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Industry Trends: Truck equipment industry moves toward lighter material

In 2015, Ford shed 750 pounds from its F-150 pickup by using more aluminum in the body than steel. Fore 2017, it has done the same with the Super Duty line. During this time, using lighter-weight materials became an industry trend. Many of our equipment manufacturers now have a lightweight material option. Are you on the fence about aluminum and/or fiberglass? Here are some benefits to using steel's lighter-weight counterparts.

  • Serious money savers. Lightweight material such as aluminum or fiberglass are very environmentally friendly, producing far less greenhouse gas. This will save you money at the pump. In addition, the lighter-weight material is often cheaper than steel.

  • Less driving miles. Almost 50 percent lighter than their steel counterparts, lightweight bodies are able to deliver more in fewer loads. This equals fewer drivers, fewer trucks, and more money for companies.

  • Easy repair. Steel bodies are much more difficult to cut than aluminum or fiberglass. Additionally, old paint must be scraped off before welding. Since seeing the lightweight material trend, more shops are equipped to work with aluminum and fiberglass parts.

  • Higher quality appearance. Aluminum/fiberglass bodies do not rust over time like steel bodies eventually do. If the bodies are properly maintained, they look much nicer.

  • Higher resale value. Since aluminum bodies do not rust, resale value is much higher. Rusted steel bodies typically don't last as long.

  • Environmentally friendly. With the weight and gas savings, paired with being able to have less trucks and drivers on the road, lighter bodies equals a greener planet.

Truck Equipment offers several light-weight options through our reputable manufacturers, BrandFX and Knapheide.

The BrandFX line of EverLast service and line bodies are made from advanced composite construction that deliver a high-strength, lightweight build. According to the website, these bodies offer numerous advantages compared to traditional steel and aluminum bodies, including a zero-corrosion and zero-oxidation construction that won't bend, dent, crack or rust. These bodies weight up to 60 percent less than traditional steel bodies, according to its website, improving fuel efficiency and reducing wear on tires, brakes and suspension systems. Visit the BrandFX website for more information at

Knapheide unveiled its new Aluminum Gooseneck Body at the 2017 NTEA Work Truck Show in March. A press release on the Knapheide website states, "Customers can expect the aluminum gooseneck bodies to be corrosion resistant and lightweight yet strong, translating into a durable product with maximum payload and towing capacity." Check out the Knapheide website to learn more about these bodies at

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