Commercial vehicles have one key difference from passenger cars. They are a tool to do work and are, therefore, specified and built with a certain application in mind, which is often referred to as the duty cycle. Maintenance of the commercial vehicle is necessary, yet downtime to fix the vehicle is highly undesirable. In many cases, a fleet will test a product for a year before they are confident that the product is ready for its fleet of vehicles. So, the material selection on commercial vehicles must include durability and maintenance as considerations.
Aluminum extrusions are a proven technology, as they are very popular on a wide variety of commercial vehicles — from Class 8 tractors and trailers to delivery vans and utility vehicles. The diversity of vehicles that use aluminum extrusions validates the value proposition of extrusions in regards to lightweighting, corrosion resistance, maintenance, ease of integration, and structural efficiency.
One example is Knapheide, a company that manufactures custom truck bodies. The company recently released new aluminum utility bodies for multiple vehicles, stating that “the heavy-duty, lightweight aluminum used is durable and resists corrosion, while also leading to a reduction in body weight of an average of 35% compared to a steel counterpart.”1-2Read the full article