Box Truck is just one of the many options you have out there when it comes to transporting freight. The trucking and freight industry has a wide variety of class 8 truck types and trailers used to haul the nation’s cargo.
These ranges from the classic 18-wheeler pulling a van/box trailer to the smaller more mobile box truck witch more often is in the Medium duty truck category.
Any good transportation company needs to keep their fleet open to the various needs of their prospective customers. So that is why it is in your company’s best interests, if you can, to have both standard semis as well as a box truck in your fleet.
So here are some facts about the box truck. This includes some basic information as well has some background about them.
1. Box Truck Regulatory Authority
So who actually has the authority over a box truck, the states or the federal government? To answer your question who holds the authority- In a word, both. The federal government sets the standards while the individual states enforce them. But why and how do they do this?
The federal government has been overseeing the highways since they enacted the Federal Aid Highway Act in 1956, which was designed to preserve the nation’s infrastructure while at the same time keeping private vehicles and commercial vehicles mobile. To ensure that commercial trucks and buses are operating in accordance with the law, it is up to the individual states to regulate this compliance.
The Department of transportation (DOT), continuously update these regulations and make them available for public viewing on their website. It is recommended that all transport companies and driver be familiar with these guidelines.
2. Additional Regulations Regarding Commercial Vehicles (Including Box Trucks)
In 2015 President Obama signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). This covers the next five fiscal years and oversees the various regulations covering the use of and oversight of America’s highway system. This includes the size classifications of vehicles, such as the box truck.
This may or may not directly affect your operation, but it will have an impact on the overall industry. One of the key areas is the state’s compliance with 23 CFR 650 Subpart C, of the National Bridge Inspection Standards.
The importance of this, as it relates to your box truck (or other fleet vehicles), is the possible changes to bridge load ratings. These weight limit changes might require bridges to have their ratings changed, affecting their maximum load-carrying limits.
3. Box Truck Designs
A box truck is recognized by its ‘box’ like shaped body design. It is also known by other names; these include a cube van, cube truck, box van, some even call them a rolling toaster.
But the one main thing to remember is that they are a straight truck, (cab and bed are on the same frame).
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Besides the box shape, this type of truck usually has the cabin separate from the cargo space, though some do have an access point between the two. Most have the standard roll up doors, though some might have hinged doors.
Many of the trucks come with the standard pull-out ramp, while others may have a hydraulic lift.
4. Box Truck Sizes
A box truck can come in a variety of sizes and can have either one or two axles supporting the load. Common box trucks, as stated are the ones seen at the local U-Hal rental shops. They range in sizes from 10 feet all the way to 26 feet in length.
Something else to consider regarding this truck is the height. The smaller box trucks are about 6 feet tall while the larger trucks can be over 8 feet tall. This is something to remember when visiting the local fast food driver thru!
5. Box Truck Weight Limits
Like all vehicles, this truck is designed to haul a certain amount of weight. Once you exceed this you will either need to divide the load or get a larger box truck, you may even need a full semi if the load is too big.
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In accordance with Section 127 of title 23 of the United States Code, the weight requirements for vehicles operating on the American highway system are; 20,000 pounds for a single axle; 34,000 pounds for a tandem axle; and 80,000 pounds gross weight, (the maximum according to the Federal Bridge Formula.)
A typical box truck (Class 3 to class 7) has a weight limit between 12,500 lb. to 33,000 pounds (gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).
So make sure you are in compliance with the weight limits. The last thing you want to do is be overweight and pay scale penalties.
This will cost you time and money. Sometimes you can shift the load so that is more evenly distributed, but usually it will require transferring all or part of the load.
This will then increase the salary for the drivers (paying two drivers), the time lost while doing this, and the associated fines and tickets. Remember fines can have an adverse effect on your safety rating.
6. Box Truck Uses
As I stated earlier having a box truck as part of your fleet can be a useful advantage. Of course it also depends on what type of operation your company is.
It is not real common to use this type of truck for long hauls, though it would depend on the load and the customer’s needs.
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This truck is really great for local routes. They keep the cargo safe from the damaging effects of the environment while at the same time keep the loads smaller and more manageable.
Household goods, packages, print (newspapers/magazines), perishables, and such are just a small sampling of what can be delivered using a box truck.
7. Box Truck Good Points
As I stated earlier this truck is most often used for local runs. That is because they are more maneuverable than a large semi. Typically this truck will get noticeably better gas mileage than a larger truck. Their size and fuel consumption make them perfect for operating in heavy traffic or in tight areas.