Do Box Trucks Have Automatic Transmissions?

Box truck

Learn More About Box Truck Maintenance

If you own a company in or around the Inglewood, California area that offers delivery service, you may have one, two, three, or even a fleet of box trucks. Keeping them maintained and rolling is important to the survival of your business, and that includes getting quality box truck transmission service when needed. 

Are box truck and pickup truck transmissions different? 

Yes, and for a good reason.  A box truck is heavy-duty and able to transport heavy, large loads. Whereas a pickup truck may be able to handle moving your best friend from an apartment to a house.  With this in mind, when box truck transmission service is needed, it requires a mechanic who is experienced and trained in heavier-duty transmissions and engines. 

Are all box truck transmissions automatic? 

No, they come with either automatic or manual transmissions. Anyone with a valid Class D driver’s license can drive a box truck. A Class D driver’s license allows a person to operate a vehicle that has a gross weight rating of up to 16,000 pounds. This is the same basic driver’s license needed to operate any car, pickup truck, or SUV.

What is included in a box truck transmission service?

Before you have problems with your box truck’s transmission, a box truck transmission service will typically consist of the following: 

  • Flushing the transmission
  • A new transmission screen 
  • A new oil pan seal
  • Fresh transmission fluid
  • If needed, a new transmission pan

With regular box truck transmission service every 30,000 miles, or every 2 years, you will minimize any chances of the transmission going out and keep your team on the go. Consistent service is key to having smooth-running vehicles, which can also help the gas mileage as well. 

Are there different types of transmissions for trucks?

The transmission has gears and mechanisms that connect the engine to the drive axle. Three types of transmissions are available for box trucks: 

  • Automatic
  • Manual
  • Semi-automatic

Each of these may require a different type of transmission fluid, and the mechanic performing a box truck transmission service will know the right one. 

Is a box truck and a semi-truck the same? 

No, a box truck is also referred to as a straight truck. They are designed to carry heavy, large items like appliances and furniture. There is a single chassis connecting it which makes it easier to drive and operate than a semi-truck. 

A semi-truck is larger in overall size and provides the driver with heavier and more cargo loads. Both types of trucks can have an automatic, manual, or semi-automatic transmission, but the semi-truck will have a larger, heavy-duty transmission and engine. With that in mind, the semi-truck transmission service is different than a box truck transmission service.

How is the transmission fluid checked on a box truck? 

A box truck transmission service will start by checking the transmission fluid level. This is done in the same way as with a basic vehicle.  A dipstick going to the transmission is located on the back side of the engine, close to the firewall. The mechanic will wipe it clean and re-insert it into the transmission tube, pull it out again, and check the markings on the stick. This reading will tell them if there are specific problems that need to be addressed.

What does a box truck transmission service cost?

This service can cost up to $400 or $500 depending on the complexity of the transmission system. The amount and type of transmission fluid that is used will have an impact on the cost of a box truck transmission service. 

How long can you skip a box truck transmission service?

It will depend on the type of transmission.  A box truck transmission service on a manual unit should be between 30,000 and 60,000 miles. An automatic transmission can go between 60,000 and 100,000 miles. In either case, having a box truck transmission service done sooner won’t harm the truck or its transmission. 

What are the signs a box truck transmission service is needed? 

If a box truck is showing any of the following, a box truck transmission service should be scheduled immediately. 

  1. Transmission fluid leak. This can indicate the gearbox is leaking or the seal has a hole.
  2. Unusual movement with the transmission. This can indicate gearbox problems as well.
  3. Strange sounds are never a good thing coming from any transmission and should be inspected immediately.
  4. Transmission slipping when taking off or going down the road. This can be caused by low transmission fluid, which could be leaking from the gearbox or seal.
  5. An illuminated CEL is an indication something is wrong with the transmission, motor or computer system. 

In Closing 

In most cases, if your box truck is part of a fleet, you have more leeway to have a box truck transmission service done sooner than scheduled. The cost of the service is often included in the annual contract payment. You can reach us now for box truck transmission service in Inglewood, CA! Call us today at __PHONE__!