While many may consider steel service trucks to be a standard, one should proceed with caution. In recent years, many fleet managers, contractors, mechanics, and LP gas professionals are shying away from what was once an industry standard for not only financial reasons, but also dependability and longevity purposes.
While steel service trucks may be cheaper, they can cost owners and operators dearly in the long run, and create a financial burden. Let’s examine the truth about steel service trucks…
Without a doubt, you will pay more at the pump...
Steel service trucks make empty hauling a burden for the fuel tank. Considering steel is up to 2.5x more dense than most aluminum(you can check that here), it’s not necessarily shocking. On the most basic level of explanation, it takes more energy to move something that is heavier.
They will definitely have a shorter life-cycle...
There is a reason that most steel service trucks come backed by a 6-year warranty. Steel service truck bodies cannot withstand the tests of time in the manner that more modern materials can (i.e. aluminum, carbon fiber, etc.) For one, steel is far more susceptible to oxidization. It's going to rust, it's just a matter of when.
Secondly, the increased weight on empty mileage will put pressure and stress on the actual truck that could be avoidable if more modern materials were used when constructing the service truck body.
Chassis will take a beating
A chassis with a steel service body sitting on top of it will take a thrashing. We are at a point in technological advancement steel will not provide you with any more durability than aluminum or carbon fiber. It was once the case that steel was a necessary material to construct a service truck with, but those days have passed.
Steel puts a massive amount of unnecessary wear and tear on your service trucks chassis that could be easily avoided by using modern materials in the service truck body construction. It's 2018, and there is no reason to continue abusing your chassis. It doesn't appreciate it. Opting for aluminum or carbon fiber will significantly affect the health of your chassis, and consequently extend the life and functionality of your service truck.
Steel can create some real issues. Buy aluminum.