Whether you already own an entire fleet or you’re looking to buy your first distribution truck, buying without research is like driving with your eyes closed.
You could end up blowing a whole heap of money if you don’t know what to look for in your new purchase. A vehicle may look flash, but can it handle your operations?
Think about the qualities that are important to you and your business’ needs. Each business has its own specific requirements, so speak to your sales rep to ensure a truck fulfils your individual specifications.
To help you secure the truck that’s right for you, here are the 5 non-negotiable characteristics you need to look out for. All 5 of which combine into the most important driving force of any truck; quality.
Your drivers are going to spend a massive portion of their day in this new truck, and worker productivity and happiness will only increase if they feel comfortable in their environment.
Make sure the cab is spacious enough for drivers of all sizes, so they have enough room to move around, and where a sleeper cab is specified, sleep comfortably in the vehicle on rest breaks to manage fatigue and stay safer on the road.
Superior trucks will offer flexibility within its specification and a range of cab options that benefit the driver’s comfort. The days of rigid, back-breaking seats are in the past, so look out for comfortable, supportive seats.
Can you depend on the vehicle to continue running, on both long and short journeys? A truck that is reliable delivers you more uptime, so your business will keep operating smoothly and efficiently to keep your customers happy and minimise service costs to you.
Businesses not only need to select a truck that won’t let them down. For routine maintenance or repairs when things do go wrong, make sure your vehicle provider offers an extensive network of qualified parts and service points, for fast, reliable service so you’re never stuck out on the road.
If your new truck has good fuel economy it will save money in the long-run. The Australian environment can put higher demands on fuel consumption, with hot climates and long distances. Check with your dealer what the expected fuel consumption per km is for your truck.
Automatic trucks that know the optimal times to change gears deliver a better fuel efficiency than some manual options. A truck that does some of the driver’s work for them goes a long way in satisfying your employees.
While all employers are responsible for their employees’ health and safety, fleet owners face additional responsibilities and challenges. Drivers’ safety should be the number 1 priority of your business’ daily operations. Select a truck with clear vision and large mirrors, and excellent cab egress for applications where frequent cab entry and exit are required.
Test the truck to make sure it is easy to control. Check the active and passive safety elements – electronic aids such as ABS, Electronic Stability Control, airbags, lane departure warnings and forward collision control can help even experienced drivers come home safely from their journey.
Specifically examine your business requirements. Can the truck in question manage the necessary loading capacity and are drivers free of hazards during loading and unloading of equipment?
Manoeuvering around Australia means your drivers have a lot of ground to cover. The truck you choose has to be highly durable, especially during warm, tough weather conditions and long journeys.
Look out for drivability and speed potential so you are able to calculate delivery times for customers and can offer a consistently reliable service.
The heart of the truck, the engine, is what dictates how well the vehicle will perform. Look for engines that can deliver a high torque at a low RPM. This will optimise both fuel efficiency and drivability, so your truck will deliver on every job it carries out.