I ALREADY HAVE A TRUCK AND NEED A NEW TRUCK BODY……
You need to find the body that is right for your job. You need an upfitter (truck body distributor) that can provide you with a quality truck body that is compatible with your current truck.
The first thing you need to understand is the truck you have may limit your selection of truck body choices. The class of the truck and cab to axle measurement are the two biggest factors when it comes to truck and body compatibility. An 8-foot service body won’t work on a truck with a cab to axle measurement of 36 inches. You also can’t take an 8-foot enclosed utility body and install it on a half-ton truck (class 1, Ford F-150, Chevrolet/GMC 1500, Ram 1500) due to payload restrictions.
CAB TO AXLE & BODY LENGTH CHART
|CAB TO AXLE||SERVICE/UTILITY BODY||PLATFORM BODY||GOOSENECK BODY||DUMP BODY|
|84″||11′||10′ | 11′ | 12′||11′||11′ | 12′|
|108″||13′||13′ | 14′ | 16′||–||14′ | 15′|
|120″||14′||14′ | 16′ | 18′||–||16′|
*Always work with a distributor to determine body and chassis compatibility
TRUCK BODY LENGTH & CHASSIS CLASS CHART
|BODY LENGTH||CHASSIS CLASS|
The next step would be product research, get an idea of what style of truck body (service body, utility body, flatbed, etc) you would like as well as any options or accessories. Talk to other local contractors and professionals in your trade to get product insights that may help you along with your decision. Visit body manufacturers’ websites and look at available models and options. Once you settle on a body manufacturer, utilize the quote request form or distributor lookup on their website to get in touch with the closest truck body distributor that carries your brand of choice.
If the distributor has your product in stock at their location, your wait time should be relatively short to install your new truck body.It can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on their current workload and any accessories or options they may need to order for your new body. If the distributor does not have the product in stock, it is important to acquire lead time information for receiving the body and completing the installation from the distributor to avoid any frustration.
WHY CAN’T I JUST INSTALL A TRUCK BODY MYSELF? WHY DO I NEED A TRUCK BODY DISTRIBUTOR TO DO IT?
There are many federal motor vehicle safety standards that apply to commercial vehicles. Distributors are experts at understanding these standards and ensuring the vehicle they complete for you adheres to those along with any additional state regulations and is safe to perform the task you need it to do.
I NEED A NEW TRUCK AND BODY FAST…
Let’s say one of your work trucks went out on you or you just received a huge project and need additional support vehicles. Regardless of the reason, you need a work truck (truck and body) fast. Luckily for you, they exist; but you may have to look or travel to find what you want or need when time is of the essence.
You may already have a truck dealer in your area that you have purchased work trucks from in the past. All across the nation, there are truck dealers (Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, Ram, International, Peterbilt, Kenworth, Freightliner, Isuzu and more) that specialize in selling and stocking already upfitted work trucks. These commercial truck dealers vastly range in size, offering anywhere from a few to hundreds of upfitted work trucks with bodies.
WHERE CAN I FIND READY-TO-WORK COMMERCIAL VEHICLES NEAR ME?
There are several options for searching and finding the right upfitted truck in local dealer inventories. Many commercial truck dealers will list their inventory of upfitted trucks directly on their website, typically under the “commercial” or “fleet” inventory section.
If you can’t find the upfitted truck you are looking for on your local dealer’s website or you would rather search through the inventory of many commercial dealers, there are websites specifically for this. Work Truck Solutions and Commercial Truck Trader combine commercial truck inventory from dealers across the nation into one website. There, you have the ability to filter thousands of commercial trucks by location, make, model, body type and more
Please note that most of the commercial truck inventory on dealer lots are standard upfits. So, if your application calls for customization, you will most likely not find the exact truck you need in a short time frame. This is where truck body distributor can help. Say you just purchased a brand new service body on a three-quarter-ton truck. Besides some standard shelving in the compartments and a receiver hitch, the upfit is pretty plain jane. You need some tool storage, parts organization and a dedicated spot for all the PVC you carry. A distributor has all those products to help you customize that plain jane truck body into something more efficient and effective for your job.
NOTE: TO AVOID SITUATIONS WHERE YOU NEED A NEW TRUCK AND BODY FAST, PLAN ON REPLACEMENT CYCLES FOR YOUR WORK TRUCKS BEFORE THEY GIVE OUT. TIME IS MONEY, SO WHEN A TRUCK GOES DOWN YOU LOSE OUT ON REVENUE.
I NEED A NEW TRUCK WITH A HIGHLY CUSTOMIZED BODY…
Your job calls for a heavily customized truck body. Purchasing a standard upfit off a dealer lot just isn’t efficient for your application. You know exactly what you need in a work truck and aren’t willing to settle for anything different. Regardless of where you start, you will need the expertise of both a commercial truck dealer and truck body distributor.
Since you already know the exact upfit you need, the easiest place to start is typically the truck body distributor. These experts will help “spec” the custom truck body you need. Most likely, because you require a heavily customized truck body, the distributor won’t have it on ground ready to be installed. After you complete the spec’ing process of the truck body with the distributor, your chassis selection will be limited to what will be compatible with that custom body. Your distributor will know exactly what the chassis cab-to-axle measurement needs to be, along with minimum chassis GVWR requirements and other compatibility restrictions pertaining to things like fuel tank location, PTO and more.
NOTE: MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE FULL WEIGHT OF THE TOOLS, EQUIPMENT AND PARTS YOU ANTICIPATE IN CARRYING WITHIN YOUR NEW TRUCK BODY. TO BE SAFE, ACCOUNT FOR A FULLY LOADED TRUCK BODY WEIGHT TO AVOID UNDER SPEC’ING THE CHASSIS.
So you have determined your perfect truck body, now you need something to put it on. This is where the commercial truck dealer comes into play. With the chassis requirements determined from the distributor, the dealer will have a good idea of the options you have in a chassis compatible with your custom truck body. The dealer then has a few options in order to source the appropriate chassis. Some commercial truck dealers have “stripped” (or bare) chassis on their lot waiting for the appropriate upfit. If so, they may have the right model and chassis spec for your custom truck body. This is the best case scenario since now you will only need to wait on the truck body to be manufactured and the install to be completed. If your truck dealer does not have the right chassis on ground for you, they may search other commercial truck dealer inventories and complete a dealer trade to bring the right chassis into their inventory.
Another option, lesser known to most work truck owners, is the ability for the dealer to pull chassis from bailment pools. A truck dealer can search inventory of bailment pools located across the country to find the right chassis for their customer. The benefit of utilizing a bailment pool is the customer does not have to wait on the chassis manufacturer to build the bare chassis. This method typically cuts down the time it takes to complete the upfit and deliver the final work truck to the customer.
NOTE: MOST COMMERCIAL TRUCK CHASSIS ARE WHITE, SO DEALERS TYPICALLY STOCK BARE CHASSIS IN WHITE AND THE VAST MAJORITY OF BAILMENT POOL INVENTORY IS WHITE. IF YOU DECIDE YOU WANT YOUR CHASSIS COLOR TO BE SOMETHING OTHER THAN WHITE, BE PREPARED TO WAIT LONGER. SELECT DEALERS MAY HAVE SOME CHASSIS INVENTORY IN BLACK OR RED BUT WHITE REPESENTS MORE THAN 90% OF COMMERCIAL TRUCK CHASSIS.
If both the chassis and body need to be manufactured, you will need to collect information from the truck body distributor and the commercial truck dealer on the expected completion dates. Based off of that information, the truck body distributor should also provide you with a completion date for the install of the custom truck body so you have a firm understanding of when you will be able to place your new work truck into service. Because the truck body distributor is relying on the truck body manufacturer and the commercial truck dealer is relying on the chassis manufacturer, there are a lot of variables with this process. The truck body distributor and commercial truck dealer will need to be well-coordinated in their efforts to provide you with a seamless experience. If the projected completion date is affected throughout the process, the truck body distributor (in the case of the body production or install) or the commercial truck dealer (in the case of the chassis production) should provide notification.