Does Truck Bed Length Matter?

If you are looking to rent a truck, the most important decision you will have to make is whether you want a short, standard, or long truck bed. Trucks in America have various truck bed lengths depending on the model and make to cater to different people’s needs. You don’t have to pay an extra amount for a long bed if your hauling needs can be satisfied by a short bed.

Being among the top fleet rentals in the US, we guide our customers in this article about the different truck bed lengths, how they matter, and the factors that decide which one you should go for.

Understanding Different Truck Bed lengths

There can be several different bed sizes according to the model of the truck. However, those can be categorized into three main lengths:

  • Short bed
  • Standard bed
  • Long bed

That being said, how do the bed lengths differ from each other?

The obvious difference between the three is their size. A short bed length lies between five and a half to six feet, and the standard bed length is around six and a half feet. In comparison, the long bed length is nearly eight feet long. However, these measurements are just an average measure found in most trucks. They can vary slightly, depending on the make and model of the truck.

Long Truck Bed vs. Short Truck Bed: Which is Better?

Deciding on which truck bed length is right for you typically comes down to one dilemma: what do you need it for?

You must decide the purpose you need the truck for. Does your work involve hauling and towing large and heavy equipment? Do you need it for government uses that involve carrying security guards on the bed? Or are you buying a truck for family purposes?

For this reason, it is best to be clear on the purpose of the truck. A long bed is a suitable option if your driving involves towing mobile homes such as trailers, boats, etc. Trailing heavy loads with your truck can result in an affected driving experience. A long truck bed has an extended wheelbase that keeps the ride stable and your trailer safe from damage.

On the other hand, you will get a better value from the short bed if your hauling equipment is not as heavy and oversized. However, you will be giving up on a few of the advantages of the longer bed length. You can decide between the bed lengths by knowing the advantages and disadvantages each of them has to offer.

Advantages of Long Bed Length

More Space and Hauling Capacity

It is no surprise that you can haul more cargo in a long bed. This can be a luxury worth the extra money, but it can be essential and useful if you have a job that requires you to transport large pieces of equipment.

On the other hand, having a larger cargo space offers many opportunities outside of work. You can use it for bringing large equipment to your home and save money on transportation. If you are into an off-road trailing, you will need enough space to securely haul your ATV or dirt bike. A short bed can be a little too tight for your off-road vehicles, resulting in damage to your truck and the off-road vehicle. A long bed ensures you complete your trip to the trail securely and comfortably.

Best Choice for Fifth Wheels

If your driving involves carrying fifth wheels across the country, you will be using a fifth-wheel hitch in your bed. The fifth wheel hitches are space-consuming and often challenging to unmount. The seasoned adventurers usually leave their trailers attached with the hitch throughout the camping season so they don’t have to mount and unmount the trailer repeatedly, which can be quite a work. So if you have a fifth wheel, a long bed is the obvious choice to keep the hassle away.

Better Stability

A long bed truck offers a more stable and comfortable ride than the short one. While trucks are usually comfortable, a long bed has an extended length between the wheelbase, which allows the jumps and bumps to balance out.

Disadvantages of Long Bed Length

More Complex Driving for Daily Use

While the long bed has its perk for a cross-country trip or driving on a wide and open work site, it will require more adjustment for daily driving. You will have to turn the steering several times while navigating your way out of a tight space. Moreover, finding a parking spot that welcomes a long bed truck can be trickier than you think.

Money Chugging Machine

More space and material means more money out of your pocket. Whether you are buying or renting a truck, the truck length usually makes the difference in the amount you pay. Secondly, the long bed truck weighs heavier than its shorter counterparts, affecting its fuel economy. The inefficient fuel economy can be a considerable cost in the long term.

Advantages of Short Bed Length

Convenient Driving

Since the short bed has a smaller overall truck size, it is easier to maneuver. Parking in roadside work sites is a lot easier, and you can drive out of tight spaces without having to take several turns, as is the case with long bed trucks.


If money is a concern for you, a short bed is a right choice. You can get short bed trucks with similar features inside the cabin for a lesser amount. Besides that, a short bed weighs less, contributing to a better fuel economy in general.

Disadvantages of Short Bed Length

Less Towing and Hauling Capacity

One significant luxury you will be giving up on choosing the short bed truck is the towing and hauling capacity. Hauling large cargo and towing agricultural or construction equipment requires more payload capacity. If this is among your basic needs from the truck, a short bed isn’t for you.

Ending Note

The difference between the various truck bed lengths and their pros and cons is why the bed length matter. We hope this article helped you understand the truck bed sizes and what each offers. Flex Fleet Rentals is a pioneer in fleet renting of various sizes. You can contact us for more information on fleet renting.