As any fleet manager will tell you, it’s the little things that matter when it comes to a utility truck upfit. A custom cone holder here, a rear bumper with a vice attachment there, or even a new cabinet install with rubber mats lined on the inside of the storage surfaces to reduce tool movement and noise, can absolutely bring life back to your fleet.
Our certified McAllen commercial truck upfitters at Camco Wheel & Axle are ready to deliver a custom body upfit to meet your business’s unique needs.
But it’s important to remember when deciding on what upfitting options to go with, that while it may seem like the sky’s the limit, sometimes asking the right questions will reveal to you just what you should focus on.
Here’s what to be on the lookout for when requesting a custom body upfit.
First Things to Consider
Choosing the right chassis and service body is critical to your business’ needs. You can easily waste a budget on non-requisite components if you focus too much on the chassis than is required. On the other hand, going too light on the chassis can cause a lot of wear and tear on your utility truck, which ultimately leads to decreased productivity and breakdowns.
Lastly, consider what you need to be upfitted carefully, as once the truck body has been customized, making any last minute changes can be quite expensive.
Knowing What to Upfit
In essence, when you are considering an upfit for your utility truck body, you have quite a bit to consider including:
- The intended use of the utility truck itself.
- The accessibility of your utility truck.
- What kind of load is it going to bear.
- Where it will be driven most.
- What equipment will it be equipped with.
- Any legal requirements.
In order to find that out, you have to ask yourself a few candid questions about the goals your company is trying to achieve and how these utility trucks will help to meet them.
Your Utility Truck’s Intended Use
This is the most important aspect to consider. You and/or your fleet manager need to know what you want your utility truck to do if you want the process to be completed in an efficient manner.
Jot down a list of what tasks you want your utility truck to accomplish in an accurate and timely manner. Watch these utility trucks at work and look for what can be improved to make it a top-notch vehicle that can get the job done in one trip.
Then, when you get ready to upfit the truck body, ask yourself:
- Will this vehicle be a hauler or mobile workshop?
- How many pieces of equipment will need to be taken out for a typical job?
- How many team members will use it at a time?
- Will it be used during the night shift?
- Will it be towing anything?
- How long will it be on the road?
- How frequently will it come to a stop?
- Will it need additional security layers or measures?
These questions will give you a good starting point on what to consider when it comes to upfitting your utility truck.
To be blunt, accessibility means just that. How accessible is the utility truck when it comes to meeting the team’s needs? Ask yourself:
- How will drivers, team members, loaders, unloaders, and materials that are hauled move throughout the utility truck body on a daily basis?
- Will your driver need to access the area where cargo is held from his or her cab, from the outside, or from the back of the truck?
- How frequently will they enter and exit from the utility truck?
- Will you be hauling cargo like heavy equipment, materials in bulk, or palletized goods?
- Will you be transferring materials in and out of the utility truck bed? How?
Answering these questions is a good start to understanding how accessible you want your utility truck to be.
The Load It’ll Carry
Going too light on the chassis may be a common mistake that fleet managers make when spec’ing out a utility truck, but getting too heavy can be downright dangerous.
As with everything when it comes to dealing with commercial work trucks and their utility trailers, your Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) must be adhered to! Yes, that has to be taken into account when upfitting your truck body.
To do so, you have got to:
- Consider the weight of the crew members that will be operating the utility truck.
- Consider the weight of the fuel.
- Consider the weight of any tools that will be on board.
- Consider the weight of any equipment that will be hauled.
- Consider the weight of cargo when at maximum capacity.
Do NOT assume any of these factors. Make sure to weigh the tools and equipment that you will be using. Load the utility truck with everything that you will need and weigh it.
The Types of Sites Where It Will Operate Most Frequently
The type of environment that you’re work truck will be operating in should also be taken into consideration Ask yourself:
- Where will your team be driving the utility truck the most?
- What kind of road will they be traveling on? New or unimproved road surfaces? Muddy tracks of land, steep terrain, or busy city streets?
- What kind of weather conditions frequently occur there? Does it rain or snow there a lot?
Keep in mind that if your team will indeed be traveling off-road frequently, you will need four-wheel drive and a spring-mounted body. City trucks are a little different, needing quick locking capabilities and curbside access.
Don’t Forget About Your Equipment
This often overlooked aspect of upfitting a utility truck can really hit your company’s pocketbook. If your work truck doesn’t have what it needs to be able to carry tools, equipment, or supplies to the work site, chances are they will have to return to pick it up and then go back, putting a dent into the fuel budget.
Save yourself from wasteful spending with these questions:
- What type of equipment will your team members be carrying?
- How will they access them?
- Will they need ladder racks, cranes, bottle storage, or hoists?
- Will they be carrying or transporting any liquids? What about spooled material, pipes, or other bulky items?
- What type of specialized equipment will your truck body need to meet your company’s goals?
Ensuring that your team members have the tools, supplies, and equipment they need will save your money in the long run.
Adhere to Legal Requirements
It would do your company well to adhere to local, state, and federal regulations within the area that you will be doing your work in.
For instance, most states require medical cards and log books in vehicles that surpass a GVWR of 10,000 pounds. Do your homework in all states that you will be operating in.
For over 30 years, Camco Wheel & Axle has gained crucial experience in upfitting fleets Valleywide. We are proud to say that our services exceed customer expectations.
If you are looking for a quality upfit that provides efficiency and cost-effectiveness to your utility trucks body, reach out to us today at (956) 781-4800. Our quality upfitting process and reasonable pricing will ensure that you quickly receive your return on investment.