Service trucks are versatile and essential vehicles in the construction and utility industries. They are designed to provide on-site assistance, transport equipment and tools, and support the maintenance and repair of machinery. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about service trucks—including their applications, sizes, body types, and more.
What is a Service Truck?
A service truck—also known as a mechanic truck—is a specialized utility vehicle equipped with various tools and equipment required for construction, maintenance, and repair tasks. These trucks are designed to provide mobile support for heavy machinery and equipment—as well as transport necessary tools and materials to job sites.
Service trucks are used across several industries, including:
- Utilities (electric, gas, water)
- Road and bridge maintenance
- Municipal services
Service Truck Sizes
Service trucks come in various sizes—depending on the tasks they need to perform and the amount of equipment they need to transport. Common sizes include:
- Light-duty: These smaller service trucks are ideal for minor maintenance tasks, landscaping, and smaller construction jobs. They typically have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or less.
- Medium-duty: With a GVWR between 10,001 and 26,000 pounds—medium-duty service trucks are suitable for most construction, utility, and maintenance tasks. They can carry more equipment and tools than light-duty trucks.
- Heavy-duty: Designed for heavy construction, mining, and large-scale utility projects—heavy-duty service trucks have a GVWR of over 26,000 pounds. They can transport large equipment and handle heavy loads.
Service Truck Body Types
There are several service truck body types—each tailored to specific applications:
- Open body: This design features an open cargo area with storage compartments on the sides. It’s ideal for easy access to tools and equipment.
- Enclosed body: An enclosed service truck has a fully enclosed cargo area—offering additional protection for tools and equipment from the elements and theft.
- Crane body: Equipped with a crane—this type of service truck is perfect for lifting heavy equipment and materials at job sites.
- Combo body: This design combines the features of open and enclosed body types—offering both secure storage and easy access to tools.
Pros and Cons of Diesel Service Trucks
The pros of a diesel service truck includes:
- Better fuel efficiency compared to gasoline engines
- Greater torque for towing and carrying heavy loads
- Longer engine lifespan
- Lower overall cost of ownership in the long run
The cons of a diesel service truck includes:
- Higher upfront cost
- More expensive fuel
- Potential for higher maintenance costs
- Stricter emissions regulations
Passenger Cab Considerations
When selecting a service truck, it’s essential to consider the size and configuration of the passenger cab. Options include:
- Regular cab: A two-door, single-row cab with seating for two or three passengers.
- Extended cab: Offers additional rear seating and storage space behind the front row.
- Crew cab: Features four doors and two full rows of seating—providing more space for passengers and gear.
Tool Storage for Service Trucks
Proper tool storage is crucial for keeping your service truck organized and efficient. Options include:
- Side compartments: Easy-to-access storage for frequently used tools and equipment.
- Toolboxes: Secure storage for valuable tools and equipment.
- Drawer units: Organized storage for small parts and tools.
- Racks and shelves: Customizable storage for ladders, pipes, and other materials.
New Versus Used Service Trucks
When choosing a service truck, you’ll need to decide between buying new or used. Here are some factors to consider:
New Service Trucks:
The pros of a new service truck includes:
- Customizable to your specific needs
- Latest technology and features
- Full warranty coverage
- Lower maintenance costs initially
The cons of a new service truck includes:
- Higher upfront cost
- Depreciates more quickly
Used Service Trucks:
The pros of a used service truck includes:
- Lower upfront cost
- Slower depreciation
- Potentially lower insurance costs
The cons of a used service truck includes:
- Limited customization options
- Higher maintenance costs
- Limited or no warranty coverage
- Unknown vehicle history and potential hidden issues
Buying or Leasing a Service Truck
Another decision you’ll need to make is whether to buy or lease your service truck. Each option has its benefits and drawbacks.
The pros of buying a new service truck includes:
- Complete ownership of the truck
- Ability to customize and modify the truck as needed
- No restrictions on mileage or usage
The cons of buying a new service truck includes:
- Higher upfront cost
- Depreciation of the vehicle’s value
The pros of leasing a new service truck includes:
- Lower upfront cost
- Option to upgrade to a newer model at the end of the lease
- Maintenance costs may be included in the lease agreement
The cons of leasing a new service truck includes:
- No ownership equity in the truck
- Mileage and usage restrictions
- Fees for early termination or excess wear and tear
Top 5 Service Truck and Body Manufacturers
Based on industry reputation, performance, and versatility—here are the top 5 most reliable service truck providers:
Established in 1848, Knapheide is a leading provider of service truck bodies and equipment. They offer a wide range of service and utility truck bodies, including open and enclosed models, crane bodies, and combo bodies. Their products are known for their durability, functionality, and quality.
Founded in 1990, Stellar Industries is a premier manufacturer of truck-mounted equipment, including service and mechanic trucks. They offer a variety of body types, cranes, and equipment for various applications. Stellar is known for their innovative designs, quality products, and excellent customer support.
With over 40 years of experience, Maintainer is a top manufacturer of high-quality service trucks, crane bodies, and lube trucks. They offer various customization options to meet the specific needs of their customers. Maintainer is known for its commitment to innovation, quality, and customer satisfaction.
Reading Truck Body has been a leading provider of service and utility truck bodies since 1955. They offer a wide range of customizable service truck bodies, including open and enclosed models, crane bodies, and more. Known for their quality, durability, and innovation, Reading Truck Body has a strong reputation in the industry.
Founded in 1962, Wilcox Bodies is a leading manufacturer of custom service truck bodies and equipment. They offer a variety of service truck body types, including open, enclosed, and crane body options. Wilcox Bodies is known for its quality products, innovative designs, and commitment to customer satisfaction.