Upfitting your commercial vehicle is a great way to lower the number of trips you have to take back to the shop. Properly upfitted, your commercial vehicle can become a mobile manufacturing facility, a small parts shop, or a repair station. Making the smartest upfitts for your needs is critical.
Check Your Budget
Of course, the cost of any upfitting should be top of mind. Recent inflationary pressures have impacted the cost of raw goods and construction materials, so you can expect to pay higher prices for
- Metal shelving
- Wooden decking
- Security cabinets
- Drawer units
As you review your budget, carefully consider what you already have. If you have tools that you commonly load into your current work vehicles in crates, toolboxes, bags, or tubs, consider upfitting with shelf units that will have space for these items.
Consider Your Primary Needs
When you talk to professionals like Basin Upfitting, one of the commercial truck upfitters in Salt Lake City UT, make sure you have a list of your primary needs for this vehicle. Do you need to carry mostly tools but have a bin for parts? Do you need a set of storage racks for copper pipe, lumber, or other long pieces?
Open shelving may be ideal for most of the items you need to take with you, but it could be a good idea to mount or carry a set of lockable drawers for any items that need to be protected against chatter. Tools that must be kept especially sharp, such as chisels, will need protection from bouncing around. If you travel with precision gauges or measuring tools, a lockable drawer with padded inserts may be a good investment.
Sort By Weight
As you lay out the upfitting, make sure you consider your tools and raw materials by weight. In the layout of an upfitted vehicle, you need to carefully consider what weight you will put low to the floor and over the wheel wells. You’ll also need to be certain you can secure the weight effectively.
In the event that you need to transport liquids, carefully consider investing in custom containers that you can seal and secure at or just above floor level. One bad spill or a caustic or flammable substance could be extremely hazardous for your employees.
Secure Volatile Products
Carefully consider any volatile compounds that you need to carry. If the bus needs to sit in the sun all day long while you’re at the job site, make sure you check the labels of any chemicals stored in the bus to review the risk of combustion.
These combustible products can be quite innocuous. We know that nail polish remover can burst into flames with the right exposure, but you may not have considered pool chemicals as a risk. Install an indoor/outdoor thermostat inside the van that you can check via phone app throughout the day.
If you know that you will need to transport volatile materials, create a spot along the wall where you can mount a secure box. Invest in something that has a decent amount of insulation to reduce exposure to chatter and sparks. Consider adding solar to the vehicle so you can run a chilling unit into the storage box. Add a lock and a fire extinguisher for easy access.
Once the items inside the bus are safely secured, you’ll need to secure the entire vehicle. If you have space to park it indoors, do so. If not, make sure that the vehicle is alarmed and that the windows are tinted from the outside and covered inside.
Add security lighting to the parking area that will flare up any time a potential thief comes up to study the van. Consider adding motion sensor alarms to the parking area or to the vehicle itself.
Finally, secure the vehicle for those who drive it. An upfitted work truck can greatly increase efficiency, but it results in an incredibly heavy vehicle that can be quite noisy to drive. Add a backup camera and a front-facing camera with recording capabilities. Make sure the mirrors are large enough to give your employees a full view of the road behind them.
Your upfitted vehicle can give you an edge over your competitors. You may find that you can actually give a quote and start a project the same day thanks to the tools and materials you carry. Secure your vehicle effectively and grow your business!