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Box Truck Types and Uses: Complete Guide

Find out about box truck types and sizes, what they are used for and how much they cost. Learn everything you need to know

7 minutes readJune 19, 2023

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Box trucks are common vehicles in the transportation industry. These trucks provide a company with a flexible means of transporting goods.

Companies and delivery providers use these trucks to provide services to clients within a community.

A box truck has ample cargo space to hold a lot of merchandise, and because it is a single unit, it can navigate roads more efficiently.

Fleet managers are constantly seeking innovative ways to boost productivity in their businesses, adding box trucks to their fleet.

This article provides all the information you need to know about box trucks.

What Is a Box Truck?

A box truck is a type of truck that has both the cargo section and driver's cab attached to one structural frame.

The cargo section is not accessible from the cab since the two compartments are divided. The cargo compartment is box-shaped, giving box trucks their name. Box trucks generally have rear roll-up doors, but some feature hinged or side doors.

Additionally, they are equipped with ramps for loading and unloading freight. Those without ramps usually have to back up into a dock.

Cube vans, cube trucks, box vans, dry freight, straight trucks, and dry vans are also referred to as box trucks.

Here are some advantages of using box trucks for your delivery services.

Main benefits of box trucks

  • Safe storage: utilizing a box truck gives you a safe and secure place to store transit goods. Additionally, your cargo is protected from rainy or windy weather.

  • Advertisement: a box truck transports goods to many cities and is seen by a lot of people, so it can help market your brand. It's a good idea to display your business banners and decals on the doors or the sides. A box truck can provide free-wheeling advertising for promoting your business to the public.

  • No need for a trailer: hooking up trailers is time-consuming, requiring more fuel for hauling, which increases costs. With a box truck, the need for trailers is eliminated. As a result, deliveries are faster, and clients receive high-quality services.

  • Easier maneuverability: box trucks can maneuver over roads much more quickly than their larger counterparts. Their smaller size makes them suitable for delivering products to home addresses and local suburbs. It also makes them ideal for deliveries in locations with heavy traffic.

  • Less fuel consumption: being smaller than other trucks, box trucks use less fuel. This feature reduces operational costs and makes them a perfect trucking solution.

box truck in a city

Are There Different Types of Box Trucks?

Box trucks can be divided into groups depending on design and capacity.

Types Based on Design

Each box truck is designed and built differently to accommodate the needs of its user. Here are five common types:

Standard Box Trucks

Standard box trucks provide the most adaptable platform for moving essential cargo.

These medium-sized box trucks feature an entirely enclosed box with rollup doors in the rear. They are commonly used by delivery and moving companies.

standard box truck

Utility Box Trucks

Utility companies commonly use utility box trucks. Typically, a box truck of this type is used to transport small cargo fitted into the utility bed at the back of the truck's cargo compartment.

The utility beds are constructed with side dividers and pivoted backs. Most utility box trucks feature small compartments and drawers in the cargo area that store supplies, equipment and tools.

A utility box truck is designed to be sturdier than a standard truck to perform specific tasks. Moreover, these trucks have a sturdy chassis and can withstand harsher weather conditions than light trucks can.

utility box truck

Refrigerated Box truck

Temperature-sensitive or perishable goods like vegetables, meat and flowers require refrigerated vehicles for transportation.

A refrigerated box truck can control the temperature in the cargo compartment to preserve its contents and keep them from spoiling.

These box trucks feature an internal or external digital temperature control module to regulate the temperature during transit.

The walls are built from galvanized stainless steel, fiberglass-reinforced plywood or corrosion-resistant aluminum.

These material configurations protect the cargo from heat infiltration. The box trucks also feature insulation linings on the floors and doors to protect the perishable goods by preventing moisture penetration.

Refrigerated box truck

Landscaping Box Trucks

Landscaping box trucks are used in landscaping services and support tasks like plumbing and electrical work. These trucks deliver stones, mulch, topsoil and other landscaping supplies.

They are available in a wide design of bodies, including stake bodies, service bodies and dump trucks. Landscaping box trucks are equipped with modern diesel engines to increase toughness and reliability.

They are versatile and functional for many landscaping projects and tasks in the construction industry.

landscaping box truck

Flatbed Box Trucks

A typical flatbed box truck is a standard box truck with no roof and no walls around the cargo compartment.

Flatbed box trucks are loaded and unloaded from the sides, eliminating the need for an elevated forklift. Typically, a flatbed is mounted on the truck chassis depending on the intended use:

The flatbed can be designed in a square or rectangular configuration. Other varieties of flatbeds include drop decks, lowboys and straight flatbeds. Their versatility and adaptability make them common among box trucks.

flatbed box truck

Types Based on Capacities

If you need a box truck to transport cargo of a certain weight, you can choose from:

1.Light-duty box trucks

A light-duty box truck can carry goods weighing 6,000 to 14,000 pounds. These trucks have a front cab that resembles that of a cargo van.

The truck is more fuel efficient than higher-capacity models, and its compact design makes it simpler to navigate.

2.Medium-duty box trucks

With a carrying capacity between 14,000 and 26,000 pounds, medium box trucks feature diesel engines for large-scale commercial operations.

Some models have more extensive body lengths to provide extra storage capacity.

3.Heavy-duty box trucks

Any vehicle that can transport cargo weighing 26,000 pounds or more is categorized as heavy-duty.

Box trucks that carry construction equipment and refrigerated trailers fall into this category. These trucks are mainly used for long-distance transit.

What Are Box Trucks Used For?

Box trucks have a wide variety of models and sizes so that you can utilize them for a wide range of tasks.

The type of box truck you purchase will determine how you use it and whether you will rent it out or hire a driver.

You can learn here how to start a profitable box truck business.

Here are some popular ways to use a box truck:

1. Commercial and Residential Moving

Commercial and residential moving may be one of the most popular uses for box trucks. Furniture and fragile items can be transported easily with box trucks thanks to their large and secure cargo compartment.

They also provide quick services to customers who need moving trucks. Businesses with constant equipment movement must incorporate box trucks in their fleet to ensure smooth operation.

2. Delivery Services

E-commerce is expanding, and so is the delivery industry. Companies use box trucks to move packages between warehouses for loading into delivery vans.

With a box truck, you can provide your services to hardware stores, grocery stores, supermarkets, appliance shops and other nearby businesses.

3. Hauling Bulky Items

Box trucks can transport cargo weighing 8,000 pounds or more, depending on the model.

They can carry large items that cannot fit in a pickup cargo van. Due to their large size, box trucks require fewer trips, reducing fuel consumption.

Some box trucks feature multiple points of entry, like two side doors and a rear door, making freight loading and unloading faster.

4. Transporting Perishable Goods

Cold-temperature box trucks are necessary for the transportation of cold-chain medicines. Such stock is susceptible to spoiling and needs to be handled with care.

Dairy products also cannot travel at average temperatures and need refrigerated storage.

Another item box trucks transport is meat, which cannot be left out in the open for long. Baked goods also require refrigerated box trucks when they need to be transported across great distances.

5. Using Storage Facilities

Storage facilities offer box trucks to customers as incentives to rent from them. In the United States, customers can rent a box truck with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,000 pounds or less without needing a commercial license.

As a result, moving your belongings from your home or between storage facilities is simpler.

Box truck for moving

6. Product Marketing

Box truck advertising allows you to make a big impression with your brand and reach customers in markets where you transport goods.

The truck becomes a mobile billboard that customers see while driving, walking, in a ball park, or at a grocery store. Box trucks with creative graphics have a remarkable impact for advertising because they create active consumer engagement.

Truck advertising is a cheaper advertising strategy compared to other media.

Pro Tip: Brands can add a QR Code as a CTA to the box truck. With the help of Beaconstac's QR Code creator, brands can create dynamic and trackable QR Codes. That will help attribute the performance of the advertisement.

7. Amazon Relay Transportation

Box truck owners can work directly with Amazon through its freight transportation management system. Amazon relay connects small freight carriers to the available loads to help their businesses grow.

Additionally, the service aims to provide truck owners and drivers with the essential tools to transport goods. You can learn more about Amazon Relay requirements here.

Are Box Trucks Considered Commercial Vehicles?

A commercial vehicle is defined as any vehicle used to move people or goods for profit. Most delivery vehicles, including box trucks, fall into this category. A vehicle is labeled as commercial if its title is owned and registered to a company.

Commercial vehicles like box trucks are designed for oversized freight, making them more extensive, powerful and unwieldy than other vehicles.

They have complex gearing and require drivers with expertise and awareness to operate them. As a result, driving a commercial vehicle requires commercial markings and a special license from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

What Do You Need to Drive a Box Truck?

The gross vehicle weight rating is a safety standard and regulation to prevent truck overloading.

It includes the truck's net weight or the combined gross weight of the cargo, fuel, drivers and passengers. GVWR represents the maximum weight at which a vehicle should operate.

When determining the GVWR, the manufacturer considers the weight of strong components, such as the axles, and the weaker parts, like the suspension, tires, frame, and body.

The gross vehicle weight rating cannot be modified once determined by the vehicle manufacturer.

The GVWR establishes the safety standards that apply to each vehicle. To drive a box truck with a GVWR over 26,000 pounds, you must have a commercial driver's license.

Driving a commercial vehicle requires more training, knowledge, practical experience and physical fitness than driving a non-commercial vehicle.

To qualify for a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), you must pass both knowledge and skill tests. When you have a Commercial Driver's License, you operate at a higher standard when driving on public roads.

box truck cdl

Box truck insurance offers liability protection if someone is harmed or property is damaged due to your truck.

You can also get coverage to safeguard the goods you are transporting. As the population increases, roads become increasingly congested, so box truck insurance is mandatory.

No matter how advanced your driving skills are, some situations are beyond your control. If an unwanted incident occurs, insurance will protect you financially.


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What Are the Most Common Box Truck Sizes?

The length from one end of the cargo box to the other determines the size of a box truck. The six most common box truck sizes are: 10-foot, 12-foot, 16-foot, 22-foot, 24-foot and 26-foot.

The truck's specifications will determine its primary use. The size should enable you to estimate the amount of cargo your box truck will be able to transport.

The table below shows the features of the common box truck sizes.

SizeNumber of seatsVehicle capacityCubic feet (approx)
10”22,850 lbs400 cu
12”23,100 lbs450 cu
16”24,300 lbs800 cu
22”310,000 lbs1,200 cu
24”310,000 lbs1,350 cu
26”312,000 lbs1,700 cu

Common Box Truck Sizes and Dimensions (Length, Width, and Height)

Knowing the exact size of a box truck—how long, wide, and tall it is—is really important for planning how to use it efficiently. These measurements affect how much stuff the truck can hold, how easily it can move, and whether it's a good fit for certain types of cargo.

Businesses need this info to make sure their chosen box truck can carry their goods in the right way.

Box Truck SizeLengthWidthHeight
10"10 ft5 ft6 ft
12"11.8 ft8 ft7 ft
16"16 ft9.5 ft8 ft
22"22 ft 6 in8 ft 6 in8 ft 6.5 in
24"24 ft 6 in8 ft 6 in8 ft 6.5 in
26"26 ft 7 in8 ft 6 in8 ft 6.5 in

*** This table contains the most common average dimensions. Contact the manufacturer to have your model dimensions

Box Truck Gross Vehicle Weight, Empty Weight, and MPG

The weight of a box truck is vital in logistics. Different trucks come in various sizes and have different fuel efficiency. Here, you'll see the contrasts among the most common sizes and their fuel consumption.

Box Truck SizeGross Vehicle WeightEmpty WeightMPG
10"8,600 lbs5,790 lbs8-12 MPG
12"9,900 lbs6,000 lbs8-14 MPG
16"12,300 lbs7,400 lbs7-11 MPG
22"22,000 lbs11,900 lbs6-10 MPG
24"26,000 lbs12,000 lbs6-10 MPG
26"26,000 lbs12,400 lbs6-9 MPG

*** This table contains the most common GVW and MPG according to the box truck size. Models can vary. Contact the manufacturer to have your model information

What Is the Average Cost of a Box Truck?

The cost of a new box truck varies depending on factors such as the brand, type of truck, geographic location or dealer.

Here is a general pricing guide derived from industry averages to give you a basic sense of what to pay.

If you are looking for more in-depth info, you can check our guide on how much a box truck costs.

### Cost of brand new box trucks

• A class 3 light-duty box truck costs between $25,000 and $45,000.

• A class 4 medium-duty box truck costs between $35,000 and $50,000.

• A class 5 medium-duty box truck costs between $45,000 and $70,000.

• A class 6 medium-duty box truck costs between $50,000 and $90,000.

Refrigerated box trucks often cost $10,000 to $20,000 more than the base price.

How much does a used box truck cost?

Used box truck prices are significantly lower than that of a new truck because of the discounts offered. The truck's size, mileage, condition, features and age influence the cost.

• A 16-foot truck with a year's mileage may sell for $40,000 rather than $45,000.

• A truck with 100,000 miles that is five years old may sell for between $10,000 and $20,000.

• A truck with 200,000 miles that is 10 years old may sell for $5,000 to $10,000.

Expect to pay much more if you require a refrigerated truck. Typically, refrigeration adds $10,000 to the price.

When purchasing a box truck, buy it from a reputable company that delivers high-quality services. Outlined below are some of the best box trucks to buy.

Isuzu N-Series box trucks costing $35,000 to $52,500

Hino 155 & 195 box trucks costing $29,900 to $54,900

Freightliner M2 106 box trucks costing $62,500 to $83,900

International RH Series box trucks costing $41,995 to $87,500

Ford E-Series Cutaway box trucks costing $36,655 to $69,999

Isuzu N-Series

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A box truck adds versatility to your transit fleet and is a huge benefit.

With a box truck, you have a fuel-efficient method of transporting your cargo plus extra storage space should you require it. These trucks will quickly boost the productivity of your company. If you want to learn more about box trucks, here you can find actionable tips for finding loads for your box truck.

If you are looking for a box truck, consider the features you want and your intended use. Before making a choice, it is advisable to consult a professional to aid you in making the right choice.

If you own a box truck and need vehicle insurance, CoverWallet can manage your insurance. Contact us online for a free quote, or call us at (646) 844-9933 for more information about our services.

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