Whether you’re upfitting your van or truck to better adapt it to your business, or you just want some of the bells and whistles that you always thought you’d enjoy, upfit spec’ing needs a plan. It’s not just something you should jump into without a carefully laid out strategy and design. Possibly, you’ve got lots of ideas for your upgrades. On the other hand, maybe you could use a few suggestions. Either way, we are going to lay out some of the factors that could be important considerations for upfit spec’ing on your van or truck.
Specs Data – Stay Current!
There’s lots of key information out there as far as spec’ing trucks and vans is concerned. Make sure that you access it and review it before starting your project. The more current the information, the better.
Pay Attention to Graphics
This is one area where planning is absolutely essential. The final result will have fewer installation hassles and be of higher quality. Make sure that your communications and marketing personnel are in on the plan for your body wrap, truck skin, paint job, etc.
State and DOT compliance considerations regarding VIN inspections, weight slips, and more must be assured. Missing prerequisites can prevent the tagging of your upfitted vehicle. Don’t make that mistake!
Additionally, make sure that your OEM warranty is not invalidated by your upfits. A new vehicle warranty can be negated by upfits that have been installed after purchase.
Keep It Simple
Don’t over upfit or over engineer your vehicle beyond its mechanical capabilities. Overdoing it can wear out tires, suspension, transmission, and more because the body simply can’t handle the added weight. Any problem that is a result of over-engineering will not be covered under warranty.
As much as possible, consolidate upfitting to keep the process simple. Remember that costs may actually increase by shopping for different parts at various vendors. Purchasing from multiple vendors might seem frugal, but the overall lead-time can be added to by this seemingly “money-saving” method.
The 85% Rule
What is the 85% rule? It has to do with maximum capacity. Your vehicle is less likely to be negatively affected if it operates at 85% rather than operating it at 100% capacity. The latter reduces the life of the vehicle and increases repair costs. When determining your payload and upfitting, use the 85% rule.
Think about where your van or truck is going to be used when determining your upfits. Key information can include turning radius requirements, dock height, and more.
Leave nothing to chance. Measure and measure again. Leave no question unanswered. Detailed descriptions, pictures, etc. all help eliminate the guesswork that can cause upfitting process delays. This applies to specification quotes as well. Make sure that they are carefully reviewed because when quote specifications (both upfit and chassis) go forward after only casual approval, major issues can be the result. Quotes should have extremely specific information, be all-inclusive, and be stated in a highly detailed manner.
Important Considerations – Payload and Safety
We can’t stress this enough. When upfitting a truck or van, payload and safety implications must be considered! Keep in mind: towing, balance, weight, etc.
Mickey Genuine Parts carries parts, accessories, trailers, and more. For those who like to do the work themselves, order your part by 2 PM Eastern Standard Time and we will begin the shipping process the same day. If you’d rather have someone else do the work, we have numerous Mickey certified service centers conveniently located throughout the United States. Contact us today to find out what Mickey can do for you.