What Are Box Trucks?
A box truck is made with a cab in the front and a box compartment in the back, the latter of which typically has a roll-up door similar to a garage. Some may also have lift gates or powered platforms. Though there are a variety of sizes available, most box trucks fit in the medium duty truck category, ranging in size from 14′ to 24′.
Box trucks are available in both automatic and manual transmissions, with diesel-powered and gasoline-powered options as well. The majority of box trucks are two-wheel drive, though four-wheel drive trucks are available at a higher price (and with less fuel-efficiency).
Diesel v Gas Engines
Before you buy a box truck, it is important to determine whether a diesel or gasoline engine better suits your needs. Both engine types are common, so choice is plentiful.
Diesel engines offer a few advantages over gasoline when it comes to box trucks. They are easier to start from a standstill, even with a heavy load, since their design gives them more power at low RPMs. A diesel-powered truck also tends to last longer, as its components are stronger and it runs cooler.
Gasoline engines offer less noise and pollution than diesel. And while a diesel engine provides more power at low RPMs, gasoline engines provide more power at high RPMs. It is also much easier to obtain fuel and parts for gas engines.
Another thing you need to consider are your costs between the two options. Though diesel fuel in the past was less expensive than gasoline, that isn’t necessarily the case now. In many parts of the U.S. diesel costs about the same (if not more) than gasoline. Diesel engines do get better mileage than gas engines, but the upfront cost of a diesel-powered vehicle offsets that.
If you already have a fleet of trucks, your maintenance and fuel processes will be simpler if you stick with one engine type.
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How Much Do Used Box Trucks Cost?
Providing an exact cost for used box trucks is difficult. Age,condition of the vehicle, mileage, size, type of box truck, dealer, and your location all play a role in determining the total price. What follows is a pricing guide based on industry averages to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for your used box truck.
- A 10-year-old box with 200,000 miles has an average cost between $5,000 and $10,000.
- A 5-year-old box truck with 100,000 miles has an average cost between $10,000 and $20,000.
- A 1-year-old, 16′ box truck with a few thousand miles has an average cost around $40,000.
- Used or new, if you need a refrigerated truck, expect to pay more. Refrigerated box trucks have an average cost of $10,000 over standard prices.
Box Truck Extras
There are additional features you may want to consider when buying a used box truck. Just about every box truck has a roll-up door in the back, but you may want to consider looking for a model with a liftgate. A liftgate is a powered platform that allows you to lower and raise cargo from the back of the truck to the street. This isn’t exactly necessary if the truck is going to be used primarily at loading docks, but is a major time and effort saver for on-street deliveries. Other box extras include lights and rails that allow for better securing of cargo.
The cab-side of box truck extras are probably a bit more familiar; you can have air conditioning, automatic or manual transmissions, CD players, different seat styles, and a multitude of other comfort options. You can even choose between crew cabs or regular cabs.
It is important to note that extra features add to your overall cost, but don’t forget to think about the driver. They may seem like unnecessary expenses, but they can greatly improve the comfort and productivity of your employees.
When buying a used box truck, consider the following:
- Add-ons: When looking at the additional features of a box truck, it is important to consider what actively improves or helps and what is unnecessary. If your driver is going to be behind the wheel for long stretches of time, springing for air conditioning and more comfortable seating might be worth the extra cost. The same goes for security railings and properly placed grab handles. Features that improve overall operation are generally worth it.
- Extended warranties:> It is not uncommon to find someone who thinks extended warranties are unnecessary. But you need to think about everyone who will drive the truck. You might be a careful and cautious driver, but you don’t know that everyone who gets behind the wheel drives the same way. An extended warranty is a great way to protect your investment.
- Weight capacity: You want your box truck to be able to handle the weight of your average load, but that doesn’t mean you should make a decision based on your average load. Loading a truck beyond capacity is a good way to cause breakdowns and wear, so always ensure your prospective vehicle can handle the maximum amount of weight you might haul without issue.