Why You’ll Continue to See Body-on-Frame SUVs Once You Become a Certified Mechanic


In the world of SUVs, crossovers—unibody vehicles that have a body and frame that are one piece—have been the hottest items for a long time. Older-style body-on-frame (BoF) SUVs, which plunk the body onto a truck frame, have dwindled in popularity, leading some to speculate that they may vanish before long.

This speculation ignores some of the finer points in favour of these old-style automobiles, several models of which, like the Jeep Wrangler, still sell quite well today. Here are a few of the reasons why it’s very likely you’ll continue to see body-on-frame SUVs for years to come.

Low Manufacturing & Development Costs Will Help Keep Body-on-Frame SUVS Around

The high level of competition in the automotive space has kept prices for vehicles quite low, and so profit margins for cars, trucks, and SUVs are not especially hefty for the companies who manufacture and sell them. One minor exception to this rule is the body-on-frame SUV. Because these vehicles share a frame and other parts with trucks, the cost of producing parts for them is a fair bit lower than for crossover SUVs, and so manufacturers can sell them at greater profit. Easier profitability means it can make sense for manufacturers to keep BoF models around even when they don’t sell quite as many units as a crossover does.

This reality could also simplify life for you when you become a certified mechanic. Interchangeability of parts between a BoF SUV and a truck could improve the odds of you having parts you need for a repair, or at least make it easier to source them more economically.

Pros With Auto Mechanic Certifications May Know BoF SUVs Are Off-road Beasts

For those who love to get into the fun and grit of off-road driving, there’s little comparison between a body-on-frame SUV and its wimpier crossover cousin. The separation between frame and body give BoF vehicles more of the strength and flexibility necessary for handling the punishment of driving uneven terrain at high speeds.

It is worth noting that the lighter weight and improved design of modern crossovers helps them perform a little bit better than they once did, but for the purposes of extreme off-roading, a BoF is still the way to go. For that reason, you might see body-on-frame SUVs remain quite popular after your auto mechanic certification is completed.

When You Become a Certified Mechanic, You May See BoF SUVs Are Easier to Customize and Repair

When a unibody vehicle is damaged, it’s often necessary to replace several more parts or components than when similar damage is caused to a body-on-frame SUV. With those latter vehicles, it’s typically much easier to just replace whichever parts have need, thanks to the greater level of separation.

Gearheads will also often prefer the BoF SUV’s level of customization. It’s easier to modify their suspensions to increase the height difference between the frame and the wheels, or to add larger tires and wheels to a vehicle. Once again, these modifications are often preferred by the off-road crowd.

It’s worth noting that, generally speaking, a crossover will offer a more comfortable driving experience for the average driver, who likely won’t be making any trips off the highways and byways. Still, you’ll probably see throughout your career that those fans of BoF SUVs you encounter won’t settle for anything less than the mean off-road capabilities their style of vehicle affords them.

Want to dig deeper into the world of automotive technology and repair?

Contact Automotive Training Centres and sign up for your auto mechanic certification in Montreal!


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