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Upfitting Fleet Vehicles for Any Industry


If you’re not familiar with the term upfitting as it relates to Fleet Management, it includes enhancing or accessorizing fleet vehicles to accommodate the lessor’s needs. There are several distant kinds of upfitting, for instance window tinting, stereo installation, adding shelves or hangers, installing flooring or roof units, and generally customizing a vehicle for its intended business function. All this happens with efficiency uppermost in the minds of the installer, since that will be what helps the client company most in the pursuit of their business operations. Here’s what upfitting fleet vehicles is all about.

Benefits of upfitting to your business
Assuming that you have a fleet of vehicles, they can all be upfit in a custom process that will be related to the industry you’re in. You can have fleet upfitting carried out in such a way that employees of your company will all have the same experience when operating company vehicles. This will create an efficient work environment, and will ensure that efficiency is maximized when employees are in transit on company business. With updated fleet vehicles that are better equipped, it’s natural to expect that your vehicle operators will then become more productive, and by extension, you’ll probably attract more employees who are better qualified. When you have upfitted your fleet vehicles, this could be a strong motivation for skilled people to join your company.

Before you begin vehicle upfitting
There are few things you should be aware of before you start the process of upfitting. Given that all upfits must be customized, that means there will be any number of options you’ll have to sift through before deciding on the final configuration for your vehicles. Before searching for an upfitting company, make sure you have a good idea of the kinds of enhancements you want to make to your fleet vehicles. You should also have a good idea of how many vehicles require this kind of upfitting, and you should have a firm budget figure in mind for how much you can spend. There is a wide range of possibilities in the general area of upfitting, with some fleet vehicles requiring no upfitting at all (such as real estate vans), and others requiring a great deal of customizing (like a general contractor van) before they’re ready to perform efficiently.

Do’s and don’ts of upfitting
One thing you should always do when an upfitting project is in the works, is to research all the available upfits for the type of vehicles you have, and for the type of industry you’re in. If you haven’t purchased your vehicles yet, consider buying vehicles that will deliver the most benefit to your company and to your employees, and which may need the least amount of upfitting. You should also have a solid project budget in mind before beginning, as well as a plan for carrying out how the upfitting process will be completed. Make sure you know all the specifications for your fleet vehicles when talking to an upfitting company, because they will need to know all this before any changes are made.
It’s best not to make business decisions on upfitting all alone, and this is even more true if you’re responsible for managing an entire fleet. One big don’t about upfitting is that you should not be afraid to invest in a major upfitting project, because you’ll almost certainly get a serious return on your investment. Another big don’t is to avoid upfitting for specific employees, except in cases where you’re customizing for a disability. Before proceeding with your upfit, it’s usually very productive to gather all input from affected sources and consider them before finalizing your plans.

Updating fleet vehicles
It can be a massive project to go about upfitting an entire fleet all on your own, but you can definitely get some help with the process. For instance, if you happen to have a fleet sales manager in the region, you can ask them for help through the process. Then you should establish a checklist to find out which vehicles are going to be upfit during your project.
Next, identify exactly which kinds of enhancements are going to be applied to your fleet vehicles during the project. For this part, you may want to work with an aftermarket provider or a dealer to make sure you can stay on budget. Once all the intended upfits have been applied to fleet vehicles, it will be necessary to have them tested out on the road. Whatever kinds of enhancements have been applied to your fleet vehicles, these should be specifically tested in your final task before bringing those vehicles online and into your current fleet.

If your company has decided to go the route of fleet leasing, you can negotiate with the vehicle lessors to get the upfitting accomplished. Vehicle leasing may be a better way for your company to go, if you don’t want to deal with all the hassles of lessorrship. In this case, you’ll need to work closely with the lessor in order to get all the fleet vehicles upfitted with the right equipment for your industry.

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