3.5t vs 7.5t Recovery Vehicles

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Optimise Your Capital: 3.5 Ton Transporter Trucks the More Cost Efficient Option than 7.5 Ton Trucks

3.5 ton trucks provide a cost efficient alternative to 7.5 ton trucks, especially with fuel costs increasing.

It is the sensible option for the efficient and economic business.

Operating costs and flexibility are the keys to purchasing decisions. There is no need to buy a bigger truck than required. The choice is dependent on loads, but for recovery operators with more than one vehicle it makes sense to have a 3.5 ton truck in the mix.

Fuel Costs Illustration*

If the cost of fuel is £6 per gallon then at today’s prices this would be approximately £40,000 for 100,000 miles for a 7.5 ton truck. As a 3.5 ton truck uses approximately half this amount (running at approximately 30 mpg as opposed to 15 to 17 mpg for a 7.5 ton truck) then effectively after 100,000 an operator would have saved the equivalent of another 3.5 ton truck at today’s prices.

# 3.5 Ton Truck 7.5 Ton Truck
Capital Outlay Circa £20,000 Circa £48,000
Fuel at £6 per gallon for 100,000 miles £20,000 (based on 30 mpg) £40,000 (based on 15 mpg)
Total Cost excluding other running costs such as tax, insurance and maintenance. £40,000 £88,000

Paying for the Tonnage

Heavier 7.5 ton trucks are more expensive to run. In most cases a 3.5 ton truck will do the job just as well.

Our ultra car transporter has been designed specifically for the vehicle movement market. Utilising the tried and tested low line chassis design and body from Advanced KFS the vehicle offers a massive1,780kg payload (payload includes 45 litres of fuel).

3.5 ton trucks are able to carry 80% of cars (excluding “heavy accident vehicles”) that a 7.5 ton truck can carry.


The versatility of the 3.5 ton truck makes it an ideal vehicle for the recovery business, and for other businesses that do not need the cost and specialist driving licences required for 7.5 ton trucks.

Savings are available with 3.5 ton trucks when compared to 7.5 ton trucks, especially for those intending to cover large distances and who want to spend more time on the road.

With more drivers able to drive 3.5 ton trucks and with potentially quicker journey times (no tachograph or motorway speed restrictions) there is the likelihood for lower wage bills with less drivers needed and less overtime required, as well as less HGV drivers needed on the payroll.

New, lighter materials have also made it possible to reduce the unladen vehicle weight and to tailor the chassis for your needs to give you maximum payload (those precious extra kilos). This gives users more flexibility to carry heavier equipment/cars.


Advanced KFS leads the way in the design and construction of light weight aluminium bodies for car transporters and recovery truck applications on all major vehicle manufacturers’ chassis.

3.5 ton trucks are not of an inferior quality. They are robust and built to last even if covering 2,500 miles per week.

The all aluminium deck construction, available as either open or closed, has become the benchmark for the industry. They combine integral strength while maximising vehicle transport capacity.

Advanced KFS have been awarded the best light recovery truck award at the prestigious European Tow Show Exhibition, confirming Advanced KFS as the market leader in the manufacture of 3.5 ton transporter and recovery truck vehicles – quality trucks built to last.

Comparing the Pros and Cons of 3.5 Ton and 7.5 Ton Trucks*

# 3.5 Ton Truck 7.5 Ton Truck
Drivers Licence No special licence category required. Post 1997 a Category C1 licence is required A special licence category is required by drivers when the vehicle is 7.5 tons or more if you passed your driving test after 1st January 1997 7.5 ton vehicles require a Category C1 licence for all drivers depending on when the test was taken.
Insurance Costs Covered under fleet insurance Covered under fleet insurance
Capital Outlay Capital cost circa £20,000 Capital cost circa £48,000
Maintenance Costs and MOT Low body maintenance. The Fiat 3.5 ton truck supplied by Advanced KFS is part of the unique LCV market and so drivers face minimum time off road for maintenance Longer time off road for maintenance as need specialist mechanics.
Kerb weight Low kerb weight 1860kg Up to 4000kg
Loading Height and platform working weight Low height and platform working weight Usually higher
Miles per hour No minimum mph, within ordinary speed limits i.e. 70 mph on motorway Limited to 56 mph even on motorways
Journey times In ideal conditions journey times should be quicker than that of larger vehicles Owing to speed restrictions on motorways and route restrictions (see row below) journey times often take longer than 3.5 ton trucks
Journey restrictions Sometimes 3.5 ton trucks face width or height restrictions 7.5 ton trucks face the same width and height restrictions as those of a 3.5 ton truck. In addition, some bridges and other roads may restrict 7.5 ton trucks owing to their weight which results in diversions and longer journey times
Loading Ease of loading plant onto tuck Varies by design. May need additional loading ramps
Manoeuvrability and easy to drive Easy to manoeuvre and drive Needs a special licence
Tachograph None needed Drivers of 7.5 ton trucks need one installed. You may also need an Operators Licence depending on how you are using the vehicle (i.e. if not for personal use only but for business) or to keep a log.
Durability Average life span is 3 to 5 years but many last longer than this, especially if maintained properly. Similar, although maintenance costs are generally higher.
Carbon Emissions Low due to efficient engine and light weight Higher due to higher weights
Warranty 3 Years Varies

There are numerous reasons, especially financial, why it makes sense to move to a 3.5 ton truck, especially with those with a fleet of vehicles. A 3.5 ton truck makes economical sense to include in an operator’s fleet.

We have millions of miles on the 3.5 ton vehicles we have supplied, that are still running on the roads today. Our 3.5 ton trucks can also be adapted for your needs making them a versatile option for a stock choice. We can make your 3.5 ton truck to order, creating transport to the specification and budget of your choice.

Start Optimising Your Capital Investment: Contact Us Now

To take advantage of Advanced KFS Special Vehicles expertise in designing the Beaver Tail Transporter that you need, call us on 08456 526444 or complete the enquiry form today and make your vision for the beaver tail van you need become a reality.

*Please note the above figures and comparison tables are given for illustrative purposes and may be subject to change if fuel prices or other financial factors outside our control such as tax, inflation, exchange rates, interest rates, availability of parts.