Service Trucks: An Introduction to Basics and Applications

What is a Service Truck?

Having landed on the Summit website, you are likely looking for a service or mechanics truck. For those new to the field service industry, we’ll cover the basics and their purpose. A service truck is a chassis cab with a service body installed, available in various sizes and styles depending on the user’s needs. Some common terms for service trucks include truck box, bed, utility bed, or mechanics truck. In addition to the basics, we’ll describe the different styles and their most common applications.

Technicians typically load equipment, tools, and parts onto service trucks to perform repairs and maintenance on equipment or other vehicles at a job site. For instance, a mechanic may repair or replace parts on heavy equipment used in construction, mining, or agriculture. Completing this work on-site is more efficient and cost-effective than transporting the equipment back and forth from a repair shop. Service trucks outfitted with tools like air compressors and welders to enhance mechanics’ capability. Features like scene lights, backup alarms, and cameras are critical given the hazardous work environments in which service trucks often operate. OSHA and MSHA regulate safety and require service trucks at construction sites and mines to be upfitted to meet their standards.

What is the difference between a service truck and a mechanics truck? 

Field service technicians often use two types of vehicles that differ in design and functionality: service trucks and mechanics trucks. A service truck carries tools, equipment, and supplies to job sites and has a service body with compartments, drawers, and racks for storing tools and materials. Technicians in plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and construction industries commonly use service trucks. On the other hand, a mechanics truck is a specialized vehicle designed specifically for mobile mechanical work. A crane or hydraulic lift on the back lifts and moves engines, generators, compressors, and more. Mechanics trucks have a larger and more robust service body than service trucks, with more compartments and storage space for tools and equipment.

Who needs a service or mechanics truck?

Construction companies, equipment dealers and rental businesses, and oil & gas or mining operations rely on heavy equipment that requires on-site repairs to maximize uptime and ensure workers can focus on finishing their jobs. Additionally, a well-equipped service truck and mechanic performing preventive maintenance can decrease future downtime. Mobile repair companies with contracts or on-call for companies with heavy equipment also use them. Service and lube trucks are essential for agriculture, forestry, railroad, waste & recycling, and utility organizations.

What equipment is important for field service?

Certain types of equipment are required for getting the field repairs done. Mechanics need versatility to complete any job efficiently and safely. Every fleet manager and field repair tech has a list of vital equipment required for their service trucks. Many prioritize service cranes, which vary in lifting capacity ratings and boom reach.  In addition, air compressors are also crucial and require knowledge of CFM and PSI needs. A tech should know if they prefer reciprocating or rotary screw and above-deck or under-hood systems. Welders are also critical pieces of equipment for service trucks. Check out our service crane guide for more information on mobile service cranes. 

Where can I find a service truck for sale?

There are several places where you can find a service truck for sale. Here are a few options:

Online marketplaces: Websites like eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace often have listings.

Auctions: Auctions can be an excellent place to find used mechanics trucks for sale. You can search online for auctions in your area.

Classified ads: Check your local newspaper or trade publications for classified ads, including digital classifieds.

Equipment dealerships: Many dealerships specialize in selling upfitted truck bodies and other heavy equipment. You can check with local dealerships or search online for dealerships.

Manufactures: Some truck body builders, such as Summit, may have listings of new and used service trucks for sale on their websites.  You can spec your truck on our site and get a free quote.

Researching and carefully considering your needs and budget when buying a service truck is important. Consider talking to an experienced fleet manager or field tech to ensure you get a safe and suitable truck. Summit Truck Equipment sales rep can help design a service or lube truck to meet your needs.