The 5 Best Semi Trucks of All Times — A Trip Down Memory Lane

1986 R Model Mack

The 5 best semi trucks ever?

Now that’s a tall order!

I’ve driven many trucks in my 40+ years of my professional driving career. Some I loved. Some I hated with a passion!

To choose the top 5 big rigs of all time, I considered

  • The way they handled
  • The appearance
  • The ride
  • How efficient they were at doing their job
1984 Black Cabover Truck

5 of the Best Semi Trucks

International Transtar II Cabover

1980 International Transtar Eagle Cabover

One of the best big rigs ever to hit the road, was one of my favourite trucks was a very common truck in the ’70’s era, the International Cabover Transtar II.

The truck I drove was powered by a 318 Detroit engine.

It was a 13 speed. I think that truck used as much oil as it did diesel fuel! It was pretty loud in the cab, but wow did that truck do a great job!

This cabover was a good solid truck with a short wheelbase and could take a nice, tight turn.

It had a lot of windshield too!
As far as cabovers go, it was fairly easy to work on.

It did it’s job and did it well!

These cabovers were a very popular truck. International sold thousands of them.

They were a good alternative for those truckers who didn’t want to pay the big bucks for the fancier trucks like the Kenworth or Peterbilt long nose trucks.

Related > The Only Old School Cabover Truck Guide You’ll Ever Need

R Model Mack Truck
1986 R Model Mack

I drove an R Model Mack for awhile years ago.

It was a good hard working truck.

Most truck fans liked the B-Model Mack. Yes, they were a good truck, but I personally thought the B-Models had a pretty rough ride!

That’s one of the big reasons I like the R-Model. Not only did it have a nice ride, but it was a tighter truck than the B-Model. The technology had progressed and Mack created a better riding truck in the R-Model.

The Mack I drove had a 5 and a 3 with a 300 _____engine and a Maxi Dyne, which was Mack’s version of the Jake Brake.

But that old truck was super reliable! It could be -35C and that thing would just fire right up in the mornings!

It was a very reliable truck, easy to work. I never had any mechanical issues with it and of course being a Mack, it got the job done

At the time I was pulling B trains in the Rocky Mountains. She was a little slow going up those big hills, but it never ever let me down.

Related > Our Old Mack Truck Collection You Shouldn’t Miss! 

Kenworth W900A

1980 Kenworth W900A

One of my personal all-time favourite trucks was the W900A Model Kenworth. I’d always wanted to own one.

Love this model with that long hood out front! Such a beautiful truck. It had exceptional styling for a conventional truck in it’s day. Loved the double bunk, the flat top look.

I drove a W900A at one of my first truck driving jobs in 1979. It was a nice quiet truck, with a nice interior.

There was one thing I didn’t like about it. It had a terrible turning radius! I needed a football thing to turn that thing around!

All things considered, I thought the KW W900A was one of the best looking trucks ever made.

Related > The Kenworth W900A Model Review + Gallery 

 Kenworth Cabover K100

Old School Old School Kenworth K100 Cabover Red White Truck K100 Cabover Red White Truck

Believe it or not, one of my favourite trucks in another cabover model, the KW K100 Cabover truck.

I loved that double bunk! They were an amazing truck inside and out.

They were the size of a small condominium inside, they rode well and had a great turning radius.
Great upholstery too.It wasn’t too much of a challenge to access the motor in them.

They were a sight to behold when rolling down the highway. A real classic truck.

Related > Kenworth Cabovers Gallery

Peterbilt 379

My all time favourite truck is the 379 Pete. I did like the 359 Peterbilt model, but prefer the 379 model. I felt the 359’s had a quality control issue and they weren’t all created equal.

The truck I have now is a 2004 model, which I bought from new, custom ordered.
It’s been a great working truck.

At the time that I ordered this truck, I had also considered a Kenworth W900 but when I compared pricing at the time, the Pete came in at a better price, so I went with the Pete. One thing I didn’t care for the Kenworth model at the time is the drop nose feature.

This model is a good looking truck and still wildly popular today. There are tens of thousands of them still working and on the road!

The 379 Peterbilt rides great, there’s good access to the engine, good quality control and it’s easy to find parts with the dealer network system.

I especially love the clean lines of this model of Pete.

My truck has 1.2 million miles on it. I’ve had minor repairs done on it, swapped injector cups and that’s about it.

It’s been a trouble-free truck and it’s still in great shape today.

I really enjoy driving it and it still looks good. It’s made me a lot of money too.

So overall, I couldn’t have asked for more from a truck.

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