When you buy a pickup truck for personal use, the brand, model and feature set that you choose certainly can involve enough complexity to warrant engaging an expert. Most people simply do their own research, though, and make a decision by their own best lights, though. They do often make the wrong choice in a few areas, but the outcome isn’t usually too serious.
It’s completely different with a truck for your business. When you neglect to include an important feature or task for the wrong one, it can tell in your company’s bottom line. Whether you plan to buy your truck outright or obtain it from a fleet management business, you need to be prepared to put in the work needed to find the right balance between price, quality, feature set and fuel efficiency.
Deciding on the right tech feature set
Many business owners tend to be unaware that features that were once found only on higher-end cars are now available on commercial trucks of every size. Modern trucks come with them all.
Telematics: Many truck manufacturers include business telematics solutions with their trucks. These are device-software combinations that include a monthly oversight fee, and monitoring that helps your business optimize asset usage, lower fuel consumption and manage truck personnel.
Driving safety systems: Safety features can include collision warning and lane departure warning systems. These can ensure freedom from accidents, and lower insurance costs.
Considering operator qualifications
If you plan to operate heavy trucks, you need to hire drivers with a commercial driving license. A lighter Ram truck, on the other hand, would be cheaper to find drivers for.
Do you need a liftgate?
A liftgate is a tailgate that is able to operate as an elevator to lift loads from street level to truck bed level. It can be a useful feature. If you plan to use a forklift, the lip of the truck bed will need to hold protective plating.
What size of cargo will you be handling?
Whatever the nature of your business, you need to make sure that the truck that you acquire is able to handle the cargo that you expect to use it for. If you transport large kitchen and bathroom fixtures, for instance, you’ll need to reckon how exactly you will fit in the number of units that you hope to transport.
Will there be non-business uses for the truck as well?
If you plan to use the truck for personal purposes in addition to business purposes, you should have a plan. It’s important to keep expenses and records to make sure that the truck is the right kind, and also maintain detailed accounts to make sure that the company is compensated.
Finally, there’s the budget
The kind of budget that your acquisition project will need to come in under will determine feature set and size, other things. It’s important to count every source expense, including driver costs, accounting costs and maintenance costs. Budget constraints may steer you towards the used market, which can often be a good idea. It could also make it clear that leasing logistics service from a fleet management company makes the best sense for your company.
Lee Mills is a fleet manager, having worked his way up the ranks from a fleet maintenance assistant. He likes to share his knowledge with an online audience by blogging for business sites.