4 Benefits of Using Custom Body for your Business Truck

Many business owners could benefit by having a vehicle designed just for their trade. If you happen to be a trade professional, here are some of the benefits of having this done to your vehicle (or buying a purpose-built vehicle):

Hot rod
photo credit: Atomic Hot Links / Flickr

You Can Do More With Less

A standard (OEM) off-highway dump truck is able to carry between 35 and 40 tons of weight. The body itself can hold about 30 cubic yards. But, if you’ve every tried to load refuse, you know that you don’t get anywhere near that 4 tons. Reason: refuse that’s typically found in municipal solid waste facilities is voluminous but light.

You could fill the entire truck up, using up the full 30 cubic yard capacity and still only have 10 tons in the truck. That’s one-fourth of the rated capacity.

And, here’s where the problem lies: you aren’t making full use of the truck and so you can’t make nearly as much money with it.

Using standard bodies is inefficient because they have a limited amount of space. As most OEMs won’t deviate from standard bodies, customizing the them becomes a necessity for a business truck owner.

Custom service bodies solve this problem, offering you up to three times the volumetric capacity – 90 to 100 cubic yards, which still doesn’t exceed the rated weight capacity for the vehicle.

Ultimately, it means you can do more with fewer trucks. Each truck hauls more, per trip. If it costs $500 to fill the tank, and you’re processing 3,000 tons of refuse per day, you could cut your passes down by half, saving you upwards of $70,000 just in fuel per year. That doesn’t include maintenance and labor costs from added drive time.

But, even if you don’t haul garbage for a living, custom bodies still improve hauling efficiencies in a similar manner. The truck doesn’t care that you’re not taking garbage to a dump.

It Streamlines Operations

Streamlining your operations is a big deal. If your current vehicle only allows for one method of loading and unloading, you might want or need another, more efficient, way of getting cargo or equipment on and off.

Trucks that haul fragile supplies, like glass, need special bodies that help shield and protect the cargo from stones and other debris. They also need a special loading dock to make it easier to get sheets on and off the truck.

A custom design may also reduce labor costs by creating efficiencies in loading and unloading. This is especially true for construction companies or companies that haul refuse or waste, but applies to any company that hauls anything.

Construction, food service trucks, and even dump trucks also benefit from custom bodies. In almost every instance, an OEM design can be improved.

Dogtown Dog truck
photo credit: stu_spivack / Flickr

It Makes Employees Safe

While OEM typically engineers a basic level of safety, the manufacturer might not have thought of everything. For example, if you need to travel on seasonal roads, over mounds or uneven surfaces, then the last thing you want to risk is a tip-over.

Custom bodies can lower the center of gravity of the vehicle, widen it, and make it safer to operate.

Sometimes, it’s a simple matter of incorporating safety rails, grips, or shielding to protect workers. These things don’t always come on OEM vehicles because the truck wasn’t initially designed to be used for your particular application.

For example, if you’re a construction company, and you use heavy-duty commercial vehicles, but often work in cold or icy conditions, you might need to modify your truck beds and equipment with heating elements, non-skid pads, and safety rails.

If you work in muddy conditions, you may not worry too much about heating elements to melt ice, but you would worry about non-slip surfaces and rails to prevent slips and falls.

There’s Less Maintenance and Downtime

Because the custom body is purpose-built for your application, you can engineer out all of the non-essentials. It’s not uncommon for large heavy-duty, equipment to use lots of pistons and hydraulics. It’s easy to engineer that.

But, if you work in rough terrain, the more moving parts you have, the greater the risk that something will break, especially if you’re working in mud, sewage, or in an area where dust and debris is prone to work itself into those hydraulic controls, pins, and grease points.

Custom body manufacturers can often re-engineer a body to reduce moving parts, eliminating failure points, and thus reducing maintenance and downtime.