May 21

What is car Platform | Ladder Frame vs Monocoque Chassis

(Click on the arrow below to play the video)


In this video, I am sharing my knowledge about the car platform in response of a question asked by a YouTube subscriber.

Ladder frame

The Ladder frame chassis is a robust metal framework consisting of two large metal beams joined together by shorter support beams in between. With a Ladder frame chassis, the body and engine of the vehicle are mounted on top of the ladder frame making it a robust structure ideal for Commercial Trucks, SUV’s and 4×4 Utes that are meant to carry heavy loads for extended periods. 

Monocoque Design

With the Monocoque design, the chassis is forged into the basic structure of the vehicle creating one singular object known as a Uni-body, or Monocoque. Monocoque chassis is mainly used in the production of small SUVs, luxury sedans, and hatchbacks, offering superior safety, ride dynamics, and fuel economy due to its lighter framework. 

Platform with Monocoque Design (SUV)

Monocoque design is when the frame is integrated into the body construction making it a single structure. The framework of a unibody is designed and built to support the weight of the vehicle. Manufacturers accomplish this by reinforcing the floor of the vehicle, reinforcing the B and C pillars, and using bracing along with various parts of the body for overall strength and rigidity. The weight of the uni-body design is a lot lighter than the ladder frame because it cuts out bulky steel rails as used in the ladder frame and this results in improved safety and fuel economy.

Advantages of Unibody frame chassis vehicles
  • With the advancement in technology and software, the Unibody has become much easier to design, and modify.
  • It offers better ride comfort and lower wind noise being lower and closer to the ground.
  • Unibody gives you a more luxurious ride with tire and road noise being drowned out by advancement in build quality, sound deadening and the suspension setup afforded to the monocoque chassis.
  • Less squeaky components make for fewer rattles and metal fatigue noises commonly associated with ladder frame chassis.
  • The lighter body increases the lifespan of the tires, suspension, and other wear and tear suspension components.
  • They also offer better balance in emergency braking and maneuvering situations.
Disadvantages of Unibody frame chassis vehicles
  • More expensive to repair in the event of an accident due to advanced chassis technology, expensive components and the complete structure makes repairs more complex
  • The Body on Frame construction has a very distinct advantage since it does not require the expensive process of laser welding
  • Longer repair times needed due to the above-mentioned factors
  • More susceptible to undercarriage damage being lower to the ground, like oil sumps and suspension components
  • More prone to rust and moisture damage when exposed to water often with critical components being lower down and more susceptible to damage
  • More expensive to develop and to do research and development on

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