Big Boys Toy

Tool Truck Glossary

If you’re in the tool business now or have ever owned a motor home, you are probably familiar with some or all of these terms. If you’re new to the business, considering it, or would like to use a tool truck in a different sales or service business - hope this helps!

PS: We don’t even begin to think we have the last word on this subject or know all the answers. If we left anything out and you can add to our glossary, or need an answer, please email us your suggestions for the glossary or questions to us at:

Black dot flooring – durable rubber-like flooring material with raised black dots about the size of a quarter for better traction.

Box Truck – The cab of the truck is separate from the “box” (the body) installed on the chassis. Also called a cab-chassis truck. Examples are the GM W4 series, the Freightliner FL 60, and the Chevrolet Kodiak.

Cab-chassis truck – see “Box Truck”.

Chrome Ceiling – the pegboard on the interior ceiling of the truck has a chrome-like finish. Most trucks have a white pegboard ceiling.

Crawl-Thru – An opening cut in the rear cab of a truck and front
of the body so you can pass back and forth from truck cab to sales interior without going outside. You’ll find these on the larger cab-chassis (box) trucks like the International 4300, Chevrolet Kodiak, and GMC Topkick. Also called a “Pass Thru”.

Diamond Plate – Shiny aluminum decking with a raised surface that helps hold tool box wheels in place. Comes in a 4 x 8 sheet which is cut to fit. Some trucks even have an entire floor made of diamond plate, but most use it only in the tool box openings. Also used as a dress-up covering on fuel tanks and on the body.

Drawer Stack – A cabinet made of drawers, literally of “stack”. Useful for storage of small items, and the top can provide a work area for repairs and paperwork.

E track – Wall brackets for the tool box straps. Most trucks have E-track placements that allow you to position the straps where you need them within the display openings, also called “toolbox openings”.

Electric Step – entry assist step located at the door foot well, slides out electrically to help you and your customers climb aboard.

Fixed Step – permanently mounted entry assist step, doesn’t slide .

Flipup Shelves – Hinged shelves situated on an angle, so the shelf can be lifted, revealing storage space underneath. Flipups also show more of the product to the customer than a flat shelf.

Floor Drawers - Drawers under the bottom shelves, on the floor.

Floor Tie Downs – steel ring used when strapping equipment to the floor.

Generator – Auxiliary power plant used to power the AC units, lights, and other equipment with 110 volt requirements. These generators are similar to those you will find at your local Home Depot. Brands include Honda, Onan, Kohler, and in the older trucks, Generac. Generators require gasoline or other fuel source to run independently of the truck engine. Most gas-powered trucks have generators. Diesel powered trucks typically do not have generators, are more often left running at sales stops to power AC units with the engine alone.

Grab Handle – A plexiglass or steel handle beside the entry door to assist people climbing into the cargo area, often lighted.

GVW – Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. Also called GVWR. This is the maximum loaded weight capacity rating of a truck, in pounds. GVW includes the weight of the truck, fuel, fluids, the driver, and cargo. The GVWR less the weight of the truck, fuel, fluids, and driver is the cargo capacity.

Hammer Rack – Hammer sales display item, usually made of oak, which has holes cut out to allow you to insert a hammer handle-end first.

Hot Water Heat –This heater is just like the one on your personal car or truck, and is located in the rear interior of the truck. The heat is derived from hot water flowing through hoses from the truck engine. Dealers operating in areas where it isn’t as cold as say, North Dakota, are able to keep the interior fairly warm with this heater – as long as the engine is running. This heater is less costly than an LP furnace and does not require regular trips for propane fill ups.

Laced Ceiling – this refers to durable elastic cord, also called bungy, which runs in and out of the holes in the pegboard on the interior ceiling. It allows you to display small tools on the ceiling of the truck by inserting the tools into the lacing.

Liftgate – To lift heavy tool boxes and equipment into or out of the truck, some weighing more than 1,500 pounds, a hydraulic liftgate is very useful. The liftgate platform folds up against the body when not in use. Some brand names include Del, Tommy, Waltco, and Thiemann. Gates are available with platforms as long as 108” including an extension.

LP furnace/LP gas heat – A propane burning furnace located in the rear interior display section of the body, especially popular and necessary in the cold states. Puts out more heat than a hot water heater, which only works when the engine is running.

Magnets – Used to hold and display tools, especially sockets, these are powerful long magnets that can be attached to the ceiling, shelf edges, or
anywhere sturdy.

Pass Thru – see “Crawl-Thru”.

Removable Shelves – shelves that can be removed and installed relatively easily due to a special latching system. Need more space above a tool box? Remove the shelves. Sell the box and the truck looks empty? Install the shelves. Technically, all shelves are removable if you remove the brackets, but ‘removable shelves’ are designed to be removed.

Shoreline, shore charging system – When you’re home or even at a long stop, this setup allows you to plug your truck into 110 volt current and run your AC and lights. Convenient because you can use your truck without running the engine or generator, which not only saves fuel but is a big help if you are working on it late in the evening and don’t want to disturb the neighbors. It also charges your batteries.

Step Van – This truck style has its body installed on the entire frame from engine compartment to rear bumper – there is no separate cab – and the driver can walk through the truck from front to rear. Also called a “walk-in” van. An example is the Chevrolet P30 step van.

Toolbox openings – openings in the shelving area where you can display a toolbox or other equipment.

Walk-in Van – see “Step Van”.

Walk-Thru -- An opening made in a cab-chassis truck between the cab and body that allows you to "walk" from cab to box. While the opening at
63" is not as high as a step van, it greatly increases the access to the bod

Wheel Liners – wheel covers.