Building the Fleet: Finding the Best Truck for Your Business

Transportation fleet in whiteWhen 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.

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21 comments

  1. I glad I found this article because now I know that what you termed a lift-gate may be a less expensive alternative to forklifts. It’s definitely a good idea to back a truck up as close as possible to a heavy object but sometimes getting the object onto the truck, is near impossible. I suppose in most cases, getting the object onto the lift-gate and letting it do the rest of the work would be a much more feasible way to do what otherwise necessitate not only a forklift but a forklift operator.

  2. I agree that you should decide whether you need a lift gate. I think that more often than not, the answer will be yes. It’s just not worth getting injured.

  3. If your business requires heavy lifting. A fork lift is a good addition in the equipment you have.

  4. These are great questions to ask yourself when you are trying to make a decision regarding the the type of vehicle to purchase for your business. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Thank you for the wonderful insight. always a blessing when others share valuable information. How many people do you have on staff? I don’t hear too much about the pros and cons of business partners and how many people are needed to start the food truck business.

  6. Good tips and great things to keep in consideration when trying to choose a truck for your business. It’s really important to make set aside time to assess how much space you’ll need and what prices line up with your budget. Nicely said. Thanks for sharing!

  7. It has always been a necessity to make modifications to an organization’s best practices in order to stay abreast with the changing conditions in the market. An efficient management software permits the business owner to make pauses in its business processes, implement changes and re-execute it.
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  8. Additional business software to support these processes can take the form of standalone applications from different vendors, homegrown applications, or a variety of spreadsheet workarounds.
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  9. Those are some nice warnings about when to use a liftgate. And budget is usually a concern in many areas of business planning.
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  10. Thanks for the information! I had a confusion between liftgate & forklifts, that is now sort out with your valuable post. Keep on sharing these kind of helping stuff.
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  11. This is great advice for anyone who is looking to create a fleet for their business. It’s good to know exactly what you need out of your fleet, like a lift gate, gas mileage, storage space, before buying. Thank you for sharing.
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  12. Implementing the right management software suite in an organization can trim down the costs associated to business process execution.
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  13. With the customized reports produced by this type of software, often connected to a data warehouse, companies can more easily pick up on trends in company spending, staffing, operations, client development, and more.
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  14. Hey! Thanks for sharing the wonderful information. We are also working for automotive services and me and my husband are thinking about to open other side business like food truck or ice cream truck. And your article will help me alot about to open a new business. Thanks for sharing and keep on coming.

  15. Great guide! Your final thought on budget is an important one – going with used dealerships can save a lot on quality trucks.

  16. Modern telematics systems are already capable of analysing driving style and providing comprehensive feedback to both managers and drivers in real time. That is why a lot of truck companies like movers and logistics include business telematics solutions with their trucks. Thanks for sharing this. Very informative.

  17. You are literally throwing money in the garbage when you buy a new car and drive it home. A used car is definitely the way to go. It\’s all about doing your research and not buying from someone too shady. There\’s always the possibility that it will be a lemon but I\’d rather take my chances rather than spend thousands more on a car that won\’t be worth that much the second I turn it on.

  18. This is a fantastic guide to negotiating a car purchase. You really used the leverage you had in every situation and walked away with an awesome deal. I am in the market for a car and am definitely going to use these tips when talking to the sales people! Thanks so much!

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