If you are lucky enough to work in the vehicle industry, you might have to choose a fleet of trucks one day. If that day comes, you need to be sure that you prepare yourself for such an epic task. There is more to choosing some trucks than just finding a design that you like. You need to make sure that the trucks you choose are suitable for your company. If you get it right, you could make everybody’s job easier than it is right now. If you get it wrong, you could make things a little over-complicated for your team. Here is the essential guide to choosing a fleet of trucks.
Talk to your team
Before you do anything else, you need to talk to your drivers. If there is anyone that knows what they need in a truck, it is the drivers. They know the challenges they already face and will likely have some solutions to make their job easier than it is. Make sure that you schedule a meeting with your drivers and talk to them about the current situation. You will likely get some advice and tips on what you are looking for in a fleet of trucks.
Decide on specialist equipment
If your company is a straightforward delivery service, you should have no trouble finding a fleet. If your company has lots of different equipment, you need to take that into consideration. You need to find the right trucks to host your equipment. Talk to your supplier and see what he or she suggests. Your supplier will likely have to fit your equipment for you, and so they should have a hand in choosing the right trucks for you.
Choose your fuel
What fuel do you need for your trucks? You may not have thought about what your fuel means for your company. If you can save fuel for your drivers, you can save money for your company. You should look for diesel engines, rather than petrol as these will be better when it comes to fuel efficiency. Make sure that you check gas prices to see what the current situation is. Prices tend to fluctuate, and so you need to know which fuel is the best value. Many truck manufacturers allow you to choose the engine type for your trucks. See whether you can choose your engine so that you have control over your fuel efficiency.
Check the GVW
The Gross Vehicle Weight is an important factor you need to consider when you are choosing a truck. Here is where you need to use a little math to work out which truck is right for you. If your cargo is heavy, you need to ensure that you get a lightweight truck so that you don’t break the law. If your vehicle weight comes to more than 2,700 kg, you will not be able to travel through some cities. If you are offering a delivery service, this will be a genuine problem. Make sure that you calculate how much each truck will weigh including your cargo weight and your driver’s weight.
You need to ensure that you have some great communication software. When you are working closely with a team of drivers, you need to contact them all the time. Without a solid communication structure, you will struggle to keep control of your team. That will be a huge issue for your admin and communication staff. You should make sure that you have the latest technology in the industry. If there is one area where you should not scrimp, it has to be communication.
Choose the right vendor
Many people think that it doesn’t matter which company they buy their trucks from, as long as they get a great deal. Your vendor is important because they take care of all your needs and can help you with your aftercare plan. Some companies offer specialist services, such as vehicle exchange. For example, if you have an old fleet of trucks, you could exchange them for some Auto trader trucks and get a small discount. That way, you don’t have to worry about removing old vehicles and you can save yourself a little money.
Aftercare plans and warranties
When you have found a vendor that you can trust, you should make sure that you get a strong aftercare plan and warranty. If you should encounter any issues with your trucks, you need to know that someone will be there to help. Talk to your vendor about policies and offers. You might need to pay a little extra to get an extended warranty, but it will be worthwhile. Many trucks come with a warranty that will cover parts, but not service charges. Make sure that you look at what your warranty covers so that you understand what you are paying for and whether it is a good deal.
If you buy your fleet from just one vendor, you should check to see whether they offer specialist technical support. If you can’t find a vendor that offers tech support, you may need to pay an external company to help you. You need to make sure that every driver has constant support should something happen to them on the road. Without that support, your company is open to all kinds of problems and issues. Sometimes your aftercare plan will cover technical support. Make sure that you look for the right deal for your company.
Choose a payment plan
When you are dealing with company finances, things can get a little tricky. Make sure that you speak to your employer about your payment schemes so that you know what you need to do. Some companies will allow you to pay everything upfront in one bulk payment, but others will not. If you begin paying into a plan, you should make sure that you understand the terms of your contract. Check the interest rate for your plan and see how much the trucks will cost in the long run. Understanding the total cost of ownership for each unit will help you make an informed decision.