How Are Straight Truck Bodies Different From Semi-Truck Bodies?

As a transport company or an individual, you have specific needs where truck configuration is concerned. If you’re looking to expand your fleet or purchase a new vehicle for your business, you may be considering a comparison between a semi-truck and a straight truck. You may even invest in a flatbed truck if heavy loads will be handled. A wide range of tasks can be accomplished with all of these truck choices, depending on their capabilities.

We are going to take a look at a comparison between straight truck bodies and semi-truck bodies. First and foremost, the main difference is this: A straight truck has a single chassis that combines with the cargo box, sleeper, and cab. Typically, they are easier to handle and drive. However, cargo load options and versatility are somewhat sacrificed. But how does that compare to tractor-trailers?

Semi-trucks or tractor trucks, both from and to destinations, are used to haul trailers. There is no trailer hooked to the back of a straight truck. Rather, the box in which loads are carried is attached directly to the truck body. Keep in mind that not all straight trucks have sleepers. The addition of a sleeper in a straight truck decreases the volume for cargo carrying (sometimes by about half).

Profit Margins, Maintenance, and Cost

Where design is concerned, straight trucks are relatively simple. They have the following:

  • Lower maintenance costs
  • A fixed cargo box
  • Fewer moving parts
  • Lower operational and startup costs

So, for those looking for less of an investment, a straight truck is perfect. This even applies where money and time are concerned because learning to operate and drive one of these trucks is easy and not very time-consuming. You’re avoiding a major expense when employee training needs to be done.

However, comparing that truck to a semi-truck, you will bring higher yields per load with the semi-truck. This is because of the superior flexibility in trailering capacity and cargo room with a semi-trailer truck. It may be your best bet if, indeed, your business can support the semi’s higher operating costs.


Usually rated up to 33,000 pounds GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating), the single chassis of a straight truck puts it at a class VII. For most jobs, this is sufficient. However, with the ability to run up to 80,000 GVWR or higher, class VIII vehicles are more efficient. For both the driver and the truck, higher loads do require more certification, so this can be a factor where added costs are concerned.

To carefully understand the drivers and loads you may be working with, calculate your expected costs. In this way, you can more effectively determine what the comparisons above will mean for your business – semi-truck or straight truck?

Mickey Genuine Parts Services Truck Bodies And Trailers

Since 1904, Mickey Genuine Parts has been family operated and owned. Today, we offer not only expedited shipping on parts and accessories, we also provide full-service at our conveniently located service centers. Looking to save money? We have an ever-changing inventory of used trailers/bodies available. Check back frequently to see what’s in stock.

With any questions, feel free to contact us.

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