Bodies that make trucks work

April 1, 2004
New truck bodies were in abundance at the 2004 Work Truck Show in Baltimore. The event attracted 421 exhibitors and 162,450 total net square feet of exhibits

New truck bodies were in abundance at the 2004 Work Truck Show in Baltimore.

The event attracted 421 exhibitors and 162,450 total net square feet of exhibits — more than we can squeeze into these pages. But here is a sample of the new truck bodies that visitors saw:

Polyethylene was not touted at the NTEA Work Truck Show as the answer to scarce steel supplies. But perhaps the start of a trend was evident in that two different manufacturers of dump bodies showed body tubs of heavy-duty crosslinked polyethylene plastic. One big advantage is its non-sticking load surface for easier clean-out at lower dump angles.

The Crysteel Poly Tipper is a 16-ft body, 10- to 13-yard capacity, inside a carbon steel frame. It is equivalent in weight to a steel dump body of the same capacity; so weight is not an issue. Its anti-corrosive properties are important for some haulers. The body itself is seamless; so it is easy to seal the tailgate against leakage. Impact resistance is an important advantage. If it dents, the material has memory retention that smoothens it out again.

The body is rotationally molded inside a mold; so the exterior is smooth. However, the inside has an irregular surface formed as the mold is rotated 360° on two axes inside an oven. The crosslinked polyethylene is molded to a sidewall depth of about 1¾". The irregular inside surface does not impair its non-sticking capability for mud, clay, wet batch concrete, snow, and other sticky loads. It is not recommended for hot asphalt.

The plastic is black because of the carbon black mixed into polyethylene for more ultraviolet protection. Peter Jones, president of Crysteel Manufacturing, says the Poly Tipper is a premium truck body made from virgin resin. The tub is rotationally molded by Poly Processing of Monroe, Louisiana, and fitted inside a carbon steel frame manufactured by Crysteel Manufacturing Inc, Lake Crystal, Minnesota.

The other polyethylene dump body exhibited at the NTEA Work Truck Show is at the opposite end of the load scale. The Dump-Pro is a new dump insert for pickup trucks that uses an industrial weight polyethylene for the body. Water-tight, it has no tailgate to open, but dumps over its scow end.

The patented dumping system uses no hydraulics, but rather a Warn Works winch to bring the body up to a 60° dump angle. Body, electric hoist, and subframe weigh under 400 lb. A quick change-out option allows the user to go from pickup bed to dump body in minutes. Standard Hamilton Company Inc, South Daytona, Florida.

The Benson Next Generation all-aluminum stake bed can haul 52,000 lb of cargo in four feet. It is designed to haul heavy coils in such states as Pennsylvania that allow 73,280-lb GVW on a four-axle straight truck.

The stake bed is a truck body version of Benson's Model 724 aluminum platform trailer that can haul 72,000 lb concentrated in four feet, or 140,000 lb evenly distributed.

This Model 524 Benson aluminum stake bed exhibited at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Baltimore is 16' 6" long. The deck is 1¼" deep, multi-hollow core extrusions with one wood nailer on the centerline. The deck is supported by 4⅞" deep aluminum cross sills on 15" centers plus the coil package crossmembers between frame rails where sills are on 7½" centers. The I-beam long sills are 4" deep.

Weight of the aluminum body is 1,500 lb, including the aluminum bulkhead and chain storage rack and 14 chain tiedowns per side. It is mounted on an International 7600 chassis equipped with a Hendrickson HLQ lift axle. Benson International Inc, Mineral Wells, West Virginia.

The Pro-Com multi-purpose dump body converts in minutes from a flat-floor dump to a hopper-side spreader body. The double-wall stainless steel hopper sides not only fold down to cover the conveyor trough, but they overlap to double precisely the floor over this conveyor. A crank-operated chain and sprocket on each side of the body moves the hopper side as it hinges up or down.

Struck capacity of this 9-ft model in stainless steel is 3.5 cu yd as a flat-floor dump body and 2.2 cu yd when the hopper sides are up in the spreader mode. Side height is 17" and tailgate height is 23". Constructed entirely of Type 304 stainless steel, the Unibody construction requires no crossmembers. Air-Flo Mfg, Prattsburgh, New York.

The corrugated sidewall popular as grain body sides now has moved to the city. The newest Scott body by Tafco is a landscaper body. Measuring 12 feet long, it has 42" sidewalls and has a 48" wide side door. It has a double-acting tailgate plus barn doors with a laser-cut diamond pattern screen. The LevelLift Model 600 underbody hoist is mounted on a new subframe. Truck chassis is a Nissan Diesel 1400.

This new landscaper body is available fully assembled, and Tafco is gearing up to ship knock-down bodies. Tafco Equipment Company, Blue Earth, Minnesota, 56013.

The TruckCraft TC200 combo body combines an aluminum dump body with aluminum tool cabinets. The combined bodies add about 800 lb when mounted on any pickup with the body removed (56" CA). Tool cabinets are manufactured from 1/8-inch aluminum, and the doors are on stainless steel hinges. Cabinets on the single-wheel model are 24" high, 14" deep, and 100" long, providing 32 cu ft of storage space within 82" of overall width.

The TC-120 Ultra aluminum dump insert has a capacity to dump 5,000 lb. It holds 2.4 cu yd water level and weighs 420 lb. The floor is constructed of aluminum alloy plank extrusions that run crosswise and fit together in a tongue-and-groove design. The bolt-on installation requires no modification to the truck chassis. One 12-volt battery cable is the only electrical connection required. TruckCraft Corp, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania 17201.

Stainless steel is a new option for Rugby contractor dump bodies. This 9-ft body with fold-down sides has a 12-gauge Type 304 stainless steel for the sides and ends. The floor is a one-piece sheet of 3/16" AR400 steel on 5" I-beam long sills.

The one-piece sides have no vertical braces. They are fully boxed and are 14" high. Brackets are provided for 10" side boards. The tailgate is 24" high. The three-yard body weighs 1,550 lb. Rugby Manufacturing Company, Rugby, North Dakota 58368.

Reading claims that its new Steel Force is the only all-steel utility work van available in the industry. It combines the Classic II service body with an all-steel upper structure. The 12-gauge steel sidewalls have an inner reinforcement but are completely free of rivets, bolts, or exterior ribs.

Rear cargo doors are of 18-gauge two-sided A60 galvannealed steel providing a 50" rear door opening. Behind the right-hand door is a removable access ladder to reach the rooftop ladder rack and storage area. The 14-gauge front bulkhead has a solid sliding steel center door to reach the driver compartment. Working height inside the 12-ft enclosed body is 80". Reading Body Works Inc, Shillington, Pennsylvania 19607.

The Stahl GCX is a service body with automotive styling panels of dent-resistant and rust-resistant ABS plastic. A new lock-bolt fastening system for the inner construction reduces 80% of the welding, yet it is claimed to be stronger. Small parts storage is provided in the top pack on each side, covered by an aluminum treadplate lid. Further automotive styling is provided by the angled lenses on the stop, tail, turn, marker, and back-up lights mounted in the high-impact ABS styled rear end panels. Stahl, a Scott Fetzer Company, Wooster, Ohio 44691.

The Chameleon contractor-style dump body from Swenson Spreader is designed for year-round revenue capability. With 12" fold-down sides and three-way tailgate, it provides a 90" wide floor for hauling pallet loads or skids. With sides closed, the 10-ft bed provides dump body capacity. High sides can extend the volume for mulch and light loads to 10 cubic yards. Opening the four-section hinged cover plates over the belt-over-chain conveyor makes it into a material conveyor or v-box spreader. Expanded metal top makes it into a chipper body or collection box. Swenson Spreader Company, Lindewood, Illinois 61049.

What started as a customer request for better access into a van body has turned into a popular option. These comfortable stair steps easily slide out of the way under the body. They are easy to pull out for a driver making deliveries. The steps are made of quarter-inch aluminum plate and have pooch-pouch anti-slip treads. They were demonstrated at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Baltimore by Kent Lopp, vice-president of corporate marketing, Mickey Truck Bodies, High Point, North Carolina 27261.

Bibeau combined its two most popular models (the Featherlight Heavy Duty and BMT400) and made a smaller-scale version for single-axle trucks called the BBMT. It has the same characteristics as the bigger bodies but in a smaller format — from 9' to 11½' in 6" increments. The truck in the picture is the only one Bibeau has delivered and was being shown for the first time. Pictured: Daniel Bibeau [left] and Terry Stoots. Bibeau, St-Felix-de-Valois, Quebec, Canada.

Beau-Roc now has a SSG tailgate available on all models, from the one-ton TJ to the HTT. It features a zinc-plated, adjustable tailgate-locking system, nitrated pivot hinge, and nitrated upper tailgate hinge. The company has established a new plant in Vars and incorporated new equipment to be more efficient and build better quality products, keeping the lead delivery time of three to four weeks. It now operates with two state-of-the-art plasma cutters, and three press brakes of 400, 600, and 250 tons each. This plant operates two assembly lines with a daily production capacity of 40 dump bodies. Pictured: Richard Allard [left] and Glenn Coffin. Beau-Roc, Vars, Ontario, Canada.

The new Spec 10-XD Extra-Duty service body from Danzer-Morrison has 42"-high compartments, 14-gauge inner-door panels, a tread-plate bulkhead as standard, a flush mount “slam-style” tailgate, 10-gauge treadplate floor, LED lights, and 12-gauge front and rear panels in A60 galvannealed steel. A few weeks after the convention, the company announced the introduction of its new rear pivoting stake sections that operate like barn doors. This optional feature allows the user to load a Danzer platform from the rear without lifting and removing the rear stake sections. Door stays are standard to hold the doors open while in use and a positive triple-locking scheme is standard to hold the doors in the closed position. Additionally, the doors can be easily removed with no special tools required. Pictured: Mel Williams, Kirby McLaughlin and other staffers. Danzer-Morrison, Hagerstown, Maryland.

SpaceKap utility body has double-skin doors and double locks that replace straps. The fiberglass body with composite sandwich construction avoids condensation and offers durability and versatility. The Classic model is available in two lengths: Classic6 will fit 6½' beds, while the Classic8 will fit 8' beds. The Fibrobec line of fiberglass truck caps has been manufactured since 1972. Fibrobec, Beloeil, Quebec, Canada.

Aerocell SRW bridges the gap between cargo vans and cube vans. Designed exclusively for single rear wheel cutaway chassis made by GM and Ford, this new van body offers all of the same benefits as the original Aerocell: one- piece molded fiberglass construction, seamless and glossy gel coat exterior, and aerodynamic styling. The completed vehicle has the extra height and capacity cargo vans lack, as well as the aesthetics, drivability and convenience missing from most cube vans. Pictured: Roger Martin. Unicell Body Co Inc, Buffalo, NY.

The new Performer SVX from Hackney is billed as an easy-to-use work vehicle that is engineered to be a “shop on wheels.” Designed to be mounted on a commercial cutaway chassis, it is available in 10' and 12' models with a 96" width. A 10' model with an 80" width is also available. With the all-aluminum frame, compartments, and rear end, there is no rust. There are premium door locks and handles (two handles on the rear doors, inside and out) and reinforced panels around the double swing out rear doors. The rear opening is nearly 50" wide — a sheet of plywood slides right in. There are two safety grab handles on the rear, and the back end is capped with a full width heavy-duty aluminum rear bumper with open grating for safety. It utilizes a combination of vertical and horizontal side compartments for fast and convenient access to tools and supplies. The vertical compartments (three each side on the 12' model and two each side on the 10' model) feature an adjustable shelf in each compartment, with additional shelves available. Pictured: Mike Pearson [left] and Mike Tucker. Hackney, Independence, Kansas.

Cargo Star van and cutaway bodies are engineered with standard advantages most often requested by leasing companies and individual dry freight truck dealers. Available in lengths from 9' to 28' with these features: Interior two-wire harness; use of industry standard galvanized steel roll-formed shapes with anti-snag roof bows and Z posts; aluminum extrusions for top and bottom rails and front corner posts have simpler profiles with fewer components; three intermediate posts in front wall; simplified rear frame design with fewer components. Frame includes drip rail and is fabricated with galvannealed steel, although there is a stainless steel option; wheel pan plates, with optimized front reinforcement plate width; three-inch cross sills; a choice of a 5" front radius or a 9" radius design with plastic corner cap. Pictured: John Summer Jr. Kidron, Kidron, Ohio.

M H Eby Inc displayed a 9' flatbed with all framing and structural members, heavy I-beam cross members and study rub rails constructed of high-strength, low-maintenance 6061-T6 aluminum alloy. The 5086-H34 aluminum diamond tread plate flooring is 1/8" thick. A trap door is used for pulling trailers under 26,000 lb. Other features: 7" removable sides; 431-lb weight. Options include slatted stake or solid sides, toolboxes, rear light bar, and more. Pictured: Darryl Breniser [left], Bob McKillips and Travis Eby. M H Eby Inc, Blue Ball, Pennsylvania.

The Switch-N-Go detachable truck body system can “switch” bodies in six minutes, “upload” 15,000 lb of cargo, and “dump” at a 50-degree dump angle. The system is made for medium duty work trucks in the 11,000 to 26,000 GVW range. The operator with this system can use his flatbed truck, then switch to a leaf vacuum truck in the fall, then switch to a dump truck or salt spreader in the winter. Pictured: Bud Greenert. Bucks Fabricating, Hadley, Pennsylvania.

New hooklift hoist from American Roll-Off has a dual pivot design that enables contractors to switch bodies and dump loads with added reach. The Hook-All Hooklift Model HA-175 has a 17,500-lb capacity and is designed for single axle chassis. Hook-All Hooklift Model HA-175 uses a dual pivot design, allowing the contractor to be able to switch bodies and dump in a high pile. Model HA-175 has a 17,500-lb. capacity and is designed for single axle chassis. American Roll-Off, Trenton, New Jersey.

Aluminum hopper spreader designed for use with abrasives and/or chemicals is new from Warren Inc. The body is made from a one sheet of .190" 5434-H34 to avoid seams in the spreader sides, while inverted “J” sections formed in the top edges of the sides provide extra strength. The 24" conveyor is powered by a 6:1 reduction worm drive gearbox with 2" drive shaft. A single 18" spinner distributes the material. Shown are Jack Madigan with J C Madigan Inc; Betty Sampley and Russell Warren, Warren Inc, Collins, Mississippi.

The X-Tra Lift Xchange 3 is designed to allow users literally to get more out of their pickups. The hoist can accommodate a variety of bodies, including dump, platform, and small tanks. The hoist has a 3,000-lb capacity for lifting or dumping. Its 92" effective length is designed to fit on trucks with a CA dimension of 56". The X-Tra Lift is a product of Stellar Industries, Garner, Iowa.