An upfitted truck can add a great deal of flexibility to your business. With the right tools and gear loaded up safely, you can easily head to the job site, find what you need, and get moving. While it may not possible to run your entire business out of your truck or van, you can save a lot of running around in a properly upfitted truck.
Choose An Upfitter That Understands Your Organizational Needs
The type of materials and tools that you need to haul will have a big impact on your storage needs. For example, if you need to carry full lengths of lumber for small jobs, open racks and ratchet straps may be a big part of your storage.
However, if you’re carrying small parts, you will need lockable drawers for
- plumbing fittings
- electrical connectors
If you need to carry any electronics that can be damaged by static, your storage needs will be even more specific. No matter what your setup goals eventually are, it’s a good idea to review a few different upfitters until you find a good quality company that can give you what you are looking for.
Basin Upfitting, one of the commercial truck upfitters in Salt Lake City UT, has a unique approach to their upfitting. They are versatile enough to offer services such as decals and body branding for your fleet as well as premium upfitting and customization for your vehicles. A custom branding shop for your commercial vehicles is what you need to get your fleet on the road to proudly promote your company. Their custom upfitting services will leave you satisfied that your employees will be taken care of while on the road and at their job sites.
Carefully Plan Out Your Weight Tolerances
If you have a light-duty truck that suits most of your needs, it may be a good idea to add a racking system that you can load up with drawers containing the products that you will need for the next job. This type of racking system will need to be unloaded and reloaded each day, and you will want to reconfigure it to suit the next job.
However, a sturdy racking system can offer you a lot of flexibility. Just take care not to max out the weight tolerance of your light-duty truck. If you can push it to 8,500 pounds, try to keep your racking and tool combination well below that to avoid damage from excessive pressure on your suspension and tires.
For example, if you choose a racking system with long drawers, you may have a choice of
metal bin dividers, or you may choose to load the product into plastic bins before you place them in the drawers. While metal bins will take less of a beating from chatter on the road, plastic will greatly reduce the weight that lives on your truck.
Talk About Security
Talk with your commercial upfitter about the spots you may need to leave your vehicle. If you have a 3/4 ton truck loaded with toolboxes or truck bed drawers, you will need to be sure that all the containers can be locked once loaded, and all the containers are fully secured to the bed of the truck.
You may also choose to add other security features, such as motion-activated lights both on the truck and at your regular parking space. You may even want to add a fence or park the vehicle inside. However, most thieves will be looking for something they can carry and easily pawn. The locks and security features that secure your tools and parts on the vehicle are your first line of defense.
Consider Volatile Storage
Many professionals who need an upfitted commercial truck also need to carry products that are flammable or volatile. These need to be taken into consideration during the design phase with your chosen truck upfitter.
Carefully review whether you need to carry any
- fuels or lubricants
- caustic or corrosive chemicals
- other flammable items
If you’ve got a cleaning business and need to carry both bleach and ammonia, your storage choices will need to include a space for each of these products far from the other. These problems are much easier to work out during the design process.
Plan Your Weight Distribution
Any vehicle can be hard to handle if the weight inside the van or in the bed of the truck is not properly distributed. One of the things that your employees may enjoy most about a newly upfitted van, even if it’s empty, is that it will handle better in the wind thanks to the added weight.
Carefully consider all the items that you may need to handle. For example, if you’re a kitchen and bath contractor, you could be carrying cabinets and doors or you could be hauling toilets. Where will the flat things lie? Where will the boxed toilet and double sink sit securely? How will you strap it down?
You don’t have to deliver wedding cakes or flowers to have a strong need to get items to the job site in one piece. Make sure that your upfitted vehicle has tie-downs and lipped shelving that will let your costly raw materials travel safely.
Additional Mechanical Features
An upfitted truck can include a lift gate or a dump truck tool. In such cases, you may need to have hydraulic pumps and other mechanical features added to your vehicle. To properly plan for these upgrades, you may need to do some studying.
Where will the pump affix and how will it be powered? Larger pickup trucks, such as 3/4 ton and up, will probably have room for these pumps, reservoirs, and hoses. However, smaller trucks may not have the space for mounting such tools.
You will also want to loop in your employees on a bit of homework. Hydraulics function under tremendous pressure and may need special care in extreme temperatures. Basic training on what to do and what not to do, as well as how to check the health of the pump, is critical to employee safety
An upfitted truck can radically change the flexibility and reach of your business. This rolling shop may give you the chance to take your business out of state or to the next city over to expand your business reach. Plan a conversation with your upfitters about the best way to support everyone you have in the field using a properly upfitted truck.