Some of the advantages of utility truck bodies over conventional cargo vans and pickup trucks are the separation of cargo from the driver's compartment, deep and organized storage bins, streetside and curbside access to tools and supplies, and roofs over the cargo storage. Utility truck bodies are available in steel, aluminum and fiberglass construction with differing advantages and disadvantages. Most are also available in closed-or open-top designs.
Depending on the type of material being hauled in the cargo bay section of a utility truck, a closed-top model can be advantageous for keeping the load dry and protected from the weather, as well as locked up, which protects it from theft. Storage bins on the outside can accommodate tool and parts organizers and give access to everything the workman needs, without him crawling around in a pickup bed or back end of a cargo van. If a hazardous material is being hauled, the driver is protected from exposure by the cab wall.
Steel utility truck bodies have been around the longest and are heavy duty. However, the weight of the steel makes it less fuel efficient than other options, and it is susceptible to rust and corrosion. Aluminum utility truck bodies are much lighter weight, giving them better fuel efficiency, and the aluminum does not rust. The lighter material is also more at risk for dents and damage on construction sites.
Single-piece fiberglass utility bodies achieve increased fuel efficiency from lighter weight and aerodynamic design. Its durability can exceed steel, and aluminum and fiberglass is virtually impervious to moisture, corrosion and rust.