The European semi-trucks are quite different from their American counterparts. More importantly, the engineering of the EU trucks has been entirely above board. European trucks such as Volvo, Mercedes and Scania are more efficient, safer and innovative.
Benefits of European Trucks
The European roads can be quite narrow in dense urban areas and countryside. Fortunately, the form factor of European trucks is smaller and ideal for the roads and the European retail space.
The cabin placement of European trucks such as Mercedes and Scania is above the engine, and that provides for better visibility. Of course, there are fewer blind spots when the driver is sitting on top of the engine, and they have a better 180-degree view of the road. The Arctic trucks can also take on additional mirrors on the cabin doors for better ground-level view.
Well, the design also provides for better maneuverability, especially in tight spaces. They do not have a large nose bonnet that can make it impossible to turn the truck on a smaller axis. The flat-faced trucks are, therefore, safer because the drivers can react quickly to the changing road conditions.
Speaking of safety, the cab-over design protects everyone inside in case of a collision with a lower vehicle. Volvo VN and some of the modern Mercedes arctic trucks have an engine that detaches in case of a crash. This means that other cars are not crashed, but rather, collapsed around. The combination of better visibility, superior maneuverability and cab over design makes the European trucks safer and a better choice.
Additionally, the smaller truck size sets a new standard in fuel efficiency. No doubt the price of fuel in Europe is a bit high, but the cab-over and slimmer design go some distance in countering this shortcoming.