What Is a Box Truck?
A box truck is used to transport freight by businesses in numerous industries, including construction, delivery, and retail markets. Picture a cab attached to an empty frame, then put a box on that frame and you’ve got a box truck. Usually, the back of the box has a door that rolls up, allowing you to enter and exit with materials. But there are multiple styles of boxes designed for various purposes and industries. Box trucks are classified by their cargo weight capacity in North America, ranging from Class 3 to Class 7, meaning that box trucks measure between 12,500 and 33,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).
Selecting the Right Truck
Picking the right truck comes down to thinking through the needs of your business and how you expect the truck to perform. Consider what you regularly transport as well as the quantity.
It is also important to think about the weight of your average load to determine which class of truck you need to purchase. Also consider the mileage you intend to put on the truck and how you intend to drive it. Long-distance freeway driving, off-road hauling, and quick city trips all have different vehicle needs.
In addition to what your business currently needs, think about the projected growth of your company. You want to purchase a box truck that perfectly handles what you’re currently doing but is also able to support expansion (if that’s in the cards). Since a new box truck, when properly maintained, can last more than 10 years, it is a good idea to get one that can grow with you.
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Types of Box Trucks
The most common type of box truck is often referred to as a basic box truck, which is a vehicle with an enclosed box and a roll-up rear door. Other types of box trucks include:
- Flatbed trucks: Ideal for carrying larger items as well as loading and unloading with cranes, flatbed trucks are available in dump and fixed bed models.
- Landscape trucks: Designed with space in mind, landscape trucks are partially open, leaving room to store equipment such as bins, mowers, and weed whackers. They usually feature fold-down sides and sloped ramps to allow for easier access.
- Refrigerated trucks: Used primarily in the agricultural and grocery industries, a refrigerated truck is exactly what it sounds like: a truck that keeps your cargo cold. Keep in mind that refrigerated trucks have a higher upfront and operational cost than others.
- Utility trucks: These vehicles are designed for service and tradesmen. They are lined with bins and racks that allow for equipment, parts, and tool storage.
In addition to different types of box trucks, there are two different cab configurations to choose from:
- Conventional: In this configuration, the cab sits behind the engine, providing comfort on long drives and enhanced long-distance visibility.
- Low cab-forward: This configuration sees the cab placed over the front axle and in front of the engine, which offers enhanced maneuvering and visibility in tight areas. Typically, to reach the engine the cab tilts forward.
There are also multiple sizing options to choose from. Box trucks are measured by the length of the cargo area, with most sizes ranging between 14′ and 26′. Generally speaking, the heavier duty the truck, the larger the size.
How Much Do New Box Trucks Cost?
The price of a new box truck depends on several factors, such as the class of the vehicle, brand, type of box truck, the dealer you purchase through, and even your geographic location. Here is a general pricing guide based on industry averages to provide an idea of what you can expect to pay for your new box truck:
- Light duty Class 3 box trucks have an average cost between $25,000 and $45,000.
- Medium duty Class 4 box trucks have an average cost between $35,000 and $50,000.
- Medium duty Class 5 box trucks have an average cost between $45,000 and $70,000.
- Medium duty Class 6 box trucks have an average cost between $50,000 and $90,000.
- Refrigerated box trucks typically have an additional cost (over standard prices) of about $10,000 to $20,000.