9 Tips for Choosing a Work Vehicle

Whether your preference is a pickup, cargo van or service truck, keep this information in mind to make a selection that fits your operation

A plumber’s work vehicle is oftentimes both an office and a storage area. And with good branding, a vehicle also acts as a rolling billboard for a company’s service offerings. Needless to say, choosing the right vehicle for your operation is important. Here are some tips on how to go about that courtesy of PlumbingZone.com:

1. Will the vehicle be used solely for business or are you going to try to make it pull double duty as a personal or family vehicle as well? Depending on where you live, insurance rates and business-related taxes may be affected by either one of these scenarios.

2. Fuel costs fluctuate, so take into consideration that diesel and hybrid options may help keep future operating costs manageable, although the upfront cost will undoubtedly be higher than a traditional, gas-fueled vehicle.

3. New or used vehicle? If the vehicle will be used only as a work truck, is it that important to drop possibly thousands of extra dollars on a big, shiny beast bristling with all the bells and whistles? A solid, well-maintained, used vehicle will do just as good a job without breaking your budget.

4. Make sure you consider vehicles that are the right size for your purposes — especially if you commonly carry lengths of pipe with you. If you serve large metropolitan areas, keep in mind that you need your vehicle to be able to maneuver around busy business districts, through tight alleys and park under low-hanging signs or awnings. However, if you’re mostly spending time at construction sites and residential neighborhoods, a larger truck likely won’t be a problem.

5. Look for a vehicle that can be easily upfitted to handle your future needs. No matter if you prefer a pickup, a cargo van or a mid- or small-sized service truck, look at vehicles already fitted with a tow package or roof rack to hold extra tools and materials.

6. Keep your marketing efforts in mind when choosing a vehicle. Rolling billboards are highly effective advertising tools, so consider how a vehicle can display your company name, logo and contact information.

7. Give yourself enough time to find the right vehicle. Staying within your budget doesn’t mean you need to settle for the first reasonably-priced vehicle you see.

8. Be sure to select a vehicle large enough to transport all the tools and equipment you use regularly, as well as yourself and possibly one or more crew members for larger jobs.

9. Factor in long-term maintenance and operating costs and any extra upfitting expenses when looking at basic, bare-bones trucks or vans. For new vehicles, most manufacturers offer a range of commercial package options.



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