Cab or cutaway chassis, which do you prefer? In a nation where trucks dominate the commercial vehicle landscape, vehicle manufacturers are launching new European style commercial vans and cutaway chassis at a pace never before seen.
There are numerous considerations to be made the next time you choose between a cutaway or cab chassis. Cab configuration, maneuverability, vehicle class, desired body, off-road frequency, and cost should all play a role in the selection process.
- Cab Configuration - Do you work alone, in pairs, or in a crew? Does your application require cab space for items besides your passenger(s)? Cutaway chassis are limited to regular cab configurations keeping you limited to a driver and one passenger. Cab chassis have broader configuration choices with regular, extended and crew cab options that can accommodate from two to five individuals.
- Maneuverability - Does your vehicle typically operate in a rural or metropolitan environment? Metropolitan areas, unlike rural areas, generally contain narrow city streets and congested traffic conditions making maneuverability much more important. Cutaway chassis typically have shorter wheelbases and front hoods, which cuts down on the overall turning radius and improves driver visibility.
- Vehicle Class - Commercial vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, from Class 1-8. Cab chassis cover that entire span while cutaway chassis are only available as Class 2-4. If your application calls for a Class 1 or Class 5-8 vehicle, a cab chassis is your only choice.
- Drivetrain - Maybe your job requires venturing off-road or you operate in a region that receives a lot of snowfall. Regardless of the reason, some applications require a 4x4 vehicle. If a 4x2 just won't cut it on your job site, stick with a cab chassis.
- Body Options - Cab chassis and cutaway chassis are often compatible with many of the same body styles including service and utility bodies, dry or refrigerated boxes, and even flatbeds. Some body styles that are compatible with cab chassis will simply not work with cutaway chassis including dump bodies, gooseneck bodies, crane bodies, and others. Always ensure the body you intend to use will be compatible with the chassis you prefer, which can be achieved by working with an experienced body upfitter.
- Cost - Acquisition cost is often a top factor in the decision-making process, as the higher the cost the longer it takes for your return on investment to begin. Selecting similar chassis specifications (engine, wheelbase, cab configurations) and body specifications (body style and length) typically yields a higher total cost with a cab chassis when compared to a cutaway chassis.
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