What to look for when buying a box truck16 September 2019
Buying a box truck can be an excellent investment if you’re starting a moving company or other business that needs to transport a lot of goods or equipment. Choosing the right box truck depends on many different factors, such as what you’re transporting, how it will be loaded or unloaded, and where the deliveries will be made. For example, it’s definitely going to cause problems if you purchase a truck with a larger box height that can’t fit into a warehouse with a low ceiling.
To avoid mistakes down the road, keep a few things in mind when buying your box truck.
Consider Your Cargo
There is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to trucks. Are you going to be hauling lightweight materials like plastic dinnerware or heavy objects like furniture or steel beams? Your chassis can be wide enough to accommodate your load, but if you don’t get a truck with the appropriate Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) rating, you’re going to max out the weight before your vehicle is even fully loaded.
Check Your Measurements
A common mistake truck buyers make, is getting a truck with a chassis and box that don’t match. If the box is too big for the truck’s body, the weight distribution will be off. This can make turns even more difficult and cause the truck’s front wheels to wear down faster. To avoid these issues, it’s best to contact the original manufacturer to verify that the chassis cab-to-axle can handle the box length. You’ll also want to pay close attention to the height of the box to avoid clearance issues when loading and unloading the truck. If you’re working with limited space, try to find a truck with a shorter box and front-end.
Pay Attention to the Floors
The type of floor you will need depends on your cargo. Hardwood floors cost less than aluminium or steel floors. If you’re carrying food or drinks with the potential to spill, you’re going to need to clean the floor fairly often. Wooden floors can end up rotting away if not completely dried after mopping. Steel or aluminium floors are easier to clean and can support more heavy-duty loads, but they are also more vulnerable to corrosion.
Does it Need Interior Lighting?
If you are making your deliveries at night, you should get a truck with some interior lighting. Without it, it will be harder to see what wares need to be unloaded and may even lead to injuries due to workers slipping or fumbling around in the dark. If you’re mainly unloading your cargo in the daytime, no interior lighting is needed, but you can get a box with a translucent roof to make the job easier.
Loading Dock Considerations
If you’re going to be delivering your goods to a dock, there are some additional specifications you need to make. Trucks with a lower GVW will have smaller tires, which means they will sit too low to the ground for dock loading and unloading. If your cargo needs to be delivered dock-high, a roll-up door at the rear will suit your needs better than a swing-out door, since the driver wouldn’t be able to open the swing-out door while being backed up against the dock. Trucks that require a forklift will need a forklift package, which will reinforce the floor’s threshold and rear-end plates.
Selecting the Right Driver
Whoever is driving the truck, whether it’s you or another employee, they must have an appropriate licence to operate the truck. Driving these trucks without the necessary state legislated licence can leave you carrying some hefty fines or even jail time.
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