Plumber Chooses Cut-Away Chassis and Cube- Box Style Body

By Steve Taylor

I’m always interested in which trucks and bodies are being used by different trades.

Today I shot some pictures of a plumber’s truck here in Tampa, Florida. Olin Plumbing uses this Box Truck for use in carrying their tools, supplies and equipment. It is mounted on a Ford Cut-Away chassis. The enclosed body is of aluminum sheet panel construction and is plywood lined. It has plenty of space and offers protection from the elements and keeps the contents secure. The aluminum skin is thin and may be damaged when contacting objects such as low hanging limbs etc. The good news is that it is relatively inexpensive to replace the panels. 

An alternative design would be fiberglass reinforced plywood walls, it is a more expensive option but it is not as easily damaged.

The use of a cut-away chassis allows entryway directly from the cab into the body in the rear. This truck has a pull-out ramp to provide for loading tools and equipment. 

 There are plenty of contents in this body, tools, equipment and supplies. It has been outfitted with shelving, bins and racks of wood construction. 

The long tools near the rear are stored on vertical plastic pipes of various sizes. A disadvantage of this body is that it has but one entryway to access the contents from the outside. The overhead door on this box truck is more difficult to open, close and lock. It is often left open for periods of time during unloading and loading potentially exposing the contents to theft. 

An alternative body used by many plumbers is an enclosed metal body with outside storage cabinets. It is lighter, is normally mounted on a cut-away and has a lower access height. The smaller items can be stored in the outside cabinets and the larger materials can be stored in the interior. These types of bodies have easy access and locking capabilities for the cabinets. The rear doors are barn style and are easily opened. The metal enclosed plumber’s bodies are manufactured by companies such as Knapheide, Reading, Royal and others.

Guest Post by Steve Taylor. Steve is a consultant in lean six sigma process improvement and specializes in fleets and manufacturers in the work truck industry. He may be contacted at steve@truckarchitect.com and his website is http://www.upstreamsource.com/  

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