And while it’s true more driver “creature comforts” can be added to a conventional medium-duty model because of the larger cab, he says the operational benefits to driving a smaller yet more maneuverable cabover platform offers a type of comfort factor as well.
“The higher visibility and greater maneuverability of a cabover definitely help less-skilled drivers, as they can see the road better and often operate the vehicle with greater ease,” Perry notes.
You’ve also got to deal with the knowledge base of today’s younger drivers, he points out, as many simply don’t enter the workforce with the truck experience of the previous generation of drivers.
Still, FTR’s Starks emphasizes an important distinction when it comes to comparing the U.S. and European truck markets—a distinction that really explains why the cabover will remain, at least for now, a niche configuration on this side of the pond.
“The U.S. transportation system is designed for the conventional model; the European for the cabover,” he says. “Europe is just far more urbanized and densely packed, with city streets far more narrow compared to U.S. metropolitan locations. That’s really the heart of it when comparing and contrasting conventional and cabover medium-duty models in this country.”