In October 2005, Swedish truck maker Scania decided to end the production of their conventional trucks and tractors. From that moment on the full focus was on developing and building cabovers, and cabovers only. The market demand for a heavy conventional, already a niche product by then, had become too small to justify the costs.
But no worries for the diehard torpedo fans, Dutch company Vlastuin continued the production when Scania pulled the plug.
The starting point for the aftermarket conversion into a conventional was Scania’s contemporary R-series of cabovers, like the 2007 R500 6×2 tractor above.
Last year I caught this conversion at a truck show, a 2008 Scania 4×2 tractor, owned and built by Vlastuin.
This is a 2000 factory Scania 4-series conventional – obviously the complete cab is the same as used on the cabovers.
Back to this article’s main act. The 500 hp 15.6 liter V8 should keep this big rig rolling just fine. The 2010 Scania 6×2 truck is equipped with a roll-off system and is towing a 1999 GS Meppel drawbar trailer. Both the truck’s tag axle and the trailer’s second axle are liftable. The legal maximum GVM of the whole combination is 50 metric tons.
This Volvo driver demonstrates how a roll-off system pulls the dump bed from the trailer onto the truck. Of course the procedure also works the other way around.
Meanwhile Scania introduced a more square lined new generation of heavy trucks and tractors in the summer of 2016…
…so now Vlastuin also builds a more square lined conventional model of that new generation. Designed from scratch, leaving the factory rolling chassis fully intact. Vlastuin’s demo is a 6×2 tractor with a 730 hp 16.4 liter V8, which is Scania’s most powerful engine. This beast is ready to rumble, by all means.
CC Global: 2011 DAF XT105 6×4 Tractor – Custom-Built By A Dealership
Nice trucks! Sadly they´re scarce here in Germany. Do you know how many Vlastuin build per year?
Have a look here:
In total 53 conventionals like the one in this article, so far 2 New Generation conventionals.
In my opinion the 3 axle version looks better then the one with 2 axles. Fits more with the big cab and hood.
55, astonishing that there are entrepreneurs who spent extra money to have a conventional. But nice!
In the U. S. it is VERY rare to see a cabover, and when you do it is a vintage model. Here, cabovers are limited to “medium” duty trucks, nearly always of Japanese manufacturer. Hino and Isuzu/GMC have almost cornered the market.
Yup the US mfgs dropped cab overs for the same reason the Euro mfgs dropped conventionals, the demand was just too low.
Hino does make a medium conventional that uses what’s obviously an adaptation of a cabover cab. Makes me wonder why they don’t use the Toyota Tundra one.
The biggest factory “conventionals” you can get here are in the light-truck segment, like the Iveco Daily below.
Everything bigger is a cabover, with a handful of Japanese exceptions (as in sales numbers) produced by the same manufacturers that build the heavy trucks. More specifically Mercedes-Benz, MAN, Scania, Volvo, Iveco, Renault and DAF.
Beautiful trucks; thanks for posting. I’m afraid that I must show my ignorance and ask why someone would do a conversion like this. There must be some practical advantage, but I don’t know enough about trucks to figure it out.
The main reason that someone wants such a conversion is to stand out from the crowd, to drive something special.
Practical advantage: see below. Conventionals with a standard roof are lower than their comparable cabover brothers with a similar roof height.
Modern high-end cabovers offer the same level of comfort plus sound- and engine heat proofing as a conventional. Top model cabovers also have a flat floor (the engine doesn’t intrude into the cab), just like a conventional.
I drove one of those T cab 4 series in the UK for a while, back in the late ’90s. The firm I worked for was one of very few that ran them. Our length limits meant that you couldn’t legally use one with a max length trailer, but the firm I worked for used shorty powder tankers so it wasn’t an issue.
It didn’t take long getting used to the big wide bonnet in front of you-remembering not to pull right up to junctions as you would in a cab over- and the flat floor was a novelty at the time. They drew attention like you wouldn’t believe. You just don’t see bonneted trucks here.
I remember being distinctly underwhelmed by the power output as ours were only 400s, and the extra wheelbase of the unit was definitely a liability in some of the tighter drops we delivered to. I had a brand new DAF XF430 next which, to a driver who lived in it all week, was a far superior vehicle.
…”and the extra wheelbase of the unit was definitely a liability in some of the tighter drops we delivered”…
Quite right. There’s a reason for all the cabovers here with their set-back front axle, steering tag- and pusher axles and semi-trailers with multiple steering axles.
Just saying: overall length restrictions weren’t the only reason that the conventional faded away. All in all, short wheelbase cabovers just work better in daily European circumstances. Example below: maneuverability on a farmyard.
I enjoy reading these articles about heavy trucks in Europe. It’s a very interesting contrast with trucking here in Western Canada. Cabovers have disappeared from the industry here, but from what I’m told the European designs are every bit as quiet and comfortable as the conventionals we run here.
My cabover experience is mostly drawn from Freightliners and GMC Astros from ca. 1980 so to me they are noisy, bouncy, badly insulated torture chambers. I’d love to try out something like that Scania.
I’ll bet these conversions are expensive, and I’m not sure I see the purpose but they are a good looking unit.
JUst before Christmas I drove one of the brand new square jawed Scania cabovers. What a machine, it’s like driving a high end car, it’s so smooth, quiet and comfortable. At Tickover you can hardly tell it’s running, just a slight distant rumble. It was automatic, which I’m not keen on, but it’s a decent box, always in the right gear and quick to change. Cabovers here have had independently sprung cabs for years, remotely mounted from the chassis usually on air suspension. I can’t think of a current model truck I wouldn’t be happy to work, noisy boneshakers just don’t get made any more. Volvo, MAN, Mercedes, DAF, Renault and Scania all make great trucks. Ivecos are good to drive as long as you don’t own it. Bits tend to drop off after a year so!
That could work here, if Scania ever decided to enter the us market.
Some of those cabovers remind me of this van pickup truck conversion that I saw last Friday.
It seems the folks in that building have been working on this rig for a little while and it started life as a conventional Dodge fullsize van.
This thing seats 5 and could have carried a full length piece of plywood except for the fact that they opted to make exhaust pipes stick up through the bed(like a big rig)
It is due to be painted in all one color