While gooseneck bodies may seem like a pretty straightforward application, you might be surprised at the options and complexity that comes with choosing a gooseneck. From those looking for a basic platform to pull a trailer to those needing a hybrid service/platform body, there are plenty of options when choosing a gooseneck.
DETERMINE YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT AND NEEDS
When deciding on what gooseneck body to choose, you first need to look at your specific work environment and towing needs. These factors will help you make the choice between steel or aluminum construction, as well as what mixture of max trailer weight, payload needs and on-board storage you need.
STEEL AND ALUMINUM GOOSENECKS
While steel gooseneck bodies have been the industry standard for a number of years, aluminum bodies have become more common recently thanks to their combination of corrosion resistance, light weight and strength.
If you’re working in a region or area that contains corrosive material, aluminum makes a great choice as it’s a very corrosion-resistant material. Likewise, if your application calls for a lot of heavy hauling, it might be a good idea to consider aluminum for its light weight and additional payload capabilities. Every pound you save with a lighter body is a pound gained toward your vehicle’s total payload capability.
One of the main advantages of choosing steel over aluminum is cost. If your work truck budget is tight, a steel gooseneck body will typically yield a lower price tag.
While not as corrosion resistant as aluminum, steel, when properly protected, can stand the test of time as well. Full immersion in an automated e-coat prime paint system provides the best uniform coverage on steel gooseneck bodies, so ensure the steel gooseneck you are looking at receives this type of prime paint.
GOOSENECK BODY TYPE
In addition to choosing the material your body is constructed of, you’ll also have to consider the type of work you’ll be doing and what gooseneck body fits those needs. There are varying levels of goosenecks that range from a basic platform with an integrated gooseneck hitch system to fully-contented hybrid gooseneck/service bodies.
If your application calls for simple hauling and trailer towing with minimal on-board tools, then a basic gooseneck platform is a cost-effective option for you. In addition to usually being the cheapest options, basic gooseneck platform applications can be lighter and provide the most payload.
If you need just a little bit more storage, there are gooseneck options which implement over-or-under body storage compartments to keep tools and equipment. Additionally, these bodies will sometimes implement side skirting and wheel wells to give the package a cleaner look and more protection.
For those that need a bit more than toolbox storage on board, there are gooseneck bodies that implement full side compartments, much like a service body, for maximum on-board storage. These are popular choices among mobile mechanics who need towing flexibility and adequate storage and security for their tools.
GOOSENECK BODY BUYING CHART
|Basic flatbed with integrated gooseneck hitch||Economic option for gooseneck trailer towing or flatbed utilization|
|Gooseneck truck body with side skirts & underbody toolboxes||Flush flatbed floor and gooseneck towing hitch with integrated toolbox storage|
|Combination service and gooseneck body||Most versatile, full service body side compartments with gooseneck hitch system|
MAX TRAILER WEIGHT AND GVWR
One of the main reasons to purchase a gooseneck body is the versatility of being able to haul on the flatbed or a gooseneck trailer. However, there are a lot of factors to consider, including your state and federal DOT regulations, before making a choice on truck and trailer. You’ll have to consider things like your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), gross combined weight rating (GCWR), gooseneck weight rating, tire weight ratings, and your trailer’s weight rating before diving into the world of hauling.
If you’re planning on hauling with your gooseneck platform, you’ll need to choose a chassis with a GVWR that allows you to retain enough capacity to haul what you need to haul, including fuel, tools, and passengers.
There’s a bit more complexity when it comes to determining your gooseneck trailer hauling capability. While a gooseneck trailer may say it’s rated for 30,000 pounds, that doesn’t mean your truck chassis or flatbed are rated for the same capacity.
One important thing to remember is your towing capacity is only as strong as its weakest link, so don’t surpass your lowest towing rating, whether that be the chassis max trailer weight or the gooseneck hitch system rating.
While deciding on body type and payload or hauling, you should also consider what size gooseneck body you’ll want or need. If you’ve already got a truck, the cab-to-axle (measurement in inches from the back of the cab to the rear axle) of that chassis will determine what size body you need. If you’re purchasing both the chassis and body new, you’ll have the flexibility to choose the body that matches your application then match it to a chassis that fits the body and your needs.
Here’s a quick reference guide for gooseneck body length and chassis cab-to-axle compatibility.
|CHASSIS CAB-TO-AXLE||BODY LENGTH|
|36-42” CA single rear wheel||7' Body|
|56” CA single or dual rear wheel||8' Body|
|60” CA single or dual rear wheel||9' Body|
|84” CA dual rear wheel||11' Body|
NOTE: Remember, if you need to maximize your payload combining a higher class vehicle (class 3 and above) with dual rear wheels will generally yield a higher available payload.
OTHER CHASSIS CONSIDERATIONS
You’ll also need to think about where you’ll be using your chassis and how you’ll need to spec accordingly.
If you’re going to be using your vehicle off-road, it’s a good idea to equip it with a 4×4 drivetrain that can handle the rougher terrain. If your hauling is done in more urban areas on road, you may be fine with a 4×2 truck.
In addition to the drivetrain, the type of engine you choose can make a big difference on how your truck spec turns out. Things like cost, power needs, fuel efficiency, PTO needs, idle frequency and maintenance can play a part in choosing a gas or diesel engine.
NOTE: Most chassis manufacturers and truck body upfitters don’t install bodies on half ton or smaller trucks. In most cases, the remaining payload after installing the body would be minimal and it will more than likely void the chassis warranty.
POPULAR OPTIONS FOR YOUR GOOSENECK BODY
Removable side boards – Low-profile side boards provide a lip on the sides of your platform surface to keep items from sliding off.
Contractor package – This package combines both side stake racks and over-and-under-body toolboxes to create a truck that’s ready to haul, tow and work from day one.
LED Compartment Lights – Your work doesn’t wait until the sun rises, nor is it always complete by sunfall. With LED compartment lights installed, you can work easier when the days start early and run late.
Stake racks – Stake racks come in 6 or 15 inch heights and act as side and rear walls for your platform surface. They are conveniently secured into your internal stake pockets with an internal spring-loaded system to ensure they stay in place.
Strengthened treadplate floor – Many gooseneck bodies have the option of ordering thicker treadplate flooring for more extreme applications and uses.
Power locks – Make securing your important tools and equipment as easy as the push of a button.
Toolboxes – Above-or-under-body toolboxes are available to provide additional storage for your gooseneck body.
Cargo tie downs – Keeping cargo secure on the platform of your gooseneck is serious business. Adding cargo tie downs to your truck makes it easy and secure.
Mechanics Drawers – You can’t just toss your valuable tools inside of a compartment and call it good. While a tool bag might get it done for a small number of your tools, sometimes you need a bit more storage. Carry all of your vital tools everywhere you go with a mechanics drawer inside your service or utility body.