Have you noticed those trucks with a big cargo box behind the driver's cabin driving within your city?
These types of trucks are called box trucks and are one of the most popular vehicles used for the transportation of all kinds of freight within local areas.
Let's dive in.
So, what is a box truck?
Box trucks are named as such due to their box-shaped cargo compartment but they are differences between box trucks and tractor trailers.
A box truck has its driver cab and cargo area attached to the same frame. Besides that, these two compartments are separated from each other and the cargo area isn't accessible from the inside of the cab.
Also, they have ramps that provide them with the ability to load the freight from the ground. If they don't have a ramp, ideally, the box truck trailer needs to back up into the a dock with the same height loading dock for loading and unloading.
What is another name for a box truck?
The name "box truck" comes from the cuboid-shaped cargo area.
Sometimes, people use another name for this vehicle but meaning a box truck.
Is a box truck a commercial box truck?
Adding the word commercial to the phrase "box truck" doesn't change the nature of the vehicle. The word "commercial" changes only the nature of its activity.
A commercial box truck refers to any type of box truck that is used for commercial purposes. That means using it for regular work activities, for commercial goods carrying, or for providing commercial services, etc.
In the United States, a person can rent or drive the longest 26 ft box truck without needing a CDL.
The main condition for that is that the box truck has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000 pounds or less.
A vehicle’s GVWR is the most weight, including cargo, that it can carry while still being operational.
This rating refers only to how much weight the box truck is rated to carry.
To find the GVWR of the box truck, look inside the door jam.
The inside sticker lists the Gross Axle Weight Rating for both the front and rear axles. Add both numbers and you should get your box truck’s GVWR.
Do you need authority MC number for box truck?
If you intend to cross state boundaries or to carry goods for delivery purposes with a box truck, you need a trucking authority issued by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Being assigned an MC authority by the FMCSA identifies you as a carrier for hire and transporting regulated commodities in interstate commerce.
What is the total length of a box truck?
You can find a variety of box truck lengths. They normally range from 10 feet to 26 feet.
The most popular box truck dimensions are:
- 18-ft box truck
- 22-ft box truck
- 24-ft box truck
- 26-ft box truck
What is the box truck height clearance?
Box trucks usually stand 8 to 10 feet tall.
What is a box truck classified as?
When it comes to a box truck weight classification, it is classified as a medium-duty commercial vehicle. The medium-duty cmv fall between class 3 and 6 that offer a gross vehicle weight rating of between 10,000 and 26,000 pounds.
If the box truck's GVWR exceeds the 26,000 mark then this type of box truck classify as a heavy-duty commercial vehicle.
What is the max weight for a box truck?
Box trucks vary in size and length, anywhere from 16 feet to 26 feet long.
The largest empty 26-foot box truck weighs 16,000 pounds, while one, filled, weighs 26,000 pounds.
That leaves a 10,000 lb. weight limit for the items that will be transported inside of it.
Usually, anything over 26,000 pounds requires a commercial driver’s license to operate.
See other box truck dimensions.
How many pallets can a straight truck hold?
Using a 48 x 40 standard-sized pallet, a 26ft box truck capacity is 12 pallets.
How many axles does a straight truck have?
The box truck can have two or three axle depending on the hauling weight.
The three axle straight truck is a popular combination.
Can you hotshot with a box truck?
A box truck can be used to hotshot.
Generally, a hot shot load is transported by midsize trucks.
Hotshot loads are frequently LTL (less than a load) that do not require the use of an entire semi-trailer and could be transported in vehicles such as pickup trucks or box trucks.
How many miles can a box truck last for?
If the box truck is well maintained, a box truck with a diesel engine should be able to last somewhere between 155,000 and 250,000 miles and a box truck with gas should be able to last for around 155,000 miles.
In poor condition, a box truck with a gas engine could last for as little as 12,000 miles.
Nonetheless, all these figures depend on how well you maintain the vehicle.
Can you sleep in a box truck?
If you are tired, you are allowed to sleep in a box truck but with one condition. There is nothing illegal about it.
It is important to note that sleeping in your box truck should not cause other people around any form of discomfort.
If your action affects other people comfort, you might be cautioned by the local authorities.
Box truck vs straight truck
Box truck and straight truck are closely related terms but they don't mean the same things.
So, the difference between a straight truck and a box truck is this:
- The name straight trucks relate to the entire group of trucks that have one common characteristic. That characteristic is having all vehicle axles attached to a single frame.
To understand what straight trucks are, you need to understand the opposite category of straight trucks - articulated vehicles.
Articulated vehicles consist of two or more separate frames connected to each over by couplings.
- Box trucks are a subcategory of vehicles that are part of a bigger category of straight trucks.
The difference between box trucks and tractor-trailers
Very often people use the phrase box truck and semi-truck interchangeably as if these types of trucks are identical. But they are not.
These two types of vehicle may look identical from the their exterior but there are certain box truck and semi-truck differences.
Some of these differences are maneuverability, gas consumption, or operational cost.
Types of box trucks
Let's assume that you are accustomed with the box truck benefits and you are want to start a business.
A box truck gets its name from the box sitting in the back of the driver's cab.
In the case of a box truck, the cargo area is completely separated from the cab and can't be accessed through the interior.
Due to their size, box trucks tend to carry more than cargo vans.
They are often used by moving companies to carry large items and they are more suitable for long-distance transportation.
At the same time, box trucks can be of two types depending on the location of the engine:
- Conventional: A conventional cab design features a standard truck nose with the engine placed in front of the steering wheel.
- Cabover: A cabover has a flat front and the engine is placed under the seats of the cab.
Here are some box truck advantages and disadvantages:
- Superior cargo capacity - potentially more money.
- Easier loading and unloading.
- Additional space for advertising.
- Worse fuel economy.
- More expensive.
- Difficult to park and maneuver.
What are box trucks used for?
There are many ways to use a box truck to make money.
Box trucks are used to transport non-perishable and dry goods such as retail and consumer products, electronics, machine parts, and palletized freight.
Because most box trucks are equipped with lift gates, they can only be used on cargo that can be loaded from the back via forklift, pallet jack, or by hand.
Below is a small list of ideas of what are box trucks used for.
Residential and commercial moves
One of the most common uses for a box truck is for residential and commercial moving.
The box truck's protected cargo box is a perfect fit for moving furniture, boxes, and fragile goods.
In many cases, a box truck provides a great storage option.
So, if you are a plumber, you can store your tools safely in a box truck and then have them stored in your house.
The rise of the e-commerce market increases the need for box truck deliveries.
Box trucks transport packages from one warehouse to another, where the parcels are loaded into delivery vans.
Businesses that sell appliances need to provide their customers a door-side delivery service.
A box truck is the best choice for local appliance delivery.
Newspaper and magazine delivery
For years, box trucks have been the go-to choice for paper publications.
These trucks offer the perfect space to quickly load newspapers and magazines for store-to-store delivery.
Starting a box truck business
The above business ideas may look profitable on paper, but it doesn't transfer into real profit as long as you take the steps to start a box truck business and execute your financial plan.
A box truck is a medium-heavy vehicle that is often used for short-distance deliveries.
There is a variety of box trucks but, unfortunately, many owner operators are not aware about the solutions of making money with a box truck.
More so, many have issues understanding what to look for when buying a box truck.