The semi-trailer trucks in Singapore are mostly made by European brands such as Volvo and MAN. However, when we watch movies that are shot in the United States, we can see that their trailer trucks looks slightly different from the ones that we see on our Singaporean roads. An example of a famous American truck from the movies is Optimus Prime from the Transformer series.

Optimus Prime from the first three installments of the Transformer film was a modified Peterbilt 379 that was made by a North American truck manufacturer. North American trailer trucks usually have a long-nose styling also known as Conventional or Normal Control while European trucks are usually flat-nose Cab Over Engine or Forward Control.

Conventional, long-nose styled Trailer Trucks


A model of Optimus Prime Trailer Truck from the Transformer Series which has the signature Long Nose Design

Conventional, long-nose styled semi trailer trucks have their engines and hood over the front axle and the cab just like any road car found today. The benefits of this design are that it offers the driver with a more comfortable driver position and no longer a need to remove the driver’s personal belongings during engine servicing. However, the greatest benefit of a conventional designed trailer truck is most probably the added safety it provides the driver during a collision. With the engine located in front of the driver, much of the collision impact will be taken by the engine thus protecting the driver to a greater degree compared to a Cab Over Engine model.

Cab Over Engine Trailer Trucks


An Example of a Cab Over Engine is the Volvo FH16

Cab Over Engine trailer trucks on the other hand provides the driver with greater maneuverability and control not only because of the design but also the fact the driver doesn’t have to gauge the distance in front of the engine. Other benefits include making a shorter truck which allows for longer trailers and larger capacity due to legal dimensional limits of these heavy vehicles which makes this style a more popular design nowadays. The drawback of Cab Over Engine trucks are that as the cab is located above the engine, during engine maintenance, the cab may be tilted forward to allow for access. This will cause the driver’s personal belongings to fall over which they must remove or attach in place with some adhesive.