The bottom line is this:  our team gets a lot of calls about upfitting trucks and vans.  After all, we’re the premier upfitter in western Canada, so that’s to be expected, but all too often, the questions aren’t about Expertec and our upfitting solutions.

Instead, they’re about deciding if upfitting a truck or van is even the right solution for a tradesman or a fleet manager to pursue. 

Do You Even Need To Upfit?  The FAQs - Part 1This month, we’ve decided to go through many of the frequently asked questions our team uses to guide prospective clients.  Now, obviously, each of these is subjective, and when you call us, we’re not going to simply rattle these off in a poorly memorized script, but our team will go through these in the conversation, because every question is important to creating the ideal work truck or van for your business.  So, this next month, read up, because we’re going to pull back the curtain on how our team serves yours by giving you the most truck (or van) for your money. 

No conversation about upfitting a truck or van can begin until you have a baseline.  We’ve talked about this many times in these pages, but everything starts here, establishing what, exactly, you’re actually doing, so let’s look at some of the most basic questions a lot of folks struggle to answer. 

Before we get too far down that rabbit hole, it’s important to remember this fact:  you and your business have a core offer.  That might be electrical, or plumbing, or hotshots to the oilfields, but whatever you do, there is a common thread you HAVE to identify.  Our team, and you, need to answer these based on your average day, and what you need to accomplish. 

Question One:  Who’s In The Truck (Or Van)? 

This might seem simple, but it’s not.  Knowing the average head count of folks in the truck or van every day gives us a place to start.  Why?  Simple – if you’ve got four people, you’re not in a single cab truck, and if you’ve only got a crew cab truck, all your gear and tools are out in the weather, ready to be stolen. 

Even cargo and work vans are going to need some assistance to routinely haul four people legally, BUT there are solutions. 

On the other hand, if it’s only ever you and a helper, then the upfitting options are wide open in terms of the chassis we can suggest for a solution on your next upfit.  At the same time, a lot of the folks who call us are worried about budget because the truck or van they “think” they need is so expensive to buy.  The reality is – in many cases – they don’t need as much “work truck” as they thought they did.  Obviously, this can be a huge savings for them while still allowing them to have the upfitted truck or van their job needs. 

Question 2:  What’s In The Truck (Or Van)?

Do You Even Need To Upfit?  The FAQs - Part 1Just like Question 1, you’ve got an idea of the gear you need any given day to do the work, and so you have to really think about that.  Now, there’s a catch to this – just because it’s in your current truck or van doesn’t mean you need it.  Take a few minutes today and review the tools and inventory you have in your current set up.  How much of that stuff do you use every day and how much of it is simply clutter (tools, equipment, and materials) you don’t use and you’re simply hauling it around from job to job. 

More importantly, when you take stock of what you use, think about duplicate tools you might have.  How many angle grinders do you really need?  How many extra battery packs do you actually use in a day?  (Or, is it smarter to be able to charge those battery packs from an inverter setup in the vehicle?) 

As you do this, make sure to remember the “big” stuff.  Do you need that second ladder?  Are you carrying bulky materials, like sheetrock, or lumber, or conduit, or is that always delivered to the jobsite? 

Again, this is about establishing a baseline for the vehicle you can base your upfit around. 

Question 3:  What’s The Average Job Look Like? 

Do You Even Need To Upfit?  The FAQs - Part 1By far, this is the hardest question for many people to answer.  Most businesses, regardless of their specialty, are conditioned to “say yes” to jobs, and while we’re not going to get into the various problems this can create, you still should know what it is you do. 

Play to your core experience.  If your business handles commercial painting, THAT is what your trucks and vans should be built to handle. 

The occasional sheetrocking or wallpapering job can still be supported by a van upfitted to paint, but trying to incorporate and upfit a truck or van to handle your core business and specialized one-off jobs is, frankly, a waste of money. 

We can’t advise you to do that – it’s just not good economics. 

Question 4:  Where Do You Park Your Vehicles On A Jobsite (or, what does that jobsite look like)?

You might think this is silly, but it’s a legitimate thing to think about.  For example, trucks and vans that work in the city, and have to park on the street need to allow employees to unload safely.  A ladder rack that unloads on the passenger side or a sliding door that gives your team access from the center of the van to everything they need are just a couple examples. 

The same is true for rural jobsites, too.  If there isn’t a power source, for example, at most if the places you and your team are called on to work, well, that’s critical to know. 

Lastly, of course, those jobsite conditions might also require a four wheel drive chassis, which could limit some of the options your have when purchasing your next truck or van. 

Begin At Beginning…

These four questions all serve to establish a baseline for you and our team to begin looking at the right vehicle to base an upfit on.  There are still quite a few other questions you need to ask, and we’ll share those in the next few posts. 

In the meantime, if you’re in the market and working through your own questions, get it touch with our team here or simply call us at 1-888-435-6466 to start the conversation and get the right truck or van set up for the job beginning right now. 


Do You Even Need To Upfit? The FAQs – Part 2

Do You Even Need To Upfit? The FAQs – Part 3