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Box Truck Vs Semi Truck Business: Which is More Profitable?

Starting and running a box truck is more profitable than owning a semi-truck business. If you are looking to become an owner-operator and manage your own trucking business, one of the most decisive decisions you have to make is the type of vehicle to drive.

Note that the type of vehicle you choose to invest in will dictate various aspects of your trucking life, everything from the kinds of loads you will haul to the amount of money you also intend to make. Box trucks and semi-trucks are the most popular trucks used to haul freight. However, you need to understand that these two types of trucks are different on many levels.

Before making your decision, it is recommended that you understand the key differences between box trucks and semi-trucks. Box trucks are the most common vehicle setup for owner-operators and expediters. A box truck is made up of the cab, sleeper, and cargo box all attached to a single chassis.

Owing to its simplicity in design, the box truck has lower start-up and operational costs, fewer moving parts, a fixed cargo box, and also lower maintenance costs. All these mean that the box truck is suitable for anyone looking for a cheaper investment.

Basic Benefits of Box Trucks over Semi-trucks

More and more owners of service businesses understand the benefits of using box trucks over semi-trucks. If you are still on the fence and looking to make a decision, here are the top reasons why you should consider a box truck over a semi-truck.

  1. Fuel Economy

This is one of the most vital reasons why you should consider a box truck over a semi-truck. Box trucks are known to have better fuel efficiency than semi-trucks, and this entails that they are cheaper to run. Fuel consumption remains one of the most important factors affecting one’s purchase, and here box trucks tend to have better fuel consumption than semi-trucks.

  1. Capacity and CDL

Box trucks are also quite smaller than semi-trucks with the 26 and 28 feet being the biggest sizes. Have it in mind that box trucks do not exceed the GVWR of 26,000 lbs. and this means that the drivers won’t necessarily need a CDL to drive them.

However, there are box trucks that are rated up to 33,000 lbs. on GVWR, and this puts it at Class 7 vehicles that require a CDL.

Meanwhile, semi-trucks are noted as Class 8 vehicles and this entails that they can run up to 80,000 GVWR or more. Note that the higher loads are, the more certification and regulations your business will be expected to comply with and this will most definitely affect your bottom line.

  1. Maneuver With Ease And Good Gas Mileage

Box trucks are mainly used for local runs primarily because they can be maneuvered rather quickly than big semi-trucks. Also, note that box trucks have a higher gas mileage than larger trucks in most cases.

Box trucks remain a more suitable option for driving in tight areas or congested traffic owing to their ideal size and fuel consumption. Meanwhile, due to their bigger size, semi-trucks are only suitable for driving on US highways for long-distance hauling and delivery.

  1. Operational Cost

Just as was noted above, box trucks tend to have better fuel efficiency than semi-trucks. They also have fewer tires to wear out and the cost of maintenance is lower than that of semi-trucks. Note that all this entails the box trucks are more suitable for individuals looking for less of an investment.

When it comes to semi-trucks, the maintenance expenses are not cheap and their operational cost puts them at a disadvantage when compared to box trucks.

  1. No Need for Pulling a Trailer

You need to understand that pulling a trailer can be quite costly, especially since it entails paying more for fuel, coupled with the fact that it can be time-consuming. Howbeit, with a box truck you do not have to bother about carrying all of a trailer’s extra weight.

Owing to that, shipments can be easier, and you can pay more attention to going to a job site and delivering high-quality service to your clients. By not having to hook and unhook a truck at the end of the day, you can save both time and money.

  1. Advertisement

This is genuinely one of the most obvious benefits of having a box truck for your service business. Have it in mind that a box truck offers you the opportunity and platform for free wheel advertising.

Aside from saving on advertising costs, it ensures that you can leverage your truck to promote your brand and make your business more visible to the public. Note that it ensures that the details of your business are seen on the decals of your truck and this will guarantee more customers and more business income.

  1. Safe Storage Unit

For the sake of safety and the protection of customers’ goods that you haul, using a box truck is preferable especially since it provides a safe and secure place to store equipment and supplies. With a box truck, there is little or no chance for thieves to break in and steal the loads. It also means that inclement weather, such as wind and rain, will not affect the supplies or equipment.

  1. Purchasing Cost

Note that a semi-truck is a heavy-rated truck that pulls a separate cargo trailer, as opposed to a box truck where the cargo box is permanently attached to the truck. Business owners that are seeking the most flexibility in the type of jobs and size of loads may have to invest in a semi-truck and a trailer.

The ability to complete heavier tasks on load boards leads to the more enticing pay among the two vehicle types. However, despite their heavy-duty capabilities and high-income potential, semi-trucks are known to have the highest purchase price and operational costs.


Indeed a box truck is cheaper to operate, and the payloads are cheaper, and this entails that a box truck business is more profitable than a semi-truck business. However, ensure that your box truck complies with weight limits to avoid the need to pay exorbitant scale penalties for an overweight truck.

If your cargo exceeds the weight limit, you may have to consider getting a larger truck or dividing up your load. But if your business can deal with the massive operating costs of a semi, then you should consider it as an option.