I used to see half (third?) cab trucks like this occasionally in the Baltimore area; they always caught my eye. What a logical solution to carrying long pipes and steel beams and such. But obviously the applications were limited, and trucks just got longer to handle these loads. This is a White 3000 COE that was converted to this configuration by Murty Brothers in St. Marys, PA. Lots of steel was hauled in that part of the world. Just don’t hit the brakes too hard.
Does anyone still make these?
Seems like the main application nowadays is for airline catering trucks, as it allows the container to be loaded from the front when it’s in the lowered position.
I used to be fascinated by those half-cab trucks too when I was a kid. Perhaps because they reminded me of the Tonka dump truck and a crane truck and I think several other large metal toys I had. Now, I have no idea of course if the Tonkas were based on actual vehicles, but I definitely thought they were back then.
It seems like most of the custom truck manufacturers that might build one of these have closed down or gotten out the custom chassis business. For example:
Crane Carrier Corporation
Perhaps one of the oilfield truck chassis manufacturers might build one, but one would pay a pretty penny. Probably not worth it, just put the steel on a long trailer and use a standard tractor, which is what I’ve seen lately for delivering steel.
Fontaine still manufactures narrow cabs like the ones above. Being a very niche market, I don’t think that there’s any room for any other narrow cab manufacturer to exist
No idea about the US, but there’s a company near my place that does all kinds of truck chassis and cab modifications, an appropriate example of a modified Scania below.
I don’t know who converted it but in the 80s I used to see a 1950s International conventional around that had the cab narrowed and the front fenders reworked to allow long loads on both sides. As an aside I think offset cabs were used on dump trucks to reduce the risk of cab damage.
IH did a center cab version of the Loadstar in the 60s and maybe into the early 70’s. It included a hatch on the roof so the driver could get in and out of the truck when loaded. One showed up at the Binder Bee 10 or 12 years ago and I’ve seen the factory spec sheet online.
In Toronto, they use first gen Chev Luminas for long loads.
Truth is stranger than fiction – so these people break on to a property to steal “bulk steel” – and they only have a Chevy Lumina to haul the stuff away??
In other news, are there really 30-year-old Luminas in Ontario that haven’t rusted to pieces?
Lol. Recall, the immaculate Lumina in Ottawa, I posted here last Fall. Unfortunately, that one had crashed. No idea if the owner chose to repair it.
Yes, I remember that! Must be mandatory for every red Lumina survivor to make a new headline.
Terminal tractors! Not so much for long loads, but instead for efficiency in arranging and moving cargo containers. There is a door out the back for hitching/unhitching.
There is also an agricultural version, with forklift tines out the back for moving around large agricultural bins. One can see them moving up and down the highways, unloaded, in California’s Central Valley.
Most of these terminal tractors are strictly off-highway, but some of them do turn up out on the road, one way or another. Ottawa is the major brand, from Ottawa, Kansas.
Someone makes wharf tractor units I forget the brand but they dont go on public roads, If you need something like this there will be someone who will cut the cab down for you, its a while since Ive seen a half cab.
These are common as oil drilling rigs.
Lol! I thought just us crazy Americans pulled stuff like that.
While not exactly the same truck many warehouse, distribution centers, delivery terminals etcetera use these Yard Jockey Tractors.
Also the first ten results of a Google Images search were all for BEV’s. That’s never happened with any other vehicle I Google searched for in 20+ years.
There were some really strange versions of the White 3000, the aircraft refuelers were particularly bizarre. I think White sold 3000’s without the cab for suce specialty trucks. I remember seeing a half-cab version of the larger Isuzu/GM truck, maybe Monroe equipment did it?
Is gradall still making them? They were kinda common in the 70s with screamin jimmies
Can’t find pic on the net but I remember seeing International trucks with a centered narrow cab big enough for the driver, with an escape hatch in the roof. I think they delivered for Ducommun Steel. Girl I knew called them “pinhead trucks.”
I know where one is, or at least was, I last saw it about 5 years ago in rural Santa Cruz county in California.
I used to see them when I was a kid, they had an escape hatch in the top of the cab in case of an accident with both sides loaded.
It would make a great rat rod.
You are correct. This one has been converted to a tanker though.
2nd attempt at attaching a pic.
My dad worked for Ducommun. They did have IH Loadstars with one-man cabs, those were actually ‘factory’ trucks. IH offered one man cabs on both the Loadstar and R series. Ducommun also had GMC tilt-cabs that were converted to half-cabs. Very handy for carrying long pieces of stock and pre-fabbed structures.
I remember those “pin head” IH’s hauling steel around here.
When I was a kid I used to ride with my truck driver father. There were dozens of freight outfits back in the early 60’s. The big outfits had their yard jockey tractors shuffling around the trailers.