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Service Truck Bodies Designed Specifically
for Their Intended Use

April 2, 2015

Crane Body
Customized Crane Body
Plumbers, electricians, utility companies, pest exterminators, landscaping companies, EMTs, contractors, and even the neighborhood ice cream man all have one thing in common—they drive service vehicles, usually some type of truck. Although one truck may look very different from another, and many will be customized and upfitted based on individual needs, they nevertheless each began as a chassis and a cab and were equipped from that point with various service bodies, and equipment depending upon each truck's intended use. Both the ice cream truck and the ambulance are based on enclosed service bodies but, clearly, that's where the comparison stops. All types of service bodies are manufactured by to be mounted as after-market additions on heavy-duty commercial truck chassis—usually something in the range of a Ford F-350 or larger.

Types of Service Truck Bodies

There are a number of primary variations in truck body forms and functions. Depending upon the need, truck bodies are customized for the storage of tools unique to each industry. There are numerous variations on each style of truck, and it is not unusual for even two similar trucks serving the same industry to have differences in the details of their modifications. These details are what makes the difference in the daily productivity of the operator. This is the reason many companies choose to have their service body designed custom for their particular range of service and types of tools and equipment they routinely utilize. Service bodies are primarily made of either steel or aluminum alloys. In recent years more and more businesses are choosing aluminum service bodies as they offer tremendous fuel savings benefits and a high level of durability.

Common Types of Base Model Service Bodies

Flatbed Truck Bodies

Most flatbed truck bodies are upfitted to serve a particular purpose, be it to haul livestock, haul and dump gravel, or with composite or steel side slats to secure cargo. Many flatbeds include customized tool compartments, step bumpers, reinforced wheel wells, and mudflaps. Flatbeds are often popular with those who desire a fifth wheel towing hitch. Additional external compartments can provide easy access to tools and equipment, and are available in an extensive array of configurations.

Utility Bodies

Truck utility bodies frequently have an open bed along with a number of storage cabinets and/or tool boxes. They're often equipped with drawers as opposed to boxes for easier access. Trucks that require quick access to the bed will often include a step bumper. These trucks are typically used by those who work in precise trades, such as plumbers, electricians, installers and more.

Enclosed Truck Bodies

The primary difference between utility trucks and enclosed truck bodies is the roof on the enclosed body trucks. The bed is enclosed and provides an interior work and a covered storage space. For those who desire to maximize their space, access ladders are available to make overhead storage areas, such as roof racks, easier to reach. An enclosed body usually provides more storage space than a standard utility body. This truck body is often preferred by service people, heating and air companies, telephone companies and the like.

Crane Bodies

These are heavy-duty truck bodies that have been reinforced and modified to accept the mounting of mobile cranes on the body. People such as mechanics, propane and tire service businesses, sign companies, and others who must lift heavy objects and work at substantial heights need such a tool. Truck mounted cranes can be rated to lift as much as 80,000 foot-pounds.

There are as many types of bodies as there are industries and workers with specialized needs. The number and ways in which a basic truck chassis and cab can be customized and transformed using different types of service bodies is nothing short of astonishing. The untutored eye would never imagine that such variety in function and style began with the same basic design. Specially designed service bodies on work trucks are a critical factor in the day-to-day productivity of countless service providers in all types of businesses across the USA.