Cab over tractors

what happened and why I don’t see cabover tractors on the road anymore?

The old length restrictions were lifted.

All of the cabovers I have seen in recent years are day cabs. Sleeper cabs are becoming increasingly popular, and practical, so you are seeing many more sleeper cabs, which are typically “long nose” tractors.

Maybe truckers bought into the ads for REO tractors and gave up their White cab-over-engine tractors. Do any of you remember these REO truck ads from the 1950’s?

Bed bumpy?
Oatmeal lumpy?
Wife grumpy?
Climb into your REO and relax.


Engine slow?
Earning power low?
Tain’t your friend but your foe?
Trade it in for a REO.

A bit of aerodynamics involved too.

Maybe there is more space to maneuver these days. It doesn’t seem so. Maybe those rigs would jackknife more often. Nothing worse than folding a big rig, except for what usually happens half a second later.

Cabovers were only bought to comply with restrictive weight laws, They rode harder handled worse and cost more. No one liked them but there were many sleeper cabovers. The Federal Government finally changed the law so that the length restrictions were only on the trailer(s).

Several factors added up to this.

  1. length restrictions eased up
  2. cabovers did not have as nice a ride as convertionals
  3. you certainly could not rest in the sleeper while somebody was servicing the engine
  4. husband and wife teams got popular and it gets difficult for older folks to climb up the side of a COE
  5. aerodynamics

Asked and answered.