Key Differences between Straight Trucks and Semi Trucks

Are you looking to start your own hauling business or fleet? If so, you may be wondering which truck type is perfect for you. Every truck has its advantages and disadvantages, and it’s up to you to decide which type makes the most sense for your business. In fact, the most popular configurations tend to be straight trucks and semi trucks.

You may be wondering, how do they differ? Well, in this article, we’ll analyze both trucks’ cargo capacity, maintenance costs, profit margins, and repair costs. Let’s get started.

Straight Trucks and Semi Trucks: How Do They Differ?

A straight truck, also referred to as a box truck, is used to carry larger items such as appliances and furniture. It’s connected by a single chassis, essentially making it easier to operate than a semi truck.

A semi truck is much larger in size providing drivers with more cargo load options and versatility. This truck type is comprised of two parts, the tractor and the trailer. The trailer is attached to the cab using a fifth wheel.

Startup Costs, Profit Margins, and Maintenance

When comparing the two, a straight truck requires less capital than a semi. This is because the maintenance and startup costs are significantly lower making it more cost-effective. The truck’s simple design ensures a lower maintenance cost and user-friendliness, which comes in handy if you’re training new drivers. So, if you’re looking to make a smaller investment this may be your best option.

However, it’s important to note that a semi truck will yield you a better load per trip due to its versatility and cargo capacity. As a result, you would be generating higher income in a shorter period of time. So, this would be a better long-term investment if you have the necessary capital to cover the operational expenses.

Hauling Capacity

The first thing you need to consider is the dimensions of the cargo you wish to transport, the size of the load, and how far you wish to travel. This includes looking into how the materials you wish to transport are packaged. For instance, are they in boxes or barrels?

The size of your load will determine which truck you use. Keep in mind that a semi has a greater hauling capacity than a straight truck. The last thing you want is to overload your vehicle and putting stress on your truck’s mechanical components.


A straight truck can haul loads up to 33,000 pounds which makes it a Class 7 vehicle. On the other hand, a semi truck falls into the Class 8 category since it has a carrying capacity of of a whopping 80,000 pounds!

Since a semi truck is a much larger in size and harder to operate you’ll likely need more extensive training and certifications to make you qualified. You should factor this into your expenses as well.

The Bottom Line

The differences between a straight truck and semi truck are quite significant. You need to carefully consider your priorities and budget before making a decision on which type is better suited for your business.




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