Over the past few years, truck manufacturers are switching from steel to aluminum truck bodies. There are many factors to be considered when comparing these two materials including; weight, appearance, longevity and cost. Here I have found some major advantages to using aluminum in motor vehicle fabrications, which are outlined below:
An aluminum truck body weighs much less than a steel body. A 12” squared plate of ½” thick steel weighs about 40Lbs, where as aluminum weighs about 7Lbs with the same dimensions. A lighter body allows for a higher legal payload and savings in fuel cost.
Firms are aware that transport trucks need to be properly maintained, which involves regular cleaning and painting to ensure the company brand is represented well on all motor vehicles. The short-term rusting that occurs with steel can cause truck maintenance to be more difficult than if an aluminum truck body was used. Aluminum will not rust and therefore not require painting, and will enhance the ‘professional image’ of your company.
Steel bodies rust out within 10 years of use, whereas an aluminum body can last for many more years with very little maintenance. When the truck needs to be replaced; an aluminum body can be changed over to a new cab and chassis, but at this point a steel body wouldn’t be worth changing over.
The cost of material (input) used in production can be measured against the marginal return (output) that you receive with that input. In other words, if a costly material will last you much longer than the less expensive alternative, then it is considered worth investing in. Steel that is 12” squared and ¼” thick can be priced around $24, whereas Aluminum with the same dimensions cost $37 on average. Many truck manufacturers are finding that investing in aluminum will give them larger marginal returns as it has a longer product life.
Switching to Aluminum Truck Fabrication?
Fabrication companies who are engaging in heavy duty aluminum cutting may want to explore the Custom Built CNC Router or CNC Plasma. CNC Routers are ideal for non-ferrous metals (ie. aluminum), whereas Plasma machines are ideal for ferrous metals (ie. steel). A custom MultiCam machine can be manufactured to your unique requirements. Up to a 60 foot table, multiple gantries, six spindles, or rotating table are just some examples of the features that MultiCam can provide to your company. Current MultiCam Plasma and Router owners can get their machines expanded for a longer table, extra gantry, and many other specifications as well. Read more on Custom Built CNC Machines here.