3 Differences Between Box Trucks and Step Vans

3 Differences Between Box Trucks and Step Vans

3 Differences Between Box Trucks and Step Vans

Many industries utilize step vans and box trucks to streamline their business needs. As a nationwide dealer for step vans, MAG Trucks has partnered with over 150 contractors to bring both step vans and box trucks nationally. For the past 12 years, the MAG team has had extensive experience with clients and created an outline of 3 differences between box trucks and step vans. Let's explore this evaluation to gain a better understanding of which style of truck better suits your needs.

Comparing the box truck and step van is like comparing an apple and orange. Sure, both are trucks (or in the example, fruits), but they look and operate differently. A box truck allows for less room for modifications. However, a step van allows you to customize the truck to fit your specific business needs. Now, this analogy is not perfect. It does not cover all aspects of each type of truck. However, it does give you an idea of the kind of thought process you need to have when considering these trucks.

Consider what you need a truck for... Are you going to driving long distances? Do you need ISP configurations? Are you a grocer delivery company needing shelving? Linen company needing racks? Will you be making constant stops? How much input do you want on the design of the truck? These are the questions you should think about before buying a truck and can ask the MAG team. We'd love to ensure your truck purchase is suitable for your needs.

3 Differences Between Box Trucks and Step Vans

Difference #1: Weight Restrictions 

A box truck can be called by many different names, such as cube truck or van, box van, or straight truck. This style of truck has a rectangular shape where the cab is separated from the box. Box trucks can hold 12,599 to 33,000 pounds, depending on the length of the box. Because box trucks can handle larger amounts of weight, they are often used to move or haul large quantities of products longer distances while also stopping frequently, like a company distributing to produce to local restaurants and grocery stores.

Step vans can hold relatively less compared to the box truck. As an example,

  • The MT45 medium-duty step van has a payload capacity up to 10,000 pounds, which makes this a prime solution for freight delivery, Independent contractor routes, local transport, service delivery, parcel delivery, and food trucks.
  • The MT55 offers a payload capacity of up to 19,000 pounds, making it a suitable choice for larger payload applications, like delivery and service contractor trucks.

It's clear that both vehicles have varying weight restrictions and modification capabilities, so be sure to understand exactly what you're looking for in a business solution.

Difference #2: Engine Location and Aesthetics 

There are two types of cabs for a box truck; a conventional and a cabover. The difference between the two is where the engine sits in the cab, which allows for a different look for the cab. The most common is the conventional cab. This type of cab puts the engine in the front of the steering wheel, which gives the cab more of a “nose.” The Cabover style puts the engine under the driver seat, which gives the cab a no “nose” look.

There is little variation in-cab style for step vans. However, step vans do have a variety of body styles and chassis depending on your needs. The most common body styles are Utilimaster and Morgan Olson. Utilmaster has been a leader since 1970 for step vans. Morgan Olson is not far behind, if not tied with, Utilimaster. Morgan Olson is one of the first companies to use materials that allow the truck to be lighter.

The differences in the body rely on the chassis of the truck. Certain chassis work better with various body types, as an example, Morgan Olson's body is best with a chassis from Freightliner and some Fords. Utilimaster body works well with chassis from Freightliner, Ford, Workhorse, and Isuzu. So, when thinking about step vans, it's important to understand the basics that go into it.

Step vans are also known as a walk-in or multi-stop delivery trucks which allows the driver to stand or sit while driving. Step Vans have a rectangular shape, but the cab is only separated from the cargo area with a sliding door. These trucks are used for making deliveries that are distance-wise close together or serve as emergency vehicles. They are popular because they allow people standing space in the cargo area, and are easy to get in and out of.

Difference #3: Gas Mileage 

Box trucks have larger engines, again allowing them to travel long distances. The gas mileage on box trucks ranges from 8-14 gallons, while the diesel box trucks can get up to 20 mpg. The gasoline-based step van gets approximately 10-16 MPG, which is much lower than the diesel option. However, step vans that run on diesel should get a range of 12 to 15 miles per gallon. Step vans do have more of a stop and hop off build, so the stops are typically more frequent and closer together in distance.

RELATED: Most Independent Service Providers primarily use step vans for their routes. MAG Trucks is the largest source of new and used step vans for ISP contractors with ISP approved specifications. 3 Differences Between Box Trucks and Step Vans

Searching for a quality used box truck or step van? Check out MAG's selection!

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