Unraveling the Mystery: What Is the Back of a Truck Called?

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Have you ever found yourself in a conversation about trucks, nodding along, but then suddenly they mention the back part and you’re left wondering what it’s actually called? Well, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there, trying to picture that part of the truck where all the action happens – from hauling furniture to carrying loads of dirt. It’s a common question with a simple answer that we’re excited to dive into.

Let’s clear up the confusion once and for all. Whether you’re a truck enthusiast, someone in the market for a new vehicle, or just curious, understanding the correct terminology can be quite handy. So, buckle up as we embark on this short journey to uncover the name of the back of a truck and why it’s more interesting than you might think.

Understanding Truck Anatomy

Grasping the anatomy of a truck offers intriguing insights into its design and functionality. In particular, understanding the nomenclature surrounding the back part of a truck enhances our appreciation for these versatile vehicles. Trucks, depending on their design and purpose, feature various terminologies that apply to their rear sections. Let’s delve into some of these specifics.

The Bed

Pickup trucks, widely recognized for their utility, boast a rear section known as the bed. This area, typically open-topped, is designed for hauling cargo of diverse sizes. Depending on the truck’s size and model, the bed can vary in dimensions, offering space for everything from small furniture pieces to large construction materials.

The Tailgate

Adjacent to the bed, the tailgate serves as the back door that either swings down or to the side, providing access to the bed. It plays a crucial role in securing cargo during transport and facilitates easy loading and unloading.

The Trunk

For trucks designed more like SUVs, the back is often referred to as the trunk. While similar in function to the bed, the trunk is usually enclosed, providing secure and weather-protected storage space.

The Chassis Cab

In the realm of commercial trucks, the term chassis cab describes the truck’s layout, focusing on the driver’s cab with a bare chassis at the back. This setup allows for various customizations, including mounting equipment or cargo containers, tailoring the truck to specific industry needs.

Our journey through the anatomy of a truck, highlighting the back part’s terminology, not only enriches our understanding but underscores the significance of these terms in selecting the right truck for our needs. Each component, from the bed to the tailgate, plays a pivotal role in a truck’s utility, emphasizing the importance of familiarizing ourselves with these terms.

What Is the Back of a Truck Called?

Building on our exploration of truck anatomy, let’s specifically answer the question, “What is the back of a truck called?” The term varies depending on the type and function of the truck, reflecting the diversity within truck designs and their respective uses.

For pickup trucks, the back section is commonly referred to as the “bed.” This open compartment is designed for hauling cargo of various sizes, offering flexibility and convenience for both personal and commercial use. The bed’s utility is further enhanced by the “tailgate,” a hinged door at the end of the bed that allows for easy loading and unloading.

In trucks that resemble SUVs, the back is often called the “trunk” or “cargo area.” Unlike the open bed of a pickup, this space is enclosed, providing secure storage for items that need protection from the elements or theft. This feature is particularly valuable for those who require a vehicle suited for both passenger comfort and cargo capacity.

Commercial trucks, especially those designed for specific tasks, have a “chassis cab” configuration. The back of these trucks doesn’t come with a predefined space like a bed or trunk. Instead, it offers a chassis frame ready to be customized with various bodies, such as flatbeds, tankers, or dump bodies, tailored to meet the specific needs of different industries.

Understanding these terms not only enriches one’s knowledge of trucks but also assists in making informed decisions when choosing the right truck. Whether it’s for personal use, like hauling garden supplies with a pickup, securing valuables in an SUV-like truck’s trunk, or customizing a commercial vehicle for business purposes, knowing the correct terminology enhances the truck ownership experience.

Common Types of Truck Backs

Continuing from our exploration of the array of terminologies used to describe the back part of a truck, it’s clear that trucks offer a diverse range of functionalities through their backs, depending on the type and purpose. Here, we delve into the common types of truck backs and their specific uses, offering a seamless transition from understanding basic terms to recognizing the differences among various truck models.

Pickup Truck Beds

Pickup trucks boast a flatbed at their rear, commonly known as the truck bed. These beds vary in size and are designed for hauling cargo. Some popular types include:

  • Standard Beds: Offering balanced length and ease of maneuverability, perfect for general use.
  • Short Beds: Typically found in crew cab trucks, they provide less cargo space but better parking ease.
  • Long Beds: Ideal for hauling longer items, these beds offer maximum cargo space.

SUV-like Truck Trunks

For vehicles that blend the characteristics of trucks with those of SUVs, the back is often referred to as a trunk or cargo area. These areas are enclosed and offer secure storage space for personal items. Examples of SUV-like trucks include:

  • Crossover Trucks: Offering a cargo area with a liftgate, combining SUV comfort with truck utility.
  • Sport Utility Trucks (SUTs): These vehicles come with a small enclosed cargo area behind the passenger compartment.

Commercial Truck Chassis Cabs

Commercial trucks, often called chassis cabs, are designed with customization in mind. The back of these trucks is essentially a bare chassis, allowing for the attachment of various bodies or equipment tailored to specific business needs, such as:

  • Flatbeds: Used for transporting heavy or oversized loads.
  • Box Trucks: Featuring an enclosed cube-shaped cargo area for secure transport of goods.
  • Utility Bodies: Equipped with storage compartments and workspace for field services.

Understanding the specific back types of trucks empowers enthusiasts and potential buyers to select the right vehicle for their needs, whether for cargo hauling, secure storage, or business customization.

The Importance of Knowing Truck Parts

In diving deeper into the realm of trucks, understanding the names and functions of various truck parts, especially the back, goes beyond mere knowledge. It empowers enthusiasts and potential buyers to make informed decisions tailored to their needs. Each part of a truck plays a pivotal role in its overall functionality and suitability for specific tasks. For instance, knowing the difference between a bed and a chassis cab is crucial when deciding on a vehicle for cargo hauling versus one needed for commercial customization.

Firstly, familiarity with truck parts enhances communication. Whether you’re discussing modifications with a mechanic, purchasing accessories, or simply talking shop with other enthusiasts, using the correct terminology eliminates confusion and fosters clear, effective exchanges.

Secondly, this knowledge significantly contributes to maintenance and troubleshooting. Recognizing the various components at the back of a truck aids in identifying wear and tear or potential issues before they escalate into costly repairs. For example, understanding the signs of a failing tailgate latch or a compromised truck bed can save time and money in the long run.

Lastly, for those involved in customization, knowing each part’s name and function allows for more precise modifications. Whether adding a new utility body to a chassis cab or optimizing the storage capacity of a truck bed, detailed knowledge ensures that alterations enhance functionality without compromising the vehicle’s integrity.

Our journey through the names and functions of truck parts, specifically the back, underscores the importance of this knowledge in choosing, maintaining, and customizing trucks. As we continue exploring the intricacies of trucks, let’s keep the significance of understanding truck parts in mind, as it truly enhances our engagement and interaction with these versatile vehicles.

How to Maintain the Back of Your Truck

Maintaining the back of a truck ensures it remains in top condition, serving us well whether it’s a pickup bed, SUV-like trunk, or a commercial truck chassis cab. Here, we share essential tips to keep this crucial part of our trucks functional and secure.

Regular Cleaning

Keeping the back of our truck clean prevents rust and prolongs its life. For pickup beds, removing dirt, debris, and moisture regularly is vital. Using a mild soap and water for the surface, and making sure to dry it thoroughly to avoid water pooling, which can lead to rust.

Applying Protective Coatings

Protective coatings, like a bed liner for pickups, shield against scratches, dents, and rust. We choose between spray-on or drop-in liners based on our truck’s usage. Regular inspections for any damage to these liners ensure they continue to provide protection.

Check and Lubricate Moving Parts

For trucks with moving parts in the back, such as tailgates, it’s important to check and lubricate hinges and locks regularly. This step prevents seizing and ensures smooth operation, making loading and unloading effortless.

Inspect for Rust and Damage

A routine inspection for rust and damage helps us catch issues early. Focusing on corners and joints where water might accumulate is crucial. Applying rust inhibitor and seeking professional help for any significant rust or damage is advisable.

Secure Cargo Properly

Securing cargo properly prevents damage not only to the cargo but also to the back of the truck. Utilizing tie-downs and ensuring weight is evenly distributed maintain the truck’s structure and safety on the road.

By following these maintenance tips, we ensure the back of our truck remains reliable and functional, ready for whatever task we have at hand. Proper care keeps our trucks looking good and performing well, making them a valuable asset for our needs.


We’ve journeyed together through the nuances of truck terminology and the vital importance of knowing your truck’s rear end. It’s clear that a little knowledge can go a long way in enhancing our experience with these versatile vehicles. By keeping up with regular maintenance and understanding the specific parts of our truck’s back, we’re not just taking care of our ride; we’re investing in its longevity and performance. Let’s embrace these insights and tips to ensure our trucks are always ready for the next adventure or task. After all, a well-maintained truck is a reliable partner on the road. Here’s to many more miles of smooth driving and the satisfaction of a job well done!

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Warren A. Holden

Warren A. Holden, the visionary behind Drive Cruise, is a dynamic automotive enthusiast driven by an unwavering passion for cars and a profound desire to create a unique space for fellow enthusiasts.