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Ways To Improve Your Upfit Process

April 28, 2021

Ways To Improve Your Upfit Process

Ways To Improve Your Upfit Process


Upfitting your fleet vehicles is a very important process that signifies the advancement of your business. Moving toward a better and more efficient fleet is important to improving your business. That is why you should do everything you can to make sure the process goes well. When you are upfitting your fleet, there are certain things you can do and ways to improve your upfit process. Below are some suggestions to help you improve your upfitting process.

Involve the Workers

One of the best sources of any information is a first-hand account. That is what your workers will provide for you. There is no one else that can tell you what you need better than your employees. Only someone who works with the fleet on a consistent basis will be able to tell you what it lacks. That is why you need clear communication between yourself and your employees for the upfit to work.

Identify Equipment

One of the first steps you will need to accomplish is to identify everything your fleet needs to carry. This can differ drastically from business to business. Even within the same fleet, separate vehicles might carry different gear. You need to account for all of these factors in your upfit plan. That way, your vehicles will carry exactly what your employees need.

Identify Needs

Once you have identified the equipment that you will use in your fleet, you should search for other needs that must be met. This is one place where your worker’s involvement is so important, as they know what they need for the job better than anyone else. Perhaps better storage or tire modifications to help with driving are in order. Figure out what could improve the work area and mark it down for later consideration.

Identify Goals

After you have identified the needs and equipment of the fleet, you should organize everything into attainable goals. Do not simply create a vague “improvement plan.” Focus on what the workers say and what you notice yourself. The best way to set goals is to look at the task of the fleet and figure out what your fleet vehicles need in order to accomplish that specific task. For example, if your fleet vehicles need to carry 500 pounds of equipment, make achieving that weight a goal. If regular access to heavy equipment is needed, make sure your designs allow for that to happen.

Set a Plan

Now that you know what your fleet needs, you should take your time to plan the upfit process in greater detail. Do not rush it—take your time to find the correct solution to every problem and organize your area carefully. You want to hit everything you can with your plan; otherwise, you will have the same problems with the new fleet. That is why it is so important that you give yourself the time to tweak the plan. Below are some things you should keep in mind when making the plan.

Standardize the Fleet

One of the biggest things you can do to help your fleet is to standardize all the vehicles. This may not always be possible, as each vehicle may serve a different purpose. However, if you can, it is best to ensure all your vehicles are as similar to each other as possible. That way, there will not be any confusion if someone is using a different vehicle. This also makes it easy to adjust things or solve problems if everyone is working with the same tools.

Keep Efficiency in Mind

One of the major reasons that businesses get an upfit to their fleet is to improve efficiency. Try to address each aspect of the fleet vehicles to get the best improvements in performance. Don’t just focus on what the vehicles can carry, but also how they drive, how best to carry that load, and how often each piece of equipment is accessed by your work crews. Loading and unloading equipment wastes a lot of time.

Focus on Safety

It can be easy to invest in things that will improve efficiency. However, it is just as important to focus on the safety of the workers. All efficiency savings can be lost with one worker’s comp claim. Installing more storage can seem like an easy solution, but without enough room, workers can hurt themselves. This goes for a lot of the potential changes you can make. That is why you need to invest in things that will provide a boost to productivity and protect your workers. A good example of this is a large aluminum storage trunk that slides out, which provides a lot of extra storage space and organization. At the same time, it reduces worker injuries by providing better access to equipment and eliminates lifting heavy items from awkward angles.

Don’t Be Afraid To Invest

One of the most common things people do in their fleets is to try the cheaper options. It can be daunting to make such a large, upfront investment. However, investing good money into your fleet will help you save and make more money in the long run, especially if that equipment can be transferred to future vehicles. A good fleet upfit will help your workers accomplish more in a shorter period while reducing costly on-the-job injuries. This new speed will let you take on more work, earning you more money in the long run. View each improvement to your fleet as an investment in your future. By improving efficiency of the work truck storage system in their fleet, one company was able to add $19,000/year in revenues per truck without having to invest in additional equipment or personnel. The ROI for their upfit investment was only 3.4 months!

Plan Who Gets Upfitted First and Use Them To Train the Rest

There are always those in a fleet that are more open to change and like new technology and equipment. And there are those that are more resistant to change. Use your “first adopters” and upfit their vehicles first. Get honest feedback, then allow them to communicate to the rest of the team about how well the newly upfitted vehicles have helped them. This builds excitement within the team and can also help overcome any pushback from those that would typically fight change.

Stay in Contact

One of the last big things you can do is stay in contact with those you have working on the upfit. As the installation continues, you will want to stay up to date with all the changes. Even before the installation, contact the installers and come up with a detailed budget and plan. Make sure everyone knows what to do to ensure the process is as seamless as possible. This will prevent any mix-ups and will keep you informed about your fleet at all times.

If you keep these ideas and ways to improve your upfit process in mind, you should have little to no problems with the product. Your fleet should be able to handle your business’s needs and continue to grow without worry.

Ways To Improve Your Upfit Process
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What Is a Cargo Management System?

April 15, 2021

What Is a Cargo Management System?

What Is a Cargo Management System?

It’s hard for any vehicle to compete with the storage space that a truck bed can provide. The sheer amount of space it gives—along with the open top—means you can carry just about anything, as long as it is within the weight limit. However, you might notice that it’s very difficult to keep items in the open truck bed safe and secure, and it is difficult to efficiently use all the space that a truck bed provides. Items will take up more room than they should and there will be plenty of wasted space between items. That is where understanding the answer to the question “What is a cargo management system?” can come in handy. It’s a storage system that helps to organize your truck space so you can maximize its potential.

Exterior

Cargo management systems usually come in two types. The first being an exterior system. Exterior cargo management systems are addons to your truck bed that add or change storage. Exterior systems usually sit above the rails of a truck bed or on the outside of the truck, adding new storage locations and giving you new areas to store items. This extra area is meant to help you carry more and give you room to better organize what you already have in your truck. These exterior modifications can provide utility as well, such as anchor points for locking down cargo. However, most of these options are for trucks only with very few exterior options for an SUV.

Interior

The second type of cargo management systems deals with the interior of the truck bed or SUV. Unlike exterior storage addons, this type of storage is more about organizing the space you already have. Bed dividers and lockable storage bins are great examples of this kind of modification. These storage types just maximize the usefulness of the space you already have. A truck storage organizer is the best kind of interior storage system, especially the custom ones. They provide great storage organization for your truck or SUV and can come with custom parts to fit your needs.

Now, to give you a simple answer to “What is a cargo management system?” Simply put, it’s a modification that helps improve and organize your truck’s storage by adding a variety of components. This can include things such as small lockboxes to large storage organizers.

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Key Elements of a Mobile Command Center

April 07, 2021

Key Elements of a Mobile Command Center

Key Elements of a Mobile Command Center


A mobile command center (MCC) is meant to serve as your main office on the road. You need to be sure that it is properly equipped and capable of handling all the tasks you need it to fulfill. Getting an MMC to this point is not an easy thing to do and often requires a lot of planning. The trick to getting a good MMC is to keep the key elements of a mobile command center in mind when getting your system or modifying it.

Communication

Every mobile command center needs constant communication with anyone deployed. You need to be able to stay on top of any problems that arise, and a good communication system is the best way to do this. Without a good system to communicate any issues or changes to people you have deployed, you will find it hard to coordinate and finish tasks. Getting a good communication system requires investment in gear and technology. However, this gear takes up space in your MCC. This means that you need an area that can handle such communication. If you will be in locations where cell coverage is limited, installing a satellite connection can be helpful in keeping a good connection and could be worth the investment. Consider getting a pneumatic mast to house all of your connections.

Power

Any good command center will require a lot more power than any regular vehicle. You will need to invest in a good power source to keep all of your tools and machines active. This includes any additional lighting and workers’ electrical needs. The most common way of providing power to a mobile command center is with an auxiliary battery that’s separate from the vehicle battery. Depending on the amount of power needed, a diesel generator can provide great and consistent power to your systems, but they do require a safe, insulated spot in which to be installed. Try to get a spot where the additional generator noise is reduced, or else you will hear it constantly.

Lighting

An MCC requires constant use no matter the weather or situation. It must be capable of handling dark areas while providing a useable workspace. To accomplish this, you will have to install good lighting to provide an area where people can work as they need. You should look for strong light sources that do not need constant replacing. LED lighting often fulfills this role and does not heat the command center’s interior. Be careful when you are looking into lighting for the outside of your MCC; some kinds of lighting are illegal in certain states, so make sure you are following all local laws on the kind of lighting your MCC can have. If you are using a slide-out MCC, make sure that all electrical cabling is installed through an energy chain system to protect it from getting cut while the unit is sliding in and out of the vehicle.

Storage

A mobile command center must be capable of handling a large amount of weight and items, all while fitting multiple people for extended periods of time. A command center is meant to handle all sorts of tasks and requires a lot of equipment to do that. It is key that you have the storage to carry everything you need. The best way to ensure this is with the use of storage modifications. Getting additional shelving added in is a good place to start, but the real way to add to storage is with modifications like custom truck storage boxes or roll out command centers with built-in storage. These additions will help you maximize your space usage and efficiency. They can even help with the organization of the whole area, which improves safety and productivity.

Workstations

Many command centers need an area dedicated to workstations. This is an area meant solely to provide a space for workers to do their jobs. Each workspace will be a bit different depending on your needs and industry. However, this is where your command center can shine. Getting a good work area will give your employees all the tools they need to accomplish their tasks. If there is room, having multiple areas is also a good call, as each area can be utilized by different people at the same time. For example, on a slide out unit you can have fold down tables on both sides and at the tailgate end. Do not be afraid to ask your workers about what needs to be in these areas. They know what is best for them and what tools they will need to get the job done.

Meeting Area

Just as every MCC has a need for communication systems, it also has a need for a central meeting area. This is a place to gather to discuss relevant issues and should also have access to all necessary information like MSDS and site plans, as well as your communication devices. It should include enough space to accommodate multiple people and be in a position to address everyone, if needed. Having a whiteboard with dry-erase markers is useful not only for incident planning purposes and sharing ideas, but a magnetic one can also be used to keep the badges of everyone on scene for employee tracking purposes. This area can also serve as a place to meet with anyone online and can function as an onsite “conference room”.

Air Conditioning

MCCs are constantly in use and they also have to function all year round and in all kinds of weather. That is why it is important to make sure that your MCC is able to handle these conditions and keep your employees safe. MMCs can be prone to overheating, and this can cause a host of problems for people in the vehicle. Making sure that the air conditioning is functional is key to keeping everyone happy. The same can be said for the winter months and the heating of the MCC. Keeping your MCC comfortable will keep those in it happy and productive.

Now, if you keep these key elements of a mobile command center at top of your mind when designing your MMC, you will be able to get exactly what you need, and you will turn your MCC into a vehicle that can handle all your operations.

Key Elements of a Mobile Command Center
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