Get to Know the Straight Truck: The Workhorse of the Trucking Industry

A straight truck, also known as a box truck, is a type of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) used for hauling various cargoes, such as boxes, parcels, furniture, or household goods. It comprises a chassis cab with one or more axles and a fixed trailer attached to its rear. Straight trucks come in configurations ranging from two to six wheels (with three axles) depending on the payload capacity.

Due to their versatility and flexibility in navigating tight alleyways, they have become the workhorse of the trucking industry. Their size makes them perfect for maneuvering congested city streets, making them a popular option for frequent deliveries. Although they serve various business purposes, they primarily use short-distance freight transportation.


Types of Straight Trucks

There are many kinds of straight trucks tailored to meet different cargo needs. Some of the most common types are:

  • Box trucks: An essential type of commercial vehicle that can accommodate various goods and materials with their enclosed cargo box. These versatile units can carry items securely since they have a liftgate, making loading and unloading heavy items more accessible. Box trucks also have high load capacities and relatively low fuel consumption, making them great for multi-stop deliveries.
  • Cube trucks: These cargo vehicles get their name from their cube-shaped cargo hold. They are used by businesses to transport goods that require extra interior space while still having the maneuverability and convenience of a medium-duty size truck. With features such as double rear doors and an accessible cargo area, they provide an economical transport mechanism to move loads quickly and efficiently.
  • Cube vans: Many businesses and industries rely heavily on these trucks, providing an efficient way to transport goods over short distances. They typically feature a large, rectangular cargo area better suited for carrying large objects than traditional hatchbacks or sedans. Cube vans are also relatively affordable, costing much less than full-size trucks or semi-trailers.
  • Dump trucks: A type of straight truck primarily used to dispose of materials on construction sites. They feature a hydraulically operated open-box bed that lifts upward to empty its contents. A dump truck is designed to handle rugged terrain and difficult working conditions, making it highly valued by those who work with materials in the outdoor environment.
  • Heavy-duty pickup trucks with fixed beds: An economical and efficient option for many businesses. These vehicles are more cost-effective than box trucks and can carry larger loads than the average. They offer better fuel efficiency than most pickups with the same size engine and have increased towing capacity. Additionally, they feature components explicitly designed to support heavier payloads, such as reinforced suspension systems and improved braking systems.

Dimensions of Straight Trucks

While straight trucks come in varying sizes, they typically have a length of between 10 and 26 feet and a height of 8 to 10 feet. These dimensions make them ideal for carrying substantial loads and facilitate reliable business storage options. In addition, straight trucks are designed with a wide variety of cargo holds, making them highly customizable for specialized needs. With a wide range of sizes available, straight trucks make it easier to carry heavier loads while using the appropriate dimension truck that adheres to size, weight, and route restrictions regulations.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

All vehicles must bear the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) label. This label indicates the maximum loaded weight of a fully operational vehicle, including passengers, cargo, and other miscellaneous items. The GVWR generally falls below 26,001 pounds for straight trucks to ensure safe hauling limits are met. Paying attention to this rating is crucial to ensure your vehicle stays within its capacity and can safely transport goods and equipment.

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Requirements

While a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is essential for many truck drivers, it is optional for all. Straight trucks weighing 26,001 lbs or less and not transporting hazardous materials do not require a CDL. This allows drivers to operate the truck without worrying about extra qualifications and licensing.

How to Maintain a Straight Truck

Proper maintenance ensures a straight truck’s safe and efficient operation. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Regularly check engine oil and fluids: Checking the levels of oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, brake fluid, and other essential liquids will help ensure that your truck is functioning correctly.
  • Replace air filters: Changing old and new ones can reduce fuel consumption and extend engine life.
  • Inspect tires regularly: Ensuring that tires are correctly inflated and checking for signs of wear or damage can improve their performance and safety on the road.
  • Check brakes: Inspect brakes periodically for any signs of wear or damage to ensure they function correctly. This should be done at least once a year.
  • Inspect suspension system: The system is a crucial part of the truck and should be checked regularly for any issues, as it supports heavier payloads.
  • Keep up with regular maintenance: Routine inspections, oil changes, and other preventive measures can help keep your straight truck running smoothly and safely for years to come.

The Benefits of Using a Straight Truck for Businesses

Businesses should consider using straight trucks because they offer many benefits, such as:

  • Versatility: Straight trucks can be used for various tasks, such as delivering goods, services, and supplies, making them a versatile option for businesses with diverse transportation needs.
  • Maneuverability: Straight trucks have less difficulty turning than tractor-trailers, making them easier to drive in narrower spaces and leaving the driver more time to focus on safety.
  • Better fuel efficiency: A straight truck is more fuel-efficient than other heavy-duty vehicles and is built for long-distance trips, which can help you save fuel costs.

Bottom Line

Straight trucks are characterized by their boxy shape, and enclosed cargo area often called box trucks. They come in various sizes, but typically length and height measure 10-26 feet and 8-10 feet, respectively. Many businesses prefer straight trucks since they have a GVWR of fewer than 26,001 pounds, allowing drivers to operate them even if they do not have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Additionally, these trucks offer versatility and maneuverability, making them a workhorse of the trucking industry.



About the author, Laurence Perkins

Laurence Perkins is the passionate car enthusiast behind the blog My Auto Machine. With over a decade of experience in the automotive industry, Perkins has knowledge and experience with a wide range of car makes and models. His particular interests lie in performance and modification, and his blog covers these topics in-depth. In addition to his own blog, Perkins is a respected voice in the automotive community and writes for various automotive publications. His insights and opinions on cars are highly sought-after.