Hi, my name is Larry Wyatt and welcome to this edition of National Fleet Services’ Truck Tips! Did ‘ya’ ever wonder what the difference was between a Cutaway Chassis and a Cab Chassis? It’s simpler than you might think. Before we explore the differences, let’s talk about how they’re the same.
Both a Cutaway and a Cab Chassis are incomplete vehicles that are manufactured with the intention that a body will be added to them later. The vehicle manufacturer, like Ford, Chevy or RAM, builds the ‘working components’ of the truck. This includes the frame, axles, suspension and powertrain. They also build the passenger cab with the seats, dashboard, steering wheel and of course, cup holders! So, it’s a fully functional vehicle. It just doesn’t have a truck body on it.
Why do the automakers do this? Because they can’t possibly manufacture the endless variations of the hundreds of different types of truck bodies that commercial customers need. So, the vehicle manufacturer just builds the functional part of the truck – the chassis. Then body companies or upfitters create and install their specialty truck bodies onto that chassis. And voila! You have a complete work truck.
So, what is the difference between a Cutaway and a Cab Chassis. It’s pretty simple. Unlike a Cab Chassis, the passenger compartment of a Cutaway is open in the back. The rear panel has been “cut away”. That begs the question, “Why?” Because a Cutaway allows an enclosed body that’s open in the front, to be mounted on it. That means the driver or passenger is able to enter the body or cargo area of the truck without first exiting the vehicle. For some applications such as delivery vehicles or ambulances, this can be a big advantage.
I’ll leave you with a bonus National Fleet Services Truck Tip.
The next time you need to choose between a Cutaway and a Cab Chassis keep these factors in mind.
Thanks for watching! And be sure to click on our other NFS Truck Tips!
Published: March 3, 2023