Selecting and buying the best service truck body available for your specific needs is no easy task in today’s marketplace. With seemingly unlimited options and more manufacturers readily available at the click of a button, it can be a very stressful and cumbersome experience. There are ways to try to minimize the stress on back-end of selection by auditing what is important to you in a service truck and service truck body on the front-end. We compiled a checklist of what contractors and fleet managers should be asking themselves before the ever pick up the phone or fire up the internet to start shopping.
What type of terrain will you be encountering regularly? What about worst case?
By reverse engineering your buying process, start to assess your needs from the ground up. This starts with tires. Ensuring that your service truck will be built to optimize performance and prepare you for those one-off, worst-case scenarios is a great place to start. Will you be stomping pavement 100% of the time, or will you have to go back through six unmarked gravel roads, up a hill, across Old Creek Bend, and dodge coyotes in the process? Be certain equip your truck with tires and wheel walls that can handle the terrain. It often seems like an afterthought, but no one likes to be in a hindsight 20/20 scenario.
Do you have a unique set of tools or equipment that do not fit easily into traditional storage?
Moving up from the wheels and wheel walls, we begin to look at the body of the truck. What sort of equipment or tools are you taking with you to get your work done? Often times, prospective buyers assume that trucks will come equipped with compartments to fit their tools and accessories. Unfortunately, this is not often the case.
Will you need a crane or any other large accessory?
This will drastically effect the next step of the process. More on that in a minute. You should know upfront if a crane will be necessary for the service truck body, and if so what type of crane. Typically speaking with modern advancements, a knuckle boom crane is the most practical and efficient for most industries. However, there a few types of work (i.e. mobile mechanics) that will almost always necessitate a telescoping crane. If you need a crane, and if so, what type, should be taken into high consideration before making any further decision. Then, are there any other large accessories that will be necessary to complete the job in the most optimum manner.
What type of truck will you need?
Remember the previous point? That will become critical now, as you assess what sort of GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) the truck hauling your service body will require. This is crucial. After making a rough assessment of what type of equipment your truck body will be pulling day-to-day, the GVWR rating of the vehicle will be a no-brainer. Ask your sales or service rep, and they should be able to provide a couple of recommendations, alleviating the inevitable decision fatigue and stress that accompanies the purchasing process.
Defining auxiliary features that are crucial to your line of work
Will you need mounted LED lighting or customized racking to complete your service body? How about modular drawers for consolidated tool storage? Will your crazy ass need a cement block carrier, you know, for carrying cement blocks? This will be another vital decision when spec’ing your service truck body to premium augmentation of your work vehicle. Think of it as the “bells and whistles”, but these are not fancy, arbitrary features that will receive minimum use. These are essentials to yielding maximum productivity, and unfortunately, many mass-production truck bodies forget (or even worse, neglect) this important features.
Making the purchase...
Upon completing your initial checklist, it is imperative to shop the market to find a manufacturer that can build your truck to spec. There is no room for cutting corners or “nickel & diming” when it comes to the vehicle you rely on daily to get your work done. Compare and contrast manufacturers benefits and look at the pros and cons of each company before making a final decision.
Example pros & cons to weigh out
Wait time (How long will it take for your truck to go from conceptualization to physical vehicle?)
Accessory options (What manufacturer is most accommodating to your specific accessory needs?)
Warranty (Will the manufacturer provide you with a fair and reputable guarantee?)
Materials used (Does your manufacture provide you with modern material options for building your truck body, such as aluminum or carbon fiber?)
Cost (Does your manufacturer provide you with great value?)
More on cost…
In general, today’s marketplace is heavily reliant on cost, but also, cost with perceived and actual value. If a manufacturer is not accommodating to your specific needs, but has a lower price point, it is not beneficial for you to throw all others to the wind. THIS IS ESSENTIAL. Upfront costs with mass-produced service truck bodies can often be lower than those of customization, but from a long-term perspective, identifying a manufacturer that can spec a truck to your individual needs can be the most cost effective decision related to your buying process.
At JOMAC, we preach customization because we believe in creating vehicles and truck bodies that best serve the needs of our customers, and provide greater long term value, than saving a few bucks in the near future. In addition, we stay extremely competitive in production costs as the mass-produced counterparts in our industry. It would be a disservice for us to not offer you our best quote on a completely customized service truck, so you can compare costs and make a more informed decision before you invest in such a critical piece of your daily work. Please feel free to click the link below and we would be happy to provide you with a quote and help best serve you as you compare your options for your next service truck or fleet.