Managing the Financial Side of Commercial Fleets

TAG SEARCH RESULT: Upfitting

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January 22, 2018

Optimized Truck TCO Starts with the Right Specs

Vehicle specifications should be defined by the fleet application and mission requirements. A truism in truck fleet management is to design a truck that will accommodate your operational requirements rather than trying to make your operation conform to the truck. Here's how you do it.

December 22, 2017

Discrimination Against Vocational Vehicles

Can a branded vocational vehicle be ticketed for being parked in an employee driver’s home driveway? Or, can it be subject to a fine if legally parked overnight on the side of a street? Before you say no, think again. These discriminatory practices occur regularly when vocational vehicles are parked in residential areas governed by a homeowner association (HOA). In fact, the type of restrictions implemented against vocational or branded vehicles can run the gamut and are at the whim of the HOA.

December 12, 2017

Don't Underutilize the Expertise of Your Suppliers

For many managers responsible for vehicle operations, fleet management is often one of several job responsibilities. These managers acknowledge that it is difficult to stay on top of changes in vehicle design, powertrains, onboard safety technology, telematics capabilities, and regulatory changes that impact fleet operations. Despite this recognition, a common mistake made by many of these managers is underutilizing the subject-matter expertise of current and/or prospective suppliers.

October 16, 2017

Q. What is important to ask about when it comes to customer service?

A. Your contact options should never be limited to an 800 number...

September 5, 2017

U.S. Fleet Upfitting Industry Experiencing Uptick in Consolidation

The fleet industry in the United States is no stranger to acquisitions and mergers as we have witnessed with the decades long consolidation occurring among fleet leasing and management companies, automotive OEMs and their suppliers, and daily rental companies. The same holds true for the upfitting industry, which, in the first eight months of 2017, witnessed an uptick in acquisitions.

July 23, 2017

Spec’ing Today’s Trucks to Meet Tomorrow’s Needs

When you spec truck assets today, many of these vehicles will be in service for 10 to 15 years or longer. While these assets are adequate for today’s business, will this still be true 10 to 15 years from now? This is an important question because some fleet managers tend to focus on today’s needs and neglect the long-term considerations as to how job requirements may evolve in the future.

July 17, 2017

Q. How do we start the vehicle upfitting process?

A. The best source to obtain feedback is to work with customers, drivers, and field technicians. The drivers and field technicians operate the equipment and know what is required to perform their daily job functions...

July 17, 2017

Q. How does vehicle upfitting optimize efficiency?

A. Standardizing vehicle and upfit specs can have numerous operational benefits. This can streamline initial vehicle ordering, provide consistent asset-to-asset capitalized cost, reduce new driver training, and provide flexibility when reassigning...

July 17, 2017

Q. Can vehicle upfitting improve driver safety and reduce vehicle accidents?

A. Yes. A properly spec'd upfit design can help reduce driver injuries, and insurance and liability claims. Aftermarket equipment such as grab handles, step bumpers, side steps, and drop-down ladder racks can reduce driver strain and fatigue...

July 17, 2017

Q. How does vehicle upfitting reduce costs?

A. In addition to reducing accidents and insurance costs, vehicle and upfit packages which have been correctly spec’d with operational and lifecycle efficiency in mind can provide the greatest return on investment...

June 29, 2017

Lighting Innovations to Revolutionize Work Truck Productivity & Safety

We are in the midst of a lighting revolution in the automotive industry that started with the proliferation of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). More dramatic lighting innovations are fast emerging, such as laser diodes, organic LEDs, and dynamic bending light headlamps. Historically, new automotive technologies have always first manifested themselves in luxury brands, then migrated downward to lower trim level models and non-retail customers such as the vocational work truck market.

April 18, 2017

Decrease Incidents of Unscheduled Truck Maintenance Caused by Overloading

When a truck is overloaded, its operating performance will be strained, accelerating wear-and-tear on brakes and other wear components, such as tire, which have higher failure rates because they run hotter due to the increased load. Another issue is axle overloading, which causes premature wear-and-tear on tires and suspension components.

March 20, 2017

Avoid Repeating Past Inefficiencies: Build the Truck to Match Today’s Application

I asked one fleet manager how he spec’ed replacement trucks for his fleet application. He related that many years earlier an OEM rep spec’ed out his trucks and he has been using the same formula ever since. While this may work in some cases, specifications should be defined by today’s fleet application to ensure the replacement truck is designed to accommodate current operational requirements rather than trying to make your operation conform to trucks spec’ed for yesteryear’s requirements.

March 15, 2017

Ram Commercial Enhances Truck, Van Upfitting

Ram Commercial introduced its Augmented Reality Upfit Configurator and Q Pro certification program to help dealers and auxiliary equipment providers set up its trucks and vans for commercial users at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis.

February 10, 2017

Mercedes-Benz Metris Concept Highlights Van Upfitting

Mercedes-Benz is showing a Metris concept van at the Chicago Auto Show that's designed to highlight its new MasterSolutions ship-through upfitting program.

May 31, 2016

Removing Murphy’s Law from the Upfit Process

The multitude of upfitting options and potential configurations makes it easy to fulfill Murphy’s Law, which states, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Unfortunately, in many cases, who triggers Murphy’s Law is the fleet manager who does not carefully review the upfit specs, or has not consulted thoroughly with the actual users of the equipment, or attempts to over-engineer the upfit. These are all avoidable mistakes.

May 16, 2016

All Successful Upfits Start with Careful Planning

There are a multitude of specialized fleet applications that require the installation of auxiliary equipment on a truck or in a van. What complicates the planning process is that there are as many ways to upfit a vehicle as there are chassis and body configurations. It is critical that you properly define a truck’s application to ensure the supplier builds the truck to meet its intended use.

September 17, 2015

Increased Demand and Rail Delays Create Upfitter Logjam in MY-2015

One challenge for both the 2015- and 2014-MY has been the increased volume of fleet vehicles going to upfitters, which has resulted in capacity constraints. With the increasing demand and growth of the commercial truck and van segments – particularly among utilities and service industries – the percentage of upfitted vehicles is growing. Upfitters are feeling the pressure of increased demand.

July 7, 2015

The System is Still Broken

Looking back on the problems that plague the OEM vehicle ordering and delivery process. And deciding what can be done to repair this broken system.

June 1, 2015

Ergonomics and Enhanced Operator Safety Emphasized During Upfitting

Ergonomics and operator safety is a growing concern by HR and risk management departments, since there has been an uptick of workers’ compensation claims by fleet drivers. As a result of strong trends in the upfit market, there is an increased focus on designing upfits to enhance operator safety.

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