Ultimate Beginner’s Guide for Medium Duty Trucks

In today article we are going to speak about medium duty trucks and their importance. Anyone who has worked in the trucking or related commercial vehicle industry knows there are many aspects to this industry. Some of them are obvious while others are not. But most are concerned with the freight. Oh, sure you can look at licensing and training, insurance, customers, locations, and such, but first you need to consider the actual cargo that you will be transporting.


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Why would I say that? What about drivers, support staff, competition, regulations, safety, truck maintenance, and the million other concerns that is associated with this, or any other, industry? All of them are valid points and do need to be considered. But in connection with all of those is the actual freight. After all, that’s what your trucks and drivers do, they haul freight.

Source: www.automobilemag.com

Imagine you go out and find a good customer, then work out the appropriate agreements, but didn’t discuss the cargo to be hauled? So now you show up with a flatbed for frozen fish or a reefer to haul a bulldozer. What are you going to do?

So what does this have to do with medium duty trucks, you ask?  The simple answer is: -Everything. Every good size fleet needs to have a good variety of vehicles and trailers available to assist their client’s needs. Typically a carrier will specialize in one service or another, but should be flexible to handle other request.

Now, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has classified trucks based on their Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also has their own classifications, based on the emissions rating for trucks. Then there are the state and local regulations regarding trucks.

In the United States there are officially 8 different classifications for trucks. The basic ratings for Medium Duty Trucks are:

  • Class 4, the Class 4 truck (GVWR) is between 14,001–16,000 lb (6351–7257 kg).
  • Class 5, the Class 5 truck (GVWR) is between 16,001–19,500 lb (7258–8845 kg).
  • Class 6, the Class 6 truck (GVWR) is between 19,501–26,000 lb (8846–11793 kg).

Source: www.equipmentworld.com

Typically you don’t need a special commercial driver’s license (CDL) or the Department of Transportation (DOT) physical to operate vehicles that fall in this classification. But, it also depends on what the truck will be used for, the laws do vary by state. So always check and keep up to date on the various applicable laws and regulations, not just at the federal level, but for each individual state you operate in.

Remember if you operate in Canada and/or Mexico you will need to comply with their laws as well as US regulations.

So as I stated above, there are many things to consider in order keeping your trucking business not only competitive, but operational as well. Now let’s touch on some other points to consider regarding medium duty trucks.

Medium Duty Trucks
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Why buy Medium Duty Trucks?

It really depends on your company’s overall business model and how you operate. Sounds like I’m avoiding the question, but I am not. If you are a local delivery company or deliver products and freight to your customer from your place of business these are the right trucks for you.

A common example of this is the typical hardware store, furniture store, or other such business. The customer picks out the lumber (or whatever) they want, but can’t haul in the trunk of their car, so the business delivers it. Other examples are moving trucks, the kind a person rents when moving from one place to another. But there are many example and uses for medium duty trucks:

  • Tow trucks
  • Cement trucks
  • Dump Trucks
  • Box Vans
  • Construction Sites
  • Refrigeration Trucks (like the ice cream truck)
  • And so many more examples

Source: www.bozemaninsurance.com

Often you are dealing with customers working in locations that a larger truck just can’t operate in. Perhaps your customers only buy small quantities at a time. Or you operate a local delivery service (it can be hard to zip in and out with a full sized semi).

So it really does depend on your individual business.

What to look for when buying Medium Duty Trucks

This really does go back your individual needs and what you’ll use it for, because like every vehicle, medium duty trucks are not all the same. But you should always check the GVWR, ensuring it can handle the weight and size of the potential load.


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Depending on what you need is, will also dictate which type to get; meaning a flatbed or a box/van model. Perhaps you need one hydraulic lifts that aids in the loading and unloading of cargo. Medium duty trucks can also pull trailers, can carry removable shipping containers, and have beds that can be raised and lowered. So it really depends, there are many great models to choose from!

After market accessories can make medium duty trucks more versatile and add better value to your operational needs.

Medium Duty Trucks
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How much do Medium Duty Trucks cost?

Again this really depends on the type and the model you get. But expect the average price for either a standard flatbed truck or van medium duty truck to be about 70,000. Another consideration is buying new versus used. It also depends on where you buy it, as taxes and other cost will vary.

Also the various manufacturers’ prices may range from few thousand dollars (and up) between them and their competitors. Then once you start adding various other accessories the price naturally goes up. Examples of these are the hydraulic lifts, removable sides, and other such items.

Before you even start looking and shopping around, think about what it is that you will use it for.

Medium Duty Trucks
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To buy new or used Medium Duty Trucks?

This is a tricky question and has both pros and cons. First and main thing is what you can afford and what not. Used are always cheaper, but cheaper is not always better. On the other side, new truck comes with their own set of problems. If you buy your medium duty trucks from an official dealer, stick with someone who is trusted. Always make sure there is a warranty, this will help cover unexpected cost.



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