Monocock or unibody frame SUVs have been the talk of the town in the auto industry in recent times. While this framework is considered highly suitable for sedans and hatchbacks, it is slowly becoming the norm for larger vehicles. However, although monocoque frames are more technologically advanced, some manufacturers still incorporate traditional body or ladder frame construction for some of their vehicles. In this article, we understand the basics behind the two and outline the advantages they have over each other in determining which of them is best. So without any further ado, let’s start the body game on the Monocoque SUVs against the frame.
Before we start the game, let’s first have a brief overview of the two contestants.
Body-on-frame construction dates back to the time when the first cars emerged in the 19th century. This construction basically consists of two main components, the rigid ladder-like frame network that carries the engine and drivetrain, and the separate body structure attached to it.
Monocoque ladder against frame on body
The monocoque frame, on the other hand, has a unified frame and body construction. Here the entire frame network carries the weight of the vehicle’s components, where the ladder compartment alone is heavier than the frame construction body.
Body on frame versus monocoque unibody
Body on frame vs. monocoque SUV: benefits of monocoque frames
Light and energy efficiency:
The main advantage of monocoque construction is its lightweight. Extending the frame network to every bit of the car eliminates the need to add extra mass to the selected area for power. This will ensure that the vehicle is more lightweight compared to the body on the frame construction. Because the overall load to be pulled is low, a small capacity engine can be combined to accomplish the same task. This immediately interprets to higher gas economy.
Monocoque weight towards body on body
Good Ride Dynamics:
Monocoque construction always has better handling and performance compared to the frame construction body. The floor pan can be placed much lower on the monocoque construction, giving the vehicle a lower centre of gravity. This allows the vehicle to be smarter in terms of handling. The lighter aspect that contributes to better fuel economy gives better overall performance. The lower-floor deployment makes Monocoque construction much easier to get in and out of.
Body on frame vs. monocoque dynamics
Most R&D resources go into the making of monocoque frame networks. The framework is built in such a way that it only collapses and bends. When designing frame networks, manufacturers use this quality to ensure that the impact force of the crash moves away from vehicle passengers. Because the frame is more elaborate in terms of the area covered, the vehicle can easily resist the impact from different directions without giving up. This contributes to a better protection element in monocoque constructions.
Body On Frame vs. Monocoque Safety
Body on body vs. monocoque SUV: body benefits on the frame
Though more than 100 years old, body technology on frames can literally exist only for its off-road prowess. The super tufted frame structure of these vehicles can unleash rocks, uneven terrain and almost everything you throw at it like a child’s play. The body on the frame construction is mandatory to have high floor pans because of their construction. This allows for greater ground clearance, which is a complete boon to handling off-road duties.
Body on frame vs. monocoque offroad
High torsional rigidity:
The body on the frame chassis has high resistance to bending and deformation under pressure. Torsion and bending resistance represent the amount of force required to rotate or extend the chassis member by a certain degree or centimetre. In the case of the body in frame construction, the force required to significantly bend and distort the chassis is too high and impossible to achieve in practical applications. If you intend to pull heavier items with your SUV, it is definitely advisable to choose the one that has the body over the frame construction, as the monocoque construction can offer more and distort at the same time.
Body On Frame vs. Monocoque Trailer
Easy to Repair:
Since frame and body are two very different elements in the body in frame construction, it is easy to repair any damage caused by separate components. The damage to the monocoque construction will probably require replacing the entire chassis unit, which is an expensive ordeal. The frame construction body is the oldest type of chassis construction known to the automotive world. It has been used for extra than a century.
So if you run into any trouble during your off-road escapades, even the average roadside mechanic will be able to easily diagnose and fix the problem.
Body on frame vs. monocoque mechanic
Higher-strength steel frames on body-on-frame .image by Repairer Driven News.
Body on frame vs. monocoque SUVs: Conclusion
Both Monocoque and Body On Frame construction have their fair share of pros and cons. They are almost like apples and oranges. If one road is more appropriate then another is a better performing off-road, and SUVs are actually intended. But let’s admit it, most cars nowadays spend more of their time than they do on the lottery. Although there is no doubt that the body in the frame dominates in beneficial functions, the construction of the monocoque is evolving rapidly with time. Nowadays all Land Rovers use a monocoque frame build and their off-road capabilities are almost unmatched. While some manufacturers still occasionally use the body in frame construction, the monocoque construction that takes a comprehensive overview is the winner of this game.