Regardless of size, beverage distributors have been thinking smaller lately. Beverage fleets are getting creative, particularly in light of the nationwide CDL driver shortage. Different types of applications are being used. They’re deploying non-CDL required, lighter vehicles. These include eight- and six-bay bobtails, SUVs, pickup trucks, and small cargo vans.
There are some larger venues that demand massive deliveries, and if one supplier won’t accommodate them, they’re happy to go elsewhere. So big trucks are still used to make some deliveries. But for day to day deliveries, a small half- to one-ton cargo van suffices nicely in many cases. One fleet in particular, based in Houston, has 70 such vans currently operating. They expect that number to increase.
To handle other deliveries and in-route product transfers, some distributors are making deliveries (such as those made to retailers) in eight-bay and six-bay bobtail trucks.
From Big Trucks to Small Trucks
Somewhere out on the road, small units and large trucks connect. Transfers occur and, breaking off to handle deliveries, the smaller units take over. This comes in handy when there’s no room at the delivery point for parking or in locations where big trucks simply can’t go (for any number of reasons).
For deliveries to special events, increasingly, the vehicle of choice is either a cargo van, or eight-bay bobtail, or a six-bay bobtail. This isn’t particularly surprising when you consider that there may not be enough room for larger trucks at the inner-city locations in which many special events take place. Fleets that make frequent deliveries to such events benefit greatly from non-CDL side loaders and small units such as those previously mentioned.
The freedom and flexibility offered by using small, non-CDL trucks and other lighter vehicles is attractive, indeed.
Non-CDL Units For Training and Deliveries
These smaller vehicles are perfect for drivers-in-training. They are also used on regular routes as support vehicles and, when necessary, the drivers of the smaller vehicles can share physically demanding duties, as needed, with the drivers of large trucks.
What’s being carried can make a difference as to whether a large delivery truck or smaller, non-CDL trucks can be used. For example, deliveries involving beer versus those involving nonalcoholic products. Heavier loads usually need to be carried by the beer division of fleets requiring larger, more powerful trucks. The nonalcoholic division, however, can frequently get by with non-CDL delivery trucks (i.e. 26-foot and 14-foot box trucks.
Save On Gas, Mileage, and Time
Naturally, using smaller, non-CDL vehicle saves on mileage and gas, thereby reducing costs. This practice is eco-friendlier, as well. Because of their maneuverability, smaller units mean less time spent parking, on the road, before and after deliveries, and more.
Smaller, non-CDL vehicles also offer ease of operation thanks to their lift gates, ramps, etc.
How popular are non-CDL vehicles becoming in the industry today? Estimates have been reported showing following:
- Within 24 months, 60% of beverage fleet managers expect to purchase non-CDL vehicles.
- With an average of two in each operation, 53% of beverage fleets have pickups incorporated into their fleet.
- With an average of four per operation, 56% of operators use vans in the beverage industry.
Large Trucks To Small Vans – Trust Mickey Genuine Parts
Is it time to reconfigure your fleet with smaller, non-CDL trucks, vans, etc.? It’s something that could well be worth looking into. When you need equipment, parts, and service for your vehicles, turn to Mickey Genuine Parts and our certified service centers located throughout the nation.