Why do European trucks have their engine below the driver compared to US trucks which have the engine in front of the driver?
So if you are fond of comparing things like trucks according to countries, let’s say American trucks vs European trucks. Then one thing should have striked your mind. The European trucks have their engine below the driver compared to US trucks which have the engine in front of the driver.
Here’s the reason why. The length of European trucks is limited as a whole. To maximise load capacity, the engine is under the cab to save 2 metres of length. America did have cabovers, but as there are less restrictions of the cab in America, the conventional won over.
Also in Europe a truck (HGV) is likely to board ferries at some point in its life, where maximising space is key to reducing costs. In the US it’s unlikely a truck would ever be on a ferry.
Mostly it’s due to the way countries regulate how long a truck can be.
In Europe it is usually the entire length of the truck and trailer and in the US it is just the trailer.
Since you want to maximize cargo space and make the trailers as long as possible, they usually shorten the truck in Europe by putting the engines underneath the cab.
This may sound like a stupid regulation until you have seen just how small and narrow and devoid of space cities in Europe can be. Every centimeter counts.