What is a straight truck

Questioning yourself, what is a straight truck? A straight truck refers to a type of vehicle with a tractor-trailer in a fixed position. In this vehicle, all the axles in a straight truck attach to a single frame. 

Generally, straight trucks look like do-it-yourself moving trucks and, in majority of cases, move housing supplies, boxes, furniture, refrigerators, dryers, or washers. 

This blog describes the different types of trucks, including cube trucks, cube vans, dump trucks, and more. Further ahead, it will also give you a little insight on cargo suitability, benefits, and other specifications.

Definition of a Straight Truck

A Straight Truck can be described as an umbrella term for the different types of medium-heavy trucks.A straight truck refers to a medium-heavy vehicle with all its axles attached to a single frame.

In this definition of a straight truck- to make it clear between a semi-truck and a straight truck, the main differentiating element is that a semi-truck can detach its cargo area while a straight truck can’t.

If you’ve seen a truck with a cargo box attached to the main frame that extends to the front part, this is what a straight truck typically looks like.

Unique features of straight trucks include:

  • Maximum weight of about 33,000 lbs (depends on the size of the truck).
  • Doesn’t have a fifth wheel.
  • Cheaper to operate than a tractor-trailer.
  • Can’t stop quickly with minimal issues.

To operate a straight truck, a driver must hold a particular Class “B” CDL (commercial driver’s license) with a clean driving record.

Types of Straight Trucks:

S. No.Truck TypeDescriptionAdditional info.Image
1Cube TruckJust like the name suggests, this is a kind of straight truck with a cuboid-like cargo box. It’s slightly different from other types of trucks due to its size.A cube truck is typically smaller and the cabin is separate from the luggage area.
2Cube VanA cube truck is also known as a box truck or box van. This kind of straight truck has a separate box-like cargo section sitting on the frame.You can’t access the cab from the box while the cab and the box sit on the same frame.
3Dump TruckA dump truck, popularly known as a tipper truck or dumper truck, is basically used to carry finer materials like gravel, sand, or waste for construction.Common types of dump trucks include the standard dump truck, semi-trailer end dump truck, site dumpers, etc.
4Heavy-Duty Pick-up TruckThis type of straight truck typically has a gross weight of 10,000 Ibs or more. Despite it, the definition of a heavy-duty pickup truck differs depending on who you choose to ask.The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) would consider a truck as a heavy-duty only if it has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of over 26,0001 Ibs. Whereas, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers the same if it is over 8,500 Ibs.
5Passenger Van TrucksStraight trucks transport more than just goods and supplies. This type of truck can also transport people. They have inbuilt seats with a center aisle to help passengers move from one end to another.These are most commonly used in airports, seaports, and standard office  environments where groups of people move to different locations.
6Fire TrucksFire trucks are a kind of straight trucks. They are also known as fire engines.A fire truck’s main purpose is firefighting and its storage compartments hold water for the time of need.
Types of Straight Trucks

Vehicle Classifications:

Straight Truck Dimensions and Capacities

Generally, the length of a straight truck is usually determined by the number of axles it has and is calculated by adding the rear and front overhang to the tractor wheelbase.

  • (1) Length of Straight Truck
  • (2) Width of Straight Truck
  • (3) Height of Straight Truck

The two axle (4-wheelers) straight trucks have an average length of 15 – 24 feet, a height of 8 – 10 feet and a width from 6 – 8 feet, three axle (6-wheelers) straight trucks could be much longer and taller. 

The three axle straight trucks can have a maximum length of up to 60 feet (depending on the state they are operating in, although the average maximum is about 40 – 45 feet), a height of 8 – 10 feet and a width of up to 8.5 feet. 

For instance, the average overall length of a standard straight truck is about 26 feet, including tractor wheelbase and both rear and front overhang. 

Here’s a quick summary:

S. No.CategoryFigure
1Maximum Length for Straight Truck40’ – 60’ (State regulated)
2Maximum Height for Straight Truck13’ – 15’ (State regulated)
3Maximum width for Straight Truck8’6’’ – 9’ (Federal CMV regulation)
A Summary on Straight Truck Dimensions

In the table below, you’ll see a detailed list of the maximum allowable dimensions (length, height & width) for three-axle straight trucks by each state:

StateMax LengthMax HeightMax Width
Alabama40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Alaska45’15’8’ 6’’
Arizona40’14’8’ 6’’
Arkansas40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
California40’14′8’ 6’’
Colorado45’14′ 6”8’ 6’’
Connecticut45’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Delaware40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Florida40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Georgia13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Hawaii45’14′8’ 6’’
Idaho45’14′8’ 6’’
Illinois42’13’ 6’8’ 6’’
Indiana40′13’ 6’8’ 6’’
Iowa45’13’ 6’8’ 6’’
Kansas45’14′8’ 6’’
Kentucky45’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Louisiana45’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Maine45’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Maryland40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Massachusetts40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Michigan40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Minnesota45′13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Mississippi40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Missouri45′13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Montana55′14′8’ 6’’
Nebraska40’14′ 6”8’ 6’’
Nevada40’14′8’ 6’’
New Hampshire45′13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
New Jersey40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
New Mexico40’14′8’ 6’’
New York40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
North Carolina40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
North Dakota50′14′8’ 6’’
Ohio50′13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Oklahoma45′13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Oregon40’14′8’ 6’’
Pennsylvania40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Rhode Island40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
South Carolina40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
South Dakota45′14′8’ 6’’
Tennessee40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Texas45′14′8’ 6’’
Utah45′14′8’ 6’’
Vermont46′13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Virginia40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Washington40’14′8’ 6’’
West Virginia40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Wisconsin40’13’ 6’’8’ 6’’
Wyoming60′14′8’ 6’’
Maximum Allowable Dimensions by each US State

Straight truck dimensions and weight limits will differ from one to another. But, most straight trucks fall between Class III and Class VI and offer gross vehicle weight ratings of somewhere between 10,000 and 26,000 lbs.

Note: All vehicles with a weight rating of more than 10,000 lbs might be subject to some restrictions. But, in the majority of cases, a commercial driver’s license is not needed until the total weight of the vehicle and cargo is more than 26,000 pounds.

How much does a straight truck cost?

Typically, the price of a straight truck depends on its size, condition, type, and how it’s fitted. For instance, a brand new 4-wheel straight truck can cost you anywhere between $20,000 to $35,000.

On the other hand, larger 6 to 10-wheeler straight trucks can cost between $45,000 to $85,000.

Heavy-duty straight trucks in class 7 or 8 can even cost up to $110,00, if it’s a brand new one. 

What type of Freight are Straight Trucks best suited to transport?

Benefits of Straight Trucks

i) Travel Opportunities

Driving a straight truck allows you to discover new, exciting places, depending on your employer and their areas of operation.
Instead of being limited to an office or manufacturing space, you enjoy the liberty of exploring new places while getting paid for the same.

ii) Customer Interaction

Driving a straight truck can be considered as an incredible opportunity to interact with customers.
Whether it’s while delivering products to their store or directly to consumers at their residence, you will be meeting and interacting with new people every single day.

iii) Employee Benefits

As a straight truck driver, you might be eligible for some employee benefits. These benefits will differ depending on the type of job and employer. Some of the benefits you could get includes additional monetary compensation and medical insurance.


This blog acts as a crisp guide in knowing what is a straight truck and regarding its types or benefits. As an important source in logistics, understanding insights about straight trucks unravels tons of possibilities, where functionality meets practicality, making it a crucial force in the evolving industry of transportation. May your understanding in the definition of a straight truck be as smooth as a well-executed delivery.

Similar to this blog, you might also wanna learn about different freight truck type.

Tushar C
Senior HR Officer at OpenFR8 | More posts

I'm a HR at OpenFR8 and a passionate blogger. Apart from my day job as HR, reading and writing books/blogs are two of my absolute favorite things to do. I like taking on new challenges and most importantly, I believe in bringing efficiency towards everything I do. I love expressing my thoughts and visions through the medium of words in the form of blogs or articles or books. Till this date, I've successfully published three short-novels on my own and will continue to do so.

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