Things You Need to Know about Cutaway Trucks

cutaway van

A cutaway truck, is a commercial vehicle with a box shaped cargo compartment that is mounted to a cab & chassis that is manufactured with an incomplete body from a manufacturer such as Chevrolet, GMC, and Ford for example. The cabin sheet metal is actually left open and the rest of the van body sheet metal is not installed; the cargo box is mated right up to the cabin behind the occupant seating area by the cargo box manufacturer. The cargo area of this type of truck sometimes has been ordered with a sliding door in the “bulkhead wall” of the cargo box to allow access from the passenger compartment of the vehicle.

The cargo area of a cutaway van sits on the chassis or frame of the vehicle as a separate component, a cutaway truck is a two-piece vehicle with a roll-up door or hinged doors at the rear.

Box trucks offer more cargo space than a typical cargo van. It is the reason why they are often used for delivery, moving, and hauling of bulky cargo.

If you intend to buy a cutaway truck for your business, here are some important elements to consider:

The Items You Want to Haul

The items you want to move or haul should be the first thing you consider when you buy a cargo delivery vehicle. You should identify your primary cargo at this stage to be able to determine the appropriate specifications of the truck you want to buy.

The Chassis

Selecting the correct chassis will allow you to create a balance between cargo space and weight.

Putting a large body on a smaller chassis will allow you to load more cargo. But if the cargo is heavy, you’ll possibly reach the maximum weight limit of the truck before it runs out of space.

Before deciding to buy, you must consult with your truck dealer about specifications and load capacities.

Your Truck Driver’s Qualifications

Not all truck drivers are qualified to drive any type of commercial truck. A truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 lbs for example, should be driven by a CDL driver. If you allow your truck to be driven by an unqualified driver, you are putting your business at risk.

Chassis and Box Lengths

Having a cutaway van with a mismatched chassis and box length can be detrimental to your business. A box that’s too long will easily overload the truck. It also makes turning around more difficult.


Clearance matters are important as far as loading and unloading of cargo is concerned. When choosing a commercial truck for business, you should consider the dimensions of your cargo items in relation to your truck’s cargo box measurements to ensure the truck will adequately meet your needs.

Interior Lighting

Commercial trucks should be equipped with adequate interior lighting to make them useful any time of day or night. The absence or lack of proper lighting inside the box can affect the productivity of your staff and expose them to safety risks.

Floor Type

The type of floor in the truck you purchase should be appropriate for the materials being loaded. Floor selection depends on the cargo you’re hauling. Wooden floors for example are not advisable if you’re hauling liquid or food items. Hardwood floors are appropriate for heavier items, and regular pine wood flooring is suitable for light to medium weight cargo.

Truck Specifications

If your areas of operation are equipped with a loading dock, you need to consider the following to ensure efficiency of operation:

Rear Door Type – If the loading or receiving warehouse is equipped with a loading dock, a truck with a roll-up rear door is ideal. Swing-out rear doors are not as effective for this type of operation because it’s possible the doors won’t be able to open when the truck is backed up to the dock.

Chassis Wheel Size – Box trucks with a lower gross vehicle weight rating are usually fitted with smaller tires which makes them too low for dock loading or unloading purposes. Always consider the wheel size when choosing a box truck to make sure that it is compatible with the height of the loading dock your truck will be dealing with.

Forklift Package – If you need a forklift to load cargo from the dock onto the truck and vice versa, choose a truck with a forklift package that has hardwood flooring and steel plating installed. This will make your operation faster, safer and more efficient.

If you’re in need of commercial trucks to fill your business needs, Truck-N-Trailer has the vehicle for you! Call us to schedule a test drive at (405) 912-5800