Choosing the right body for your truck has a big effect on fuel efficiency.

Body size and dimensions

truck bodyWhen selecting the body for your vehicle, think about the shape and weight of the loads you will carry, e.g. loose cargo, pallets, or aggregates. Make sure the body is no higher than it needs to be—unnecessary height increases drag and fuel use.

If you need powered-ancillary equipment (e.g. a crane or refrigeration motor), make sure it is properly matched to the size of the engine otherwise it will cause unnecessary stress on the truck and result in higher fuel use.

Material choice is also important—the body of your truck is a weight that you will always be carrying, so the lighter this is the less fuel you will use carrying it. Some key trade offs are:

  • Aluminium is light and easy to repair, but expensive and not appropriate for heavy loads.
  • Fibreglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) is strong and cheaper than aluminium, but very heavy.
  • Curtain-siders are lighter than FRP, but less secure and much more prone to damage.

If you intend to attach a trailer to your truck, remember that you will need to consider the Gross Combination Mass (GCM) limitations of your vehicle.

Hot Tip: Use your dealer's expertise when choosing the body for your truck. They will be able to help you pick the correct material and help you understand how its weight will affect your fuel efficiency.

Other issues

Easy access when loading and unloading your truck is also important. Anything that makes loading and unloading quicker and easier (e.g. roller shutters) will make work easier for your drivers. Drivers that are less stressed use less fuel.

Safety is important too. All truck bodies sold should be made according to Vehicle Standards Bureau (VSB) 6 Guidelines. Dealerships generally have direct arrangements with body manufacturers to ensure specifications are correct. This will simplify the buying process for you.