Box trucks are the bees of the city.
Box trucks are medium-sized commercial vehicles.
The distinctive characteristic of box trucks is that the vehicle has its cargo area and the driver’s cab attached to one single frame, which is the main difference from a semi-truck. See the differences between a box truck vs semi-truck.
With this configuration of box trucks, their drivers don’t have direct access to the cargo through the inside of the driver cabin.
Box trucks are popular among local businesses and local service providers such as plumbers, land architectures, local delivery and hauling services, etc.
Box trucks are a preferred type of commercial vehicle within the city or urban areas due to their good maneuverability over short distances.
In regards to box trucks, two popular situations confuse a lot of people and I’ll try to clarify them here.
First, this vehicle has a different name. Its second name is a “straight truck”. Probably, it is called a straight truck because it has both parts attached in one single frame.
Second, because of the box truck’s cuboid shape of the cargo area due to which the vehicle looks similar to a tractor-trailer, many people call it a “dry van”. In this case, this is a mistake.
Below, find information about different aspects of box trucks with links to other in-depth articles.
Why are box trucks called straight trucks?
Among the many types of straight trucks, most often, the box trucks is referred as a straight truck.
That is because the box truck configuration falls perfectly under the definition of a straight. See what is a straight truck.
Box truck benefits
As I already mentioned above, box truck vehicles provide you with a lot of benefits when it operates in and between the city roads.
Check out more box truck benefits by following the link.
Is a box truck a commercial vehicle?
In the US, box trucks are used as non-commercial vehicles and as commercial vehicles.
As a result, there are situations when a driver with a regular driver's license can drive a box truck while, in other cases, the driver might need a CDL to drive a box truck.
For example, a driver holding a regular driving license can drive the largest 26 foot box truck without needing a CDL.
So, how do you know when you need a CDL to drive a box truck and when you don’t?
The answer is that it depends if the cargo exceeds or not the maximum weight limit set by the manufacturer of that vehicle. This maximum weight limit of the vehicle is also known under the abbreviation of GVWR. Find out what GVWR is.
26 feet box truck dimensions and weight capacity
Find below the breakdown of box truck dimensions.
Box truck inside dimensions
Box truck inside capacity
What to look for when buying a box truck
When wondering about what to look for when buying a used box truck or a new one, the rules are, almost always, the same.
However, there are three things that you need to pay attention to.
Many loading docks around the country have different dock heights.
Dock-high box trucks can back into the loading dock firmly to allow for the loading or unloading process without issues.
- Second, take into consideration the MPG on the box truck.
MPG is a metric that shows how much fuel expenses the vehicle needs to drive a certain distance.
The lower the MPG metric, the fewer expenses on fuel you’ll have with the acquired box truck.
- Third, consider your favorite box truck brand.
Popular box truck brands are popular for a reason and that reason is that a lot of people find them valuable for their business.
However, when buying a box truck, the popularity of a box truck brand is important but it’s not the only thing to consider of course.
Making money with a box truck
There are many ways to use a box truck to make money.
Mostly, box trucks are used to transport non-perishable and dry goods such as retail and consumer products, electronics, machine parts, and palletized freight. There are good box truck side hustle here.
Below, find a list of ideas where the box truck can operate.
So, when your box truck is on a duty rolling doing some of the below tasks, you can also advertise on the box truck to make more money.
Advertising may bring additional passive income without making changes in your side hustle jobs.
- 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.
- Storage facility
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 cargo area and have them transported wherever you go.
- Parcel delivery
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.
- Appliance delivery
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.
Become a box truck owner-operator
If you look at a different option than working as a box truck driver for a company, then you may want to operate as a box truck owner operator.
Even though, as an owner operator, you have more risks and responsibilities. But if you manage to control them well, you can make more money than a company box truck driver can.
Start a box truck business
So, if the box truck side hustle options don't satisfy you in terms of earned money then start a business. Check out these steps on how to start a box truck business and check what type of insurance is needed for a box truck.
If you are more interested in short deliveries, check out how to start a box truck business with Amazon.
After opening your box truck company, the money making battle just begins.
Now, as a business, you’ll pay taxes to stay in compliance with the state's regulations. But, that is not enough to keep your box truck business afloat.
You need skills.
And developing the necessary skills takes time.
One of the most important skills to develop is the ability to get box truck contracts.
Besides that, you will also need to develop relationships with your best customers and constantly improve your box truck services.
1. 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.
2. Do box trucks need an ELD?
The ELD mandate applies to most commercial truck on the road today.
You can only drive a truck without an ELD if you qualify for an ELD mandate exemption.
3. What is a box truck classified as?
When it comes to a box truck weight classification, it is classified as a medium-duty between 3 and 6 commercial vehicle that offer a gross vehicle weight rating of between 10,000 and 26,000 pounds.
4. How many axles does a box truck have?
The box truck can have two or three axle depending on the hauling weight.
The three axle box truck is a popular combination.
5. Can you hotshot with a box truck?
Frequently, hotshot loads are LTL (less than a load) that can be transported in mid-size trucks.
That is why a box truck can be used to hotshot.
6. How many miles can a box truck last for?
If the box truck is well maintained, using a diesel engine, it should be able to last somewhere between 155,000 and 250,000 miles, and, using gas, it 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.
7. Can you sleep in a box truck?
If the box truck driver is tired, he is allowed to sleep in a box truck as long as it is parked in a legal place and doesn’t cause any form of discomfort to the people around.
If your action affects other people's comfort, you might be cautioned by the local authorities.
8. What types of box trucks there are?
Depending on the location of the engine, box trucks can be of two types:
- 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.