. I spoke to a owner open who owned a flat nose Pete he said he averaged in the 5 mpg range I am usually around 8 mpg in a 2018-2020 truck. Sure his truck looked nice but it just isnt practical for any company to run.

I still see plenty of heavily customized new trucks and even company trucks with hundreds of thousands of miles that look show room new if that doesn't show pride I do not know what does.

Personally I do not care what I drive they all pay me the same.

G-Town's Comment
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Donald...offers an "outsiders perspective":

The definition of cool and the reference to the Fonz is appropriate. In the 50's and 60's trailers were 38-40' in length, not the 53' wagons we pull around and back into tight spaces today. Overall "legal" weight was also less. Fuel was less than a dollar per gallon back then. Considering most of the larger TL and LTL carriers operate on razor thin profit margins of about 3-4%, they look for every advantage possible, as follows (and not comprehensive) here is a list of what the newer stuff is all about:

- lighter, increases payload capacity and fuel efficiency

- aerodynamic, increases fuel efficiency

- fleet standardization, easier to maintain and able to volume purchase wear parts

- creature comforts, many of the trucks you mentioned, especially cab-overs offered very little space in the sleeper bunk. You could not stand-up in any of them and were required to either hunch over or crawl around on all 4s to move. Even the LWs allow for an average sized person to stand-up and stretch.

- drive-ability, the "geeky" looking trucks you mocked are far easier to drive, offering a quieter, smoother ride. Not to mention backing a long-nosed Pete 359 with a 53' trailer into some of the spots I deal with running Walmart.

- electronics, increases in safety and efficiency with the features found on newer trucks.

For me...what I enjoy looking at (eye candy) is definitely NOT my preference for everyday driving. Just look at my profile picture gallery and you'll see where my heart lies, but my brain overrides aesthetics and gingerbread when it comes to everyday driving.

There was a time when drivers took personal pride in the rigs they drove based upon style and often speed. The bragging rights for drivers these days must be in regards to how much money a year they can net at this craft. Where does your pride lie as a driver?

Trying to figure out how you know this...and the assumption that same type of pride doesn't exist now???

My first response to the above, carefully read Turtle's reply. He definitely represents my thoughts on your post. Like him, I take pride in driving professionally; safely, with common courtesy and efficiency. I keep my truck clean inside and out.

And speed? NO. Doesn't belong in any discussion about safe driving.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
Donald B.'s Comment
member avatar

In an increasingly competitive market, style simply does not pay the bills. Functionality trumps form.

I'm a practical man. Shiny objects don't do it for me, and I've never felt the need to have them in order to impress others. To me, a tool is nothing more than a tool to help me get the job done.

Don't get me a wrong. I like to looks of a long-nose Pete as much as the next guy. But at the end of the day those looks do nothing for me.

double-quotes-start.png

Where does your pride lie as a driver?

double-quotes-end.png

Being the most efficient, productive, and profitable driver I can be, every day. Getting it done.

If I were to drive, I would take pride in doing things by the book to the best of my ability, doing things safely and in earning good money. New classic-look tractors are still offered by PACCAR with comfy sleeper births for whomever wants one and for whomever can afford one. I've been told that cab-overs were once preferred in the city for tight maneuvers and I would never expect them for long haul usage anyway. Turtle, yes, I'm aware that the most practical things in life aren't always the most stylish. A Roman red 59 Corvette is sweet but virtually worthless. I'm sure the aero-rigs of nowadays make the most "dollars and cents", the most "safety sense" and the most environmental "green" sense. People, after all, use to criticize those stylish Harley-Davidsons for being mechanically crude. That all being said, my heart just palpitates whenever I see an older or classic-model chromed Pete or KW long hood in sweet paint as in my avatar! I just wish Kenworth would put chrome KENWORTH badges on the sides of their aero-tractors' noses (or at least on the outsides of the doors if the stubby aero noses have no room) as they do on their long-hood square-grille gas-guzzling classics but I won't hold my breath until they do.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Seabee-J's Comment
member avatar

I feel the same way Donald , I believe we all know about practicality and dollars sense and bank accounts but if we are just talking style then I agree that today's rigs dont compare to the generations before . I was always a fan of the beefier and meaner looking rigs like a 60 Pete 281 or R model Mack myself . My pops drove an silver and blue 85 Marmon conventional and it was a beaut . I've always been a truck buff since childhood and even loved the day cab Autocars they made in the 70s . In the buisness yea you see less and less for the aforementioned reasons but at a truck shows it's a different story . The cabovers were really cool imo and had a lot of advantages. I've driven them overseas as that's all they run in Korea but here in the US once they eased up the length restrictions in the 80s people went more to conventional again as it's a more comfortable ride . They called them Kidney Crushers for reason plus if your in an accident your first on the scene . I do like the better visibility and maneuvering imo though . Got to get your fix at truck shows for them as most large carriers change over the trucks every few years so it's really only O/O or really small outfits running thr older stuff .

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

PackRat's Comment
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The KW T680 does have a badge on each side of the hood. Has been there for several years.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar
I've been told that cab-overs were once preferred in the city for tight maneuvers and I would never expect them for long haul usage anyway.

Cab-overs existed to allow for longer trailers and still stay within the overall length restrictions imposed at many a state level...those restrictions have long since changed. And they were used exclusively well into the early 90s for long haul trucking, especially for coast-to-coast LTL Team driving. Those are the facts.

So...you broached the subject of O/O...

You should read this link before continuing to salivate at the reality of owning a Large Car...Confessions of an Owner Operator

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

It's true, the aerodynamic design of the long nose beats the flat front of a cab-over. Experiment: roll down the window, hold your hand palm to the front and feel the wind pushing back against your hand. Now turn your hand flat, and the pressure goes away. That translates to MPG for a truck tractor. Fleets will always opt for MPG over cab design coolness. Maybe they can make a cool paint pattern for all their trucks.

Also, the cab-over is more cramped for the driver. And, when the shop needs to service your engine, do you want all your stuff falling forward to the dashboard when they tilt the cab forward?

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