Steel vs. Aluminum truck bodies

In some cases, you might choose an aluminum truck body over a steel truck body. Aluminum is much lighter than steel, which allows you to haul a larger payload. These lighter truck bodies entered the market in 2000, and they continue to gain popularity. If it’s time for you to choose a new truck bed, you might consider an aluminum body.

Benefits of an Aluminum Body

The aluminum body has several benefits that make the higher cost negligible. The lighter body means the truck weighs less and uses less gas. Aluminum doesn’t rust, so your fleet will have less annual maintenance, although, long-term exposure to salts will cause corrosion, just as it does with steel. In many cases, an aluminum truck body has a longer warranty, and, the truck has a higher resale value. Additionally, aluminum production produces fewer greenhouse gasses than steel manufacturing.

Saving Weight

If aluminum is an option for you, your truck could drop over 800 pounds, depending on the truck body and size. That’s quite a savings in your fuel bill, since the engine has to work harder to move a heavier truck. If you are in the business of delivering items, that savings converts to higher payloads. For every pound your truck isn’t hauling around as part of the truck itself, you can add a pound to the payload. This results in less labor, fewer trips, and less wear and tear on a fleet with aluminum beds. Even with a higher payload, users have claimed better fuel economy with the aluminum truck beds.

Saving Labor/Time

With an aluminum bed, you’ll save in labor and time, since someone doesn’t have to do as much maintenance on an aluminum truck body. Furthermore, the aluminum bed will last longer since it is more resistant to corrosion. Since you won’t have to keep up maintenance to keep the rust away from an aluminum bed, maintenance time significantly decreases on aluminum beds.

Benefits of a Steel Body

While aluminum is “all that” when it comes to being green and allowing you to haul more weight, it is not as strong as steel. The weight of the aluminum body is about a third of the same body made from steel. However, you also have just about a third of the strength of the steel body. Even though special processing techniques are used to make the aluminum stronger, it’s still not as strong as the steel truck bed. If you are hauling heavy equipment or need a bucket truck, steel is probably the way to go, unless you find an aluminum body that uses the best aluminum mixture, which is purported to be stronger than some steel.

Contact Drake-Scruggs

If you are in the market for new truck beds, contact Drake-Scruggs to discuss your needs and whether an aluminum bed or a steel bed best fits your needs.