Although steel has traditionally been the more popular material for truck body construction, aluminum is becoming increasingly popular in light of some important advantages it offers to the modern driver.
Major auto makers have begun to see the advantages of aluminum when it comes to constructing trucks that are not only powerful, but also safe and efficient.
The following are the four most significant reasons why aluminum is taking over among top manufacturers as the truck body material of choice:
Higher gas mileage
Many of the advantages aluminum offers come from the fact that it is a lighter weight material than steel. Cars that weigh less can be driven forward by their engines without consuming as much fuel as heavier cars.
Nowadays, gas mileage is one of the most important considerations consumers take into account when comparing various automobile models. The lighter weight of aluminum truck bodies makes it so that one of the biggest advantages offered by this material is better gas mileage.
A lighter weight car isn't just preferable when it comes to fuel consumption. Lower weights also mean better handling, faster acceleration, and more effective breaking. Therefore, aluminum truck bodies offer better overall performance than steel truck bodies.
Less maintenance needs
While both aluminum truck bodies and steel truck bodies will require some maintenance to keep the entire vehicle functioning properly, aluminum trucks are less prone to rust damage.
Rust is one of the biggest problems when it comes to keeping a truck in good shape on both the outside and the inside. Rust isn't just a cosmetic problem. It can spread to mechanical components of an automobile and destroy vital equipment like the engine and the transmission.
An aluminum truck bed will need to have its hinges and latches lubricated periodically. However, it will not need to have a new galvanic coat of paint put on regularly like a steel bed needs to resist rust development.
Safety and durability
Because aluminum weighs less than steel, more metal can be built into an aluminum truck body than a steel truck body while still maintaining the same efficiency. This results in a vehicle that offers extra cushioning and protection in the event of an accident. It also results in a vehicle that is more durable and offers greater resistance to damage to mechanical components when accidents occur.
In 2016, crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that an aluminum truck model was the safest pickup on the market at the time.