Trucks are fitted with different types of cabs for different operations- whether for occasional overnight stopovers, local distribution operation, transporting extra people or intercontinental transport involving weeks away from home.
This is the smallest type of cab on a truck – the sports car of lorry cabs has no room behind the driver’s seat, as it is the smallest it is also the lightest – giving the greatest payload carrying capacity for local distribution. It is called a ‘day’ cab since it is meant solely for daytime operation and not for sleeping in. Today we rarely see day-cabbed tractor units, even if they are used just for local distribution, since they are worth a lot less than a sleeper-cabbed example in the second-hand market. The supermarkets, who were the earlier buyers of day cab tractor units soon cottoned on that buying a day cab tractor unit was false economy and they gained an added benefit of extra driver comfort from opting for a sleeper cab.
The main exception to this is the ‘pet reg’ petrol tanker market, where day cabbed lightweight tractors reign.
A rare beast, a rest cab enables the driver to rearrange the seats in the cab and pull down a platform to use as a bed. Lacking in creature comforts, a driver would not thank you for asking him to sleep in a rest cab on a regular basis.
Behind the driver’s seat there is room for a single bed and extra storage space and curtains are fitted as standard to help the driver to get a good night’s sleep. Not the largest cabs available, the standard sleeper cab is perfectly satisfactory for nights out. Sleeper cabs are usually fitted with an auxiliary heating system that does not draw power from the engine, (a night heater).
The truck manufacturers all have their flagship cabs that are usually high roof with a flat floor that makes moving around easier – no engine tunnel to get in the way. Volvo have their famous Globetrotter cabs – and now even a Globetrotter XL, Scania prefer the Topline, MAN use the XXL brand, DAF likes a Super Space Cab and Mercedes have gone over the top with their Gigaspace and Megaspace naming convention. Iveco uses Active Space and up until recently, Renault Trucks’ top double sleeper with a flat floor has been the Renault Magnum – although this has all changed with the introduction of the Renault T-Range series of cabs. The UK will not be getting the flat floor high roof version in right hand drive any time soon.
With each new truck cab launched, the headroom, storage space and number of gadgets increases. These trucks may not even have two bunks in them, but we use the term double cab to distinguish from the lesser cabs mentioned above. The size of many of the new, Euro 6 range of cabs means that you could probably accommodate a small family there.
Used mainly in the roadside recovery industry, instead of a sleeping area behind the cab, there is an additional row of seats. Usually found on rigid trucks, rare conversions are seen for tractor units for driver training roles. Local councils have use of the crew cabs when taking a team of groundcare workers to a job with all the tools and equipment.