How to choose between a straight truck and a semi-truck?

For those looking into owning their next vehicle for their business or fleet, the comparison between a straight truck vs. semi-truck is often evoked and studied closely. Both have unique advantages and can apply their capabilities to a wide range of tasks.

The main difference between the semi-truck and straight truck is the single chassis of the straight truck that combines the cab, sleeper, and cargo box. This usually makes it a little easier to drive and handle, though it sacrifices some versatility and cargo load options. So if you have no idea how to choose, take a look at the following aspects.


Cost includes the purchase of the truck and the cost of maintenance. It’s easily found the total cost of a straight truck is cheaper than a semi-truck according to its simple structure and smaller size.

Difficulty of operation

One of the primary advantages of straight trucks is that they are easier to operate than semi-trucks. Because they don’t articulate in the middle, they’re more predictable when cornering and navigating curves, which is particularly advantageous when reversing. Since you don’t have to account for the sway of the trailer, even an inexperienced driver can easily back a straight truck up to a loading dock.

At the same time, driving a semi-truck usually requires CDL for operation, a straight truck does not necessarily require it (although some do, depending on the gross vehicle weight). Non-CDL drivers can operate a straight truck with up to 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW) without the requirement of a CDL.

Loading capacity

Under current federal law, a straight truck — specifically, a two-axle truck — can carry a maximum of 34,000 pounds. By contrast, a semi-truck can carry up to 80,000 pounds, or 20,000 pounds per axle. If you need to move a hefty load, a straight truck will simply not be large enough.


Another disadvantage of a straight truck is that they’re not as versatile as semis. With a straight truck, your cab is affixed to a single trailer that cannot be changed out. But with a semi-truck, you can use different trailers as needed. Drivers can hitch a cab to a large box trailer for moving goods that need to be protected, and if you need to move extra-long loads, you can hitch the same cab to a flatbed trailer. You can even connect a tank for carrying liquids like fuel or milk. Simply put, if you need to transport various loads, a semi-truck is usually a better choice.

We are committed to becoming a semi-trailer manufacturer worthy of your trust. Our company produces various semi-trailers: dump semi-trailers, flatbed semi-trailers, dry van semi-trailers, lowboy semi-trailers, skeleton semi-trailers, car carrier semi-trailers and dropside semi-trailer. We also sell small semi-trailers: car trailers, boat trailers, bike trailers.

1 thought on “How to choose between a straight truck and a semi-truck?”

  1. It was a helpful piece of information when you told us that semi-trucks are known to carry up to 80,000 pounds, so the capacity of straight trucks being around 34,000 pounds won’t be enough if we need to move a hefty load. It seems like my brother recently invested in a semi-truck to use for his new lumber business in Nevada. I’ll take note of this while I help him find a 24/7 towing company he can contact for roadside assistance in the future.

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