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Fiberglass utility truck bodies vs steel bodies : pros and cons

When looking to invest into a utility truck body, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make will be which material to go with. Both steel and fiberglass utility truck bodies have their pros and cons, making them the most popular contenders on the market. However, depending on your needs and even the climate in which you operate, you may find that one is clearly a better choice for you over the other.If you are looking to buy a utility truck body, these are some things you should know about the fiberglass and steel versions:

Fiberglass Utility Truck Bodies

A more expensive option than steel, many truck owners find that they make up for the difference in price with the other savings that a fiberglass body can provide. First off, fiberglass is a lighter material than steel, and the implications of this fact are quite vast. Because it weighs less than its steel alternative, it makes the entire ensemble more fuel efficient, as every extra 100 pounds burns more fuel per mile. In a time when fuel prices are on the rise, truck owners looking to drive significant distances with their vehicle will appreciate the savings this feature affords them.

Because they are made of a lighter material, fiberglass utility truck bodies can also carry more payload since they themselves take up less of the weight limit the truck can handle. That means you can load it up with more equipment without hindering the performance of the truck. If you are not looking to drive especially heavy equipment around, the lightness of the fiberglass body means that you can downgrade the chassis of your truck, incurring additional savings, and still be able to handle the weight of the service body plus its contents.

In terms of durability, everyone has their own view on fiberglass. Some find that its flexibility compared to that of steel gives it a level of durability, while others are of the thought that steel is less likely to crack or become permanently damaged.

In climates where snow and moisture are an issue, fiberglass has none of the concerns which steel is associated with. Being a popular material for nautical equipment and vessels, fiberglass is resistant to the rust and corrosion which often plagues steel. Therefore, it’s a more versatile material in terms of weather.

Last but not least, fiberglass bodies have a much longer lifecycle than their steel counterparts. They are usually expected to last up to 20 years with normal use, and some companies, including us at Master Truck Body, even offer a limited lifetime warranty on them, so confident are we in longevity of our products and materials. This can also mean long-term cost savings since the body would not need to be replaced as often as a steel body.

Steel Utility Truck Bodies

Those looking for a short-term solution to their service body needs will appreciate the affordability of the steel version. It is significantly less expensive than the fiberglass version and is very easy to fix if there is a dent or other problem. Opposed to fiberglass bodies which often need a specialized technician to service any cracks or damages, many choose to patch the issue themselves, otherwise taking advantage of the wide range and large number of professionals who can do it for a small fee.

Though many associate steel with rust, many modern utility truck bodies are sprayed with special coatings which protect it from corrosion. However, over time, with heavy duty use, some find that dents, scratches, and any damages to the steel can be a place for rust to form. This isn’t much of an issue if you are located in a climate where moisture, snow, and road salt aren’t prevalent, yet can be a large hindrance if they are.

Steel utility truck bodies seem to be a good fit for situations where they will not be too much driving, the use would be heavy duty, there is a low expectation in terms of lifespan, and rust isn’t an issue. That way, the durability and affordability can be capitalized on.

Choosing between steel and fiberglass utility truck bodies requires some research and an accurate scope for their use in the future. Knowing what it will be used for, and in what conditions, should make the decision easy, so evaluate your needs before you purchase.

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