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Types Of Chassis Frames

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 18/04/2023

Thinking about purchasing a car, but you’re not much of a car enthusiast? Don’t worry! Not everyone needs to be an expert on cars, nor do they need to understand the complex technicalities and jargon surrounding car conversations in order to buy a car. However, there is some basic car parts knowledge that car owners gather after owning a car for some time. Car tanks, carburettors, engines, and chassis are some of these essential car parts that most car owners have some knowledge about.

For those who are curious, a chassis is a primary support in a car’s structure. It’s the car’s frame in simple terms. It provides structural support and bears any impact or force when the car is in motion or standing still. Since the chassis maintains the structural integrity of a car, it is essential to carefully check the chassis' condition while buying an old car. Further, if the chassis is severely damaged in an accident, it is better to replace that car.

In such cases, you can claim total loss from your comprehensive four-wheeler insurance provider. If you do not have one, getting one should be next on your agenda. Car insurance is more than just that slip of paper you keep in your car’s compartment box when you get pulled over. It’s an essential resource that comes into play during emergencies or financial concerns regarding your car.

What Is The Chassis Of A Car

The chassis of a car is the car’s main support structure - not dissimilar to a skeleton in terms of its role. It’s another term for what is basically a car frame. So a car chassis, by definition, provides structural support to the car’s whole body.

Its main purpose is to keep the car’s components in place and together when the car is moving or standing still. Coupled with absorbing any impact or shock the car experiences when driving.

A car chassis is not a term most people are familiar with unless they’re car enthusiasts. However, knowing these terms can help you better understand the features and uses of a car you intend to buy.

The Roles And Support Functions Of A Car Chassis

  • It supports the car’s weight.

  • Provides support and space for mounting other car parts.

  • Bears and supports the additional load from luggage and passengers of the car.

  • It absorbs any shock or impact made on the car when driving on rough roads or uneven surfaces.

  • It manages the additional stress on the car when accelerating and braking.

Different Types Of Car Chassis

Not every car is manufactured the same. The car’s chassis and its parts will depend on the type and function of the vehicle. So a car chassis’ parts names will not be the same for every car. In total, there are four types of car chassis:

  1. Monocoque Chassis.

  2. Ladder Chassis.

  3. Backbone Chassis.

  4. Tubular Chassis.

  5. Monocoque Chassis

Monocoque, as its name suggests, is a single-body structure. It’s the most commonly used type of car chassis frame these days. It allows the car’s overall structure to remain light and compact. This type of chassis is most commonly used in hatchbacks and sedans.

The car’s components - exterior panels, seats, suspension, engine and gearbox - all remain attached to the chassis or frame structure. This structure is considered safer than most other frames and suitable for constructing modern compact SUVs, hatchbacks and sedans.

Advantages Of A Monocoque Chassis

  • Compact and lightweight, making it ideal for small vehicle construction

  • Its single shell structure allows it to maintain stability when taking turns and can handle most dynamic forces adeptly.

  • Its cage-like structure provides maximum safety for the car’s passengers.

  • The lightweight structure allows for cars to be budget-friendly and fuel efficient.

Disadvantages Of A Monocoque Chassis

  • Reduced off-road performance due to its single-body structure. It’s less flexible.

  • The single-body structure makes the vehicle difficult to repair when damaged.

2. Ladder Chassis

This car body’s chassis gets its name from its overall structure, which is shaped like a ladder. It has two long heavy beams supported by two short beams. The vehicle’s cabin and computer frame are constructed separately and attached later.

The ladder chassis is used chiefly to manufacture SUVs, especially ones used for off-road purposes and vehicles used to tow heavy loads. Its main selling point is how easy it is to manufacture.

Advantages Of A Ladder Chassis

  • Easy to assemble and manufacture.

  • Different chassis components make ladder frames useful for manufacturing different types of vehicles.

  • Its flexible and dynamic frame gives it better off-roading capabilities.

  • Allows for a more comfortable and quieter driving experience.

Disadvantages Of A Ladder Chassis

  • It Increases the car’s height, so attention is required when driving

  • The overall structure is quite heavy, so it can’t be used for hatchbacks or sportscars.

3. Backbone Chassis

The backbone chassis also gets its name from its structure. Its frame consists of a rectangular cross-section that runs through the middle connecting the top and bottom suspension - like a backbone.

Advantages Of A Backbone Chassis

  • Due to its structure, the axles have better contact with the road. This provided more stability to the car.

  • The drive shaft is safe when off-roading, even if the car hits the ground multiple times.

  • It can withstand a lot of pressure and twists due to its rigidity.

Disadvantages Of A Backbone Chassis

  • If damaged, the drive shaft repair is damaged since it will require the whole backbone to be opened.

  • The manufacturing cost is high, so cars with a backbone chassis are more expensive.

4. Tubular Chassis

  • You’ll find this type of car chassis commonly in race cars. This is because they provide more safety with their cage-like structure.

  • Most race car interiors are entirely stripped and the whole vehicle, even on the inside, is constructed like a cage to ensure maximum safety for the driver.

  • It gets its name from the dense network of pipes that cover the vehicle.

Advantages Of A Tubular Chassis

  • The dense pipes allow for a lightweight and rigid structure.

  • Since the structure is more three-dimensional, they are much safer than monocoque chassis.

Disadvantages Of A Tubular Chassis

  • It’s not a practical structure. They are time-consuming to build and can’t be mass-produced.

  • It can’t be used on standard cars.

  • This structure raises the floor height, so it can be challenging to access the cabin.


Understanding the car’s overall structure can bring a lot of clarity when deciding on what car to purchase. This will give you a good idea of the car’s capabilities and help determine if the vehicle is worth your money.

But as we have mentioned in the beginning, do not forget to get a good comprehensive car insurance policy. It will save you a lot of money in the long run, as you’ll be more aware of the expenses your vehicle will require after purchase.

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