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Just on a few other points I read here: I've driven euro coe's on many occasions, my brother back home owns a fleet of Scanias, mercs, and volvos and they drive Alot smoother and quieter than trucks here, build quality is also better because they have higher weight limits and can afford to be heavier. As for safety they are very safe! Cabs are designed to slide back on the chassis in event of a head on, they have disc brakes with ebs and can stop as fast as any 4 wheeler even when fully loaded, retarders (auxiliary brakes ) are common there too, they are much more effective than jakes , Gearboxes are so easy to use, their autos work smooth and manuals are syncros ( like a car )
I'm trying to hustle my local volvo dealer into importing me a Volvo Coe but the laws here in Canada are preventing me from doing that, I'd really love a scania with a v8 engine but I've yet to see a scania garage here, the power and sound of those are awesome ! I'd take a euro truck any day, they are years ahead , although my old pete has advantages like being cheap to repair, but euros break less
As this thread was brought "back from the dead" earlier today, I thought it might be interesting to shed some light on the reasons for the dominance of COE trucks in Europe. I will focus on the development in (West) Germany primarily as I know the most about it and as it had effects on other European countries as well as Germany is a major truck manufacturer, a big truck market and also very important as a transit country.
Before and after the second world war conventional trucks with one - in some cases even two - trailer(s) were almost exclusively used for long haul and heavy goods transports. Pictured is a Büssing 8000 S from ca. 1952. One of the most famous trucks of this time and also a personal favourite of mine, as my grandfather was an apprentice in their factory.
Beginning with January 1st 1958 severe restrictions of length, weight and minimum requirements for power came into effect ("Seebohm laws"). The German minister of Transport wanted to strengthen the state owned railways by this. Truck builders and transportation companies were heavily hit by this. The truck building companies struggled to offer trucks that fullfilled these requirements on time and they found some pretty unique solutions like the Mercedes LP 333 pictured below which has two axles up front and was therefore called "centipede".
These first COE trucks had all the disadvantages described in some other post above. They were loud, small, hot and a nightmare to work on.
Büssing solved at least some of these problems by putting the engine below the loading area "Unterflur". Pictured is a later BS 16 truck.
--- will continue in the next post in a moment ---
Due to the severe disadvantages of the COE trucks of this time most truck manufacturers developed some kind of compromise, the so called short-hooded trucks, where the engine is only partly in the cab area.
Particularly the Mercedes and MAN variations were very successful.
These trucks were commonly used in areas were the slight additional lenght was no disadvantage as - mostly due to heavy loads - the volume of a bigger truck was not to be used anyway. Most noteable was probably the use in the construction business and in emergency vehicles.
These were also the areas were these trucks could still be found quite frequently until maybe 10-15 years ago (together with the Magirus/Iveco one pictured below).
The lenght and weight restrictions were lightened a bit in the early 60s due to adjustment to European Economic Community regulations, but that did not offer the conventional trucks a chance for a comeback.
As the COE trucks became better and more refined they slowly also replaced the last short-hood trucks and are now the norm here. Pictured is the current top MAN truck, the 680hp version of the TGX.
However now and then there are still European trucks with a hood. The most noteable examples still in production would probably the short-hood Mercedes Vario light truck...
...and the new off-road Mercedes Zetros.