They usually range in size 4 to 7 m in length, with smaller or larger sizes existing but being rare in North America. They usually have a garage door-like rear door that rolls up. On some box trucks, the cargo area is accessible from the cab through a small door.
In North America, Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet/GMC have historically been the most common manufacturers of conventional cab/chassis to which various producers (called body builders or upfitters) attach the box that holds cargo. Isuzu, Mitsubishi Fuso and UD/Nissan Diesel have been the most common marketers of cab over-type medium duty cab/chassis used as platforms for box trucks. In North America, these trucks can range from Class 3 to Class 7 (12,500 lb. to 33,000 lb. gross vehicle weight rating, or GVWR). As of July 31, 2009, however, GM closed the plant that manufactured its medium duty commercial trucks, and announced it was withdrawing from the medium-duty commercial truck market. The same GM plant also manufactured Isuzu class 6 and class 7 models and Isuzu class 3 gasoline-engine cabover models. Isuzu's plans for acquisition or manufacture of the affected models have not been announced, as of January 2010.
The body on a box truck is sometimes called a cargo van or dry van body, though the term "cargo van" is more often used to designate a regular full size van, such as a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or a Ford E-Series/Ford Transit, without rear seats and usually without side windows in the cargo area. However, small box trucks often use the cab of full size vans from the big three (i.e. Ford E-Series/Econoline, Dodge Ram Van, Chevrolet Express/Chevrolet Van/GMC Vandura/GMC Savana), though pre-manufactured cutaway van chassis vehicles are the basis rather than an actual cargo van since it is labor-intensive to torch cut a cargo van with the cargo area integrated, as opposed to "bolted on" hence box trucks have the cube area bolted on, but sometimes with an entry-door between cab and cargo area caulked in.
In British and Commonwealth usage, box van is a term for a four wheeled railway truck (freight vehicle) with a fully enclosed body. In British English the word truck more commonly refers to a railway vehicle, with lorry more commonly employed for road vehicles. The word van is widely used in both contexts.
- "What Is a Box Truck? Differences Between Box Trucks and Cargo Vans". Trucks.about.com. 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
- "Light & Medium Truck 2010 Medium Duty Preview". Retrieved 7 January 2010.