Should You Choose Steel Or Aluminum Truck Bodies?

For decades, where truck bodies are concerned, the industry’s metal of choice has been steel. But, as advantageous as steel is, a viable alternative is aluminum. Much attention is being turned toward aluminum by fleet owners and truck makers. Thanks to this turn of events, an ongoing debate between aluminum versus steel is rising, as the popularity of aluminum increases.

Though steel has its benefits, aluminum truck bodies have distinct benefits as well. As time goes by, more and more people are favoring aluminum over steel. Increased fuel efficiency and workload can be offered by an aluminum flatbed truck, as an example.

Additionally, aluminum can reduce the weight of a truck, on a part by part basis. Example: you could eliminate 700 pounds with an aluminum body on an F-150.

While aluminum enclosed truck bodies become more established, another use for aluminum in the trucking industry is being realized: aluminum truck parts. Compared to the cost of producing steel, the cost of aluminum is cheaper. The reason – recycled contents in aluminum parts. Also, for truck body production, the eco-friendliest option is aluminum.

Resistance to Corrosion

Here we find one of aluminum’s biggest benefits – it is the rust resistant characteristics of aluminum alloys. In the engine and body of a truck, rust can literally eat away their structures when they are comprised of steel.

Aluminum Truck Bodies are Safer

Contrary to what some believe, aluminum truck bodies are as safe (if, indeed, not safer) than steel trucks. Competing automakers, in a range of scenarios, have tested vehicles made from steel and those made from aluminum. Aluminum outperformed steel!


Aluminum truck bodies are generally considered more durable, courtesy of aluminum’s corrosion resistant and rustproof qualities. Hail, rain, and winters are much harder on steel than they are on aluminum. This means saving money on body maintenance and fuel changes, as well.

Fuel Efficiency

More mileage to the gallon will be available with an aluminum body. This is because the weight placed on the tires is at a reduced amount. A weight reduction of roughly 50% can be realized on the overall weight of a truck body made from aluminum. Also, on an aluminum body truck, fuel efficiency can be 8 to 10% greater.

Environmentally Friendly Truck Bodies

An eco-friendly process, no harmful chemicals are used in the production of aluminum. Discarded metals are put to good use when parts of aluminum trucks are made. Additionally, compared to steel making, the aluminum melting process is less wasteful and cleaner.


Compared to the maintenance needed for a steel bodied truck, a significantly lesser amount of maintenance is required for a truck body made from aluminum. Lubrication of various parts like hinges and latches are the primary maintenance needs when it comes to aluminum truck body upkeep.

Carrying or Workload Capacity

Compared to aluminum, steel is generally considered to be stronger. If you ignore the grade of the aluminum and other factors, compared to aluminum, a bigger payload capacity is allowed by steel. Compared to a steel sheet of comparative thickness, a sheet of aluminum is only 1/3 as dense.

On the other hand, a thicker gauge of aluminum can be used when manufacturers produce truck bodies because of the lighter weight of aluminum. This means that an aluminum truck can still be lighter than a steel truck even if the aluminum body is made of double thickness.

Mickey Genuine Parts has high quality components, accessories, parts, trailers, and other equipment that is all top-of-the-line. We stand behind everything we make and sell, as well as our service centers. If you are in the market for parts, accessories, and more, contact Mickey today.

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