I don't know the exact reasons but I can tell you that a cab looks cooler (my opinion) but rides horribly. Riding directly over the front wheels SUCKS!
Some parts of the US had similar restrictions in the 1960s and 1970s, so cabovers were common in those decades, but quickly lost popularity after length laws were standardized.
its a combination of most things listed above, and also some other factors:
such as the roads being very tight, more like highways instead of interstates like here in the US. the shorter rig lenght of the european model makes it much easier to move around, while in the US the nose is actually much more efficient at high speeds, like on interstates.
COE (cab over engine) trucks used to be the most popular in the US.
In the 40ies and 50ies this made for some really nice looking rigs :
And don't forget the Jeep Forward Control :
Reason you don't see too many cabovers in the US anymore is for two reasons, #1-not as safe as the standard nose truck. #2-fat americans, if you've ever tried to crawl into a cabover, it's almost impossible for fatties. Freightliner came out with a newer cabover design that has steps that swing out from the bottom of the cab (think adjustable wings on an F-14) which made it easier for the driver to get in and out. I've driven cabovers and yes I'm a fatty as well, but I didn't feel safe in it and they ride like ****. With trailors moving more into the 57' range (max is 53' now), you'll likely see a rebirth of the cabover.
I remember seeing on the news a particular crash involving a cabover. The nose of the truck was hanging off of a bridge and tilted forward in the collision. It was basically hanging on it's damaged hinges... Until it let go. The driver had to sit there and watch/feel it happen. I can't imagine the fear of looking down into a deep ravine and having the truck come slowly apart knowing that you're going to die. *shudders*
Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
Its called the CT660 if you want to read more.