Custom fleet vehicle upfitting makes it easier for your team to get the job done. Fitting your fleet with equipment and tools needed for your team, is critical for growing fleets to improve efficiency and consistency.
It’s important to take some time to consider how the upfitting process will come together to avoid costly delays and unforeseen expenditures. Here are a few tips for fleet vehicle upfitting.
7 Tips for Successful Fleet Vehicle Upfitting
1. Take plenty of time to review the initial requirements and quotes
If you don’t dedicate an adequate amount of time to review the quotes from the OEM or upfit vendor, you risk missing crucial details.
Common oversights include:
- Not including a trailer brake controller if your fleet vehicles will be required to do towing
- Not giving adequate instructions on the layout of decals
- Not including a block heater if your fleet operates in cold climates
- Not including an adequately sized battery and alternator for auxiliary equipment
Every fleet is unique and industry-specific. These are just a few possible details that could be neglected. Trying to use a one size fits all approach in an attempt to save time and money can come back to bite you in the end, ultimately costing you more resources by the time the project is completed.
2. Don’t overload your fleet vehicles
It’s surprisingly common for even experienced fleet managers to simply overlook or underestimate the amount of stress all the additional aftermarket equipment will put on the vehicle. Safety and payload requirements must be considered when fleet vehicle upfitting so balance and towing ability aren’t compromised. A great new decked out van isn’t much use if it’s not able to meet safety standards and tow loads when required.
3. Try not to void the OEM warranty if possible
It’s essential to ensure the upfitter is well aware of any alterations to the vehicle that will void the manufacturer warranty. Voiding the warranty may be necessary depending on the up fitting required. However, you’re going to want to know this ahead of time, so you’re not shocked when you take your fleet vehicle in for maintenance, and you’re told it’s no longer under warranty.
4. Do your best to anticipate future requirements
It’s worthwhile to take a moment to reflect and imagine as best you can where your business might be 5, 10 years from now. It can be challenging to add on significant installations on top of an already fully upfitted vehicle. If you anticipate needing additional up fitting specs in the future, it may be wise to consider how those future installations would fit into the picture.
5. Try and keep the process as simple as possible
Time is money. It can be tempting to shop around each upfit spec to try and get the best deal possible. However, at a certain point, you need to ask yourself how much all the extra time and effort of taking your vehicle to different vendors is worth to you. It may be worth paying a bit of a premium to have all the work done under one roof if it saves you a significant amount of time in the end.
Having all your fleet vehicle upfitting done at one location will also avoid having different vendors pointing the finger at other pieces of equipment saying that it’s obstructing their ability to complete their work. It’s also important to try your best to resist the temptation of installing “nice to have” but not necessary pieces of equipment that could crowd the vehicle and take up space that might be needed to for more critical equipment in the future.
6. Give adequate attention to the graphics
A fleet vehicle is mostly a moving billboard for your business, despite some people disagreeing they should be. It’s worthwhile to sit down with your team and put some serious thought into how you’re going to utilize this free piece of advertising best. It’s worth spending a bit of extra money to get some quality graphics that will grab people’s attention and help build your brand recognition.
7. Consider installing GPS tracking during your fleet vehicle upfitting
Fleet vehicle upfitting of an individual vehicle so it can perform well on its own is very important. Fleets work best when they are organized, and each vehicle is being utilized optimally. Fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page to set up a meeting with a Nero, fleet consultant. We would welcome the opportunity to learn about your fleet and discuss ways vehicle tracking can enhance operational efficiency and save your business money.