When it comes to commercial vehicle upfitting, there are few specialists who do it as well as the expert technicians at Camco Wheel & Axle. However, with so many options available to fleet managers and owners of commercial trucks and vans, it can be a bit overwhelming at times.
The upfitting process can be work intensive and so you’ll want to make the right decisions from the get-go to avoid mistakes that can increase costs and stretch out the time frame it takes to get your vehicle back to work. Your upfitting experts at Camco Wheel & Axle want you to be aware of 5 common mistakes to avoid when upfitting your commercial truck or van.
Mistake #1: Not making the right decisions on specs.
This is an issue that affects everything and everyone – from the company to the field workers. Failing to get input from the men and women who will be using the commercial vehicle each day can end up leading to upfitting specs that just don’t make sense.
Not only does this mean extra unnecessary costs, but also potential injury to workers if the right specs for safety and payload aren’t taken into consideration. Industry-specific safety standards and practices should always be followed, especially if the vehicle is towing a utility trailer. This means accounting for weight and balance.
To avoid this problem, simply get your technicians, drivers, and the upfitters themselves involved in the process as early as possible. While it might not be feasible to include every single request or recommendation, you’ll have a better idea of what your team actually needs versus you just making the decisions alone.
Mistake #2: Poor ergonomics.
The Camco team has discussed the importance of ergonomics in upfitting on various blogs and that belief still holds true. Ergonomics helps to promote employee safety, efficiency, and health. Not only are you looking out for your workers but you’re also financially helping out your company whenever you implement proper ergonomics in your upfitting.
But of course, the opposite end of that spectrum holds weight as well. If you’re team is using equipment in a manner in which it is not supposed to be used, is lifting heavy equipment without the support of a ramp or liftgate, or being forced to bend and tug at equipment all day because of a lack of shelves in the cargo area, then somebody is bound to get hurt – which can lead to hefty worker’s comp payouts.
Keep ergonomics in mind during the spec’ing process.
Mistake #3: Placing your order to later.
If you’re searching to grow your fleet and purchase some new year models, it is in your best interest to do so as early as possible in the year. Waiting too long can have a big effect on the upfitting process – primarily – delays.
Timing is important in the upfitting process, especially when ordering a new truck service body. A late order can mean dealing with emptied vehicle inventories, depleted accessory options, and a general wait for all other orders to be completed. An excessively long waiting period can have a negative effect on your work efficiency, project deadlines – and ultimately – your bottom line.
Mistake #4: Overweighing costs above value.
When you upfit your commercial vehicle, you are increasing its value and adding an asset to your company. If you are in an industry where the vehicle is absolutely essential to your line of work, then you need to consider it as an investment rather than an obligatory purchase.
Deciding to go with the lowest cost – while understandable – can mean reduced workmanship and quality of materials and accessories. While an upfit can be costly, getting the upfitting done correctly with optimal specs will pay off in dividends down the road.
Remember to always consider quality and value just as much as you do costs.
Mistake #5: Failure to check references.
This mistake corresponds to mistake number 4; upfits can run into the thousands and you will want to spend that money wisely on a quality service provider. Before you make your final decision:
- Price out quotes with multiple upfitters.
- Check references (either word-of-mouth or online reviews).
- Ask what size of projects they have worked on before.
- Get a solid understanding of what industries they are familiar with.
- Are they certified resellers?
While this is not a complete list of all the questions and considerations you should bear in mind, they should help you to develop a solid understanding of the company and their ability to meet your needs.
Camco Wheel & Solutions: Over 30 years of upfitting service experience in the Rio Grande Valley.
Camco provides commercial truck upfitting and van upfitting services in the Rio Grande Valley. With over 30 years of experience and top quality accessories, as well as our very own fabrication and upfitting center, we can meet your needs no matter what they are.