Fleet management has its challenges – there can be little doubt. One of the biggest challenging aspects of the job, so that drivers can accomplish their jobs, is the process of fleet upfitting. In an effort to assist in the optimization of that process, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common mistakes made during fleet upfitting. Knowing what others have done wrong, ahead of time, could mean that you don’t make the same mistakes in the future. What’s more, we’re going to offer some suggestions as to how to avoid those mistakes.
Get ready to upfit!
The 85% Rule
This is a rule, of sorts, that all too many fleet managers forget. This widely accepted standard, the 85% rule of GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating), deals with the following:
- A vehicle runs the risk of not making the most of its expected service life when repair costs arise due to the vehicle being operated near or at its GVWR. To balance the vehicle’s day-to-day operational total weight and payload needs, vehicle weight specification upfitting should be considered.
Aside from driver education, the primary cause of brake and tire costs is a vehicle’s operating weight.
Not all fleet managers make the most of their drivers and assets. These are effective areas for many businesses. More could be done in a day if specifications were increased through upfitting, in many cases. Consider upfits such as additional accessories like grab handles, side and rear sliding shelves, an inverter, etc. The accessibility and safety of your fleet could be improved with some upfits. More productive, safer technicians will be the result when their tools are more easily accessible.
Some fleet managers rely on one vendor for all their upfits. But consider this: if having one upfit vendor is good, having several might be better. This is particularly applicable if the vendor you rely on isn’t located close by. Count on vendors that are local for some upfits, even if you still insist on taking your fleet further for others.
Having a choice of several vendors might also be good for getting things done in a timely manner: if one vendor is booked solid, another may have availability.
Unforeseen circumstances like new hires or accidents can result in unplanned replacements. To acquire fleet vehicles, rather than going out of stock, consider “upfitter pools”. You can save on transportation costs and possibly even save, per vehicle, up to $3000 by utilizing upfitter pools.
The decision on who does your upfitting should be made based on more than just location or price. As suggested earlier, one vendor may excel in a specific area, but be located further away than other vendors. You must make a choice as to whether you want to spend more time and money getting your fleet upfitted by someone you know you can depend on for a great job or spend less by using a local upfitter.
Then again, rather than running the vehicles in your fleet to several locations, finding a reliable upfitting source that does telematics, graphics, and more, saves time and money in some cases. This is something you will have to weigh out as a fleet manager.
If your company is in need of fleet upfitting, contact the experts at Mickey Genuine Parts. We have certified service centers located throughout the United States for your convenience. Before you go elsewhere, check with Mickey to see if we provide all the services you need. We also offer part delivery that can begin the same day the order is placed (as long as the order is received by 2 PM Eastern Standard Time). Contact us for more information.