COE – Cab Over Engine

Now this is a blast from my past. Hauling this fat old broad’s butt straight in the air.


This, boys and girls, is a COE. Aka – Cab over engine, or a cabover.


To get in the engine compartment the cab has to be tipped over.


The working guts of this truck are hidden under the cab.


To gain access to the interior of the cab, steps have been molded and attached to the cab body.


Access is “Vertical”. Grab bars are located to help with the vertical climb. Up and down.


I have found myself on the ground faster than I anticipated a time or two. Don’t get my foot placement correct before I bore my weight on it and….bingo bango I was flat on my back.

Just imagine. A woman grabbing for air like she is climbing a rope. Next second arms pinwheeling in an attempt to fly.

I flew alright. Straight to the ground. Knocked the wind out of my lungs. Scrabbling on my knees and barking like a seal trying to suck in air to fill my lungs. Each barking pull of air vibrated the growing goose egg on the back of my head. I didn’t know which hurt worse. My deflated lungs or the knot on my head.

After gaining a full breath of air in my poor beleaguered lungs I managed to crawl to the front tire of the truck and sit down. Resting my back against the tire and sucking air as if I had run a 25k marathon.

Totally embarrassed, my body chastising me with aching muscles, Joe appeared around the truck quickly with worry etched on his bleached white face.

“Are you alright?” “Do I need to call an ambulance?!” “Is anything broken?” Joe peppered me with one question after another which irritated the fool out of me.

He helped me get up from the ground then proceeded to sharply beat the rocks and dust from my clothing. His sharp swats at the dirt made me wonder if I were getting spanked.

Dang, back to work. Get the trucks hooked up and head out to deliver them. Oh to be able to just lie abed for a day, or a week.

Let me tell you. The climb up and down in that blasted truck over the next four days managed to work all the kinks out of me. Hurt like the devil until it no longer did. Bruised ego and sore body. The best medicine for me at that time was to just keep moving and work through it.

For the first six hours, after my pitiful attempt to fly, Joe made frequent calls to me over the CB asking me questions. “What day is it?” “Count to 10.” “Sing the alphabet song.” After several questions during hour one I would gruffly tell him I was fine before responding to his questions. By the fourth hour I told him to just leave me alone. The sixth hour was spent hollering at him to just shut the f— up.

During the night in the hotel I was wakened from a sound sleep by Joe with a question. “Who is the president?” Sleepily I responded “George Bush”. The next time he woke me up he got clobbered and told to shut up.

Joe is driving a Century Class by Freightliner and pulling a Freightliner Cabover. I’m driving a Kenworth Cabover.



Inside the cab, getting into the sleeper berth requires crawling on hands and knees over the “Dog House”.


The Dog House is an upholstered and padded area that is part of the engine cover of the cab. A right handy spot to put my clean clothes while I wear my scrubs.

Driving a Cabover is an experience like no other. No “nose” sticking out in front.


A clear and uninterrupted view of the road before me.


There will NOT be any attempts to fly on this trip to Colorado. I’ve already regaled you with enough foolishness for one day.

About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

One response to “COE – Cab Over Engine

  • gardenpinks

    Ouch!! Many of the lorries (trucks) over here and in Europe are COE lorries with a snub nose, the main difference between ours and those you are driving/towing is that the steps are all below the door and not some of them offset to the side. Sleek and aerodynamic whereas American lorries (sorry trucks) are very boxy with long snouts that always look so 50s 🙂
    Poor Joe he was only concerned however my ‘f’ words would have started much sooner, as soon as the air was back in my lungs followed by lots more swear words 😀 Hope you don’t take any more shortcuts to the ground whilst driving this vehicle.

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

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