Steel Vs. Aluminum Truck Bodies

When it comes to upgrading fleet trucks, there are two main options, which are steel and aluminum truck bodies. Understanding the differences between them and which is better suited for your vehicle is important.

Weight Considerations

A truck’s weight will influence its performance. Steel is two and a half times denser than aluminum and offers both superb strength and durability. This makes it ideal for protecting both drivers and cargo, but its greater weight also comes at the expense of maneuverability.

Aluminum will lower the truck’s weight and center of gravity, giving it superior maneuverability along with a turning radius that is tighter. The reduced weight also translates into better braking and acceleration. As a consequence, trucks that use aluminum are often more comfortable to operate and provide superior fuel mileage. Lighter trucks are also well suited to hauling more and because they must adhere to weight restrictions the heavier models tend to carry lighter loads which makes them less efficient.


Because aluminum trucks have a lower center of gravity with superior maneuverability, they are much safer to handle than their steel counterparts. This is primarily because they can brake faster which minimizes the likelihood of accidents. The heavier a truck is, the longer it takes to slow down.

At the same time, there have been concerns regarding aluminum’s structural integrity. Since steel is stronger, many prefer it from a safety standpoint. However, aluminum provides manufacturers the advantage of being able to reinforce certain crucial areas in the truck’s cab via extrusion, a feat that is not feasible with steel.

The connection points within the corners, roofs, curves, and doors may be reinforced using heavy-duty extrusions that are completely customized, that are designed to fit and enhance the cab’s structural integrity. When combined with the corrosion resistance and driving advantages, many truckers prefer vehicles made with aluminum.


Running a successful fleet operation, or any business for that matter is about managing costs. Aluminum has the advantage of better load capacity and gas mileage. It will also provide savings when it comes to replacement and maintenance costs. Trucks that use steel will often wear down the springs and tires faster, which require them to be replaced more frequently. Generally, greater weight means extra pressure on the overall structure, which requires greater funds to repair.

Another factor that must be taken into consideration is rust.  Whether it comes from the salty climate of coastal regions or the snowy Midwestern states, steel in most cases will succumb much quicker than aluminum, which is prized for its corrosion resistance. It plays a key role in the truck’s durability and will enable it to last longer. While aluminum seems to have lots of advantages over steel, the choice you make should be dependent on your specific needs and preferences. While steel is prized for its great strength, aluminum is more versatile, dependable, and affordable, which arguably makes it the metal of choice for fleet trucks. While steel has been around for thousands of years, aluminum is the newer, more technological metal.

Let’s keep truckin'.

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