A chassis (/ˈ tʃ æ s i / or /ˈ ʃ æ s i / ; plural: "chassis" /ˈ tʃ æ s i z / or /ˈ ʃ æ s i z / ) consists of an internal framework that supports a manmade object in its construction and use. It is analogous to an animal's skeleton. An example of a chassis is the underpart of a motor vehicle, consisting of the frame (on which the body is mounted). If the running gear such as wheels and transmission, and sometimes even the driver's seat, are included, then the assembly is described as a rolling chassis.
In the case of vehicles, the term rolling chassis means the frame plus the "running gear" like engine, transmission, drive shaft, differential, and suspension.
A body (sometimes referred to as "coachwork"), which is usually not necessary for integrity of the structure, is built on the chassis to complete the vehicle.
For commercial vehicles, a rolling chassis consists of an assembly of all the essential parts of a truck (without the body) to be ready for operation on the road. The design of a pleasure car chassis will be different than one for commercial vehicles because of the heavier loads and constant work use. Commercial vehicle manufacturers sell "chassis only", "cowl and chassis", as well as "chassis cab" versions that can be outfitted with specialized bodies. These include motor homes, fire engines, ambulances, box trucks, etc.
In particular applications, such as school buses, a government agency like National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the U.S. defines the design standards of chassis and body conversions.
Advert buses, party buses, sleeper buses and tour buses are all types of buses that may feature a degree of decorative customisation as part of their primary function, and not just for personalisation.
An armoured fighting vehicle's hull serves as the chassis and comprises the bottom part of the AFV that includes the tracks, engine, driver's seat, and crew compartment. This describes the lower hull, although common usage might include the upper hull to mean the AFV without the turret. The hull serves as a basis for platforms on tanks, armoured personnel carriers, combat engineering vehicles, etc.