When building a work truck, the words “delicate harmony” may not be the first to come to mind. Aren’t work vehicles supposed to be tough, rugged, and ready to take on the world? Yes – but this level of performance requires careful consideration and balancing.
Spec’ing a truck is creating a detailed description of the work and materials needed for that vehicle’s specific purpose.
Over-spec’ing and under-spec’ing are the two extremes that can weigh down your business with unnecessary problems.
Adding too much to a truck or “over-spec’ing” will drive up the initial cost and waste money. “Under-spec’ing” or not adding adequate equipment for the job can result in pushing the truck beyond its capabilities. This can result in increased wear and need for repairs over the long run.
Today industries require higher standards with fewer resources. KahnTEC has experience and knowledge in reaching maximum ROI (return on investment) building and servicing your work truck. Continue reading to learn how to spec your vehicle:
Build to the Application
This may be a simple place to start, but simple is often the smartest. Before building, think about how your truck will be used. Truck specifications must meet the demands of your business operation.
First, understand the field. While generally work trucks transport tools, parts, and equipment to help the drivers complete their job, there are several trades that use work trucks. Municipal operations, vehicle service, construction, railroad, are just a few examples of the different directions your truck can go.
You don’t have to start from scratch when designing your work vehicle. If you have some kind of fleet, looking at your old inventory is a good place to start brainstorm ideas for your new truck. Is there a specific aspect of your current truck that needed more attention and repair? Was there a lot of unscheduled maintenance? This can mean the truck lacks the proper equipment to do the job it was assigned to complete.
If you are the business owner, setting aside time to communicate with your truck operators is key to a successful build. They know the day-to-day rigors equipment goes through, and they can lend their first-hand experiences with the decision process.
Chassis, Frames, and Details
You are ready to begin. You have done your homework, listened to your drivers, and know your industry. Now where to start? When planning your truck’s specs, it is critical to calculate the appropriate payload. According to Automotive-Fleet.com, payload is the most important aspect of your vehicle:
“The weight of the payload will determine the engine, transmission, size of tire, frame, and just about everything else.”
Establishing the payload goes back to knowing your industry and tools necessary to get the job done. How much do these tools weigh? Make sure your truck can handle a maximum load at all times. Check out this helpful chart from Work Truck Online on how to determine a truck's max payload:
Now that the payload has been determined, it is time to look at the chassis. Stock or custom? Typically, larger fleets can go with more custom chassis; however KahnTEC can help any individual customer or entire fleet with body and component options.
The next step is to look at frames, electrics, and other systems. The major automotive brands are making frames more compatible for work bodies with adaptability in wiring and connectors. It is important to be mindful of diesel exhaust equipment. The Environmental Protection Agency has regulations on diesel equipment so it smart to build with these laws in mind instead of going back to convert parts later.
Materials also play a major role in building a truck. Steel, aluminum, and fiberglass are all options for truck bodies. Steel and aluminum are less expensive to repair after damage, but fiberglass fights off corrosion from the elements better.
Balancing it all Together
Over-spec’ing the wrong kind of equipment leads to wasted capital and extra weight on your vehicle, and under-spec’ing creates extra stress on the truck. Both of these can compromise the safety of the operators and drivers on the road.
Do you need help find the right options for your build? CSTK Truck Equipment has over 60 years of experience in designing truck bodies for any application. We handle mechanics, service, municipalities, farming, mining, quarry, lube, fuel, rail, and many more. We offer the best brands in truck bodies and components including IMT, Warner, Monroe Custom Bodies, Vanair, Milller, and others.
Call CSTK Truck Equipment at (877) 225-5246 or send us a message online, and we’ll be happy to help you find perfect harmony.