Monday, March 07, 2011

Utility/Service Body Applications - Steel and Aluminum

When writing specifications for work trucks with service bodies the costs can add up very fact if one is not careful. Several things need to be considered:
  1. What type of use will the the truck and body be subject to? 
  2. How long will the truck be in service ?  Most service body manufacturers carry a 5 year plus warranty covering rust and corrosion. 
  3. What payload are you considering ? 
Bodies made from steel are almost twice as heavy as aluminum. Aluminum bodies cost more than steel. The weight saving of aluminum could possibly save money in the cost of the chassis selection. It also could improve the fuel economy over steel. Not too many manufacturers offer aluminum bodies so it would be advisable to work with a company that has at least 10 years or more of successful manufacturing experience. It is also advisable to get feedback from some of their users.

All steel bodies have been the mainstay for users over the years and there are a large number of manufactures to choose from. It is suggested that a good two sided zinc coated steel be specified for protection against rust and corrosion. Also check into the various warranties offered. Once a supplier has been determined it is important to work closely with the manufacturer to select standard compartment and door sizes. If special sizing is required the body costs will increase due to special set-ups and smaller runs when manufacturing.

Body options can also be costly. For example ball bearing rollout compartment drawers can cost at least $100.00 plus depending on the size and complexity. If a body calls fo 5 or 6 drawers, the cost for that option could easily exceed $1000.00. Friction type slid out drawers are also available at a considerable cost saving.

Rubber Fenderetts is another costly option to avoid. They are usually installed on the wheelhouse are of the body with a large number of fasteners. The more fasteners the more costly to produce and the better the chances for rust to occur. You will save money and premature failures if steel fenderetts are specified.

Rust Proofing of Bodies... over the years with the advent of zinc coated steels and improved body primers, rust proofing is not required for longer life and is a waste of money. Even in the high salt regions, bodies wil perform very well without the extra cost for rust proofing.

Your Versalift East Engineering Staff can help you make good decisions in body designs and money saving tips when making your body selections.

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