There comes a time when delivering your products in a commuter car doesn’t cut it anymore. Here’s what you need to look for in a work truck for your small business once you become successful.
The Right Vehicle for Your Industry
The right vehicle for your small business depends on a few things. But you need to start choosing one by matching your needs with the business you’re in. Cutting lawns, shoveling snow or doing home renovations? Start looking at pickups. You’ll more than likely need a truck for bigger jobs like construction and landscaping too.
Here’s a few things you’ll need to consider:
You’ll have to spend more on a pickup. It doesn’t matter whether you need to throw some shovels and lawnmowers in the bed or haul a trailer, the payments jump. Edmunds sales data compares the average monthly payment for a larger truck ($713) to a midsize car ($484) in 2019.
Decide on what you will be towing and how much it weighs. In the past, trucks were rated by this system. Remember the three-quarter tons and half tons? Now pick ups are divided into three basic categories: light duty, medium duty and heavy duty. Here’s a towing guide from Ford to get you started.
Here’s a general rule of thumb. Towing capacity goes from 2000 lbs up to 20,000 lbs. Try to get 10% more capacity than you need to prevent engine burnout.
Cab Size and Bed Size
This where where things can get a little tricky. Need to move a small crew from job to job? You might want more cab than bed size. You need to decide which one is more important because the larger the cab size the smaller the bed.
Most pickup truck manufacturers have up to four different cab sizes to choose from. The Super Crew option has four full-size doors. Maybe a bit of overkill if you’ve only got one helper for your window installation business. Extended cabs have less room in the back but a longer bed that can fit those windows and doors.
Best Work Trucks – Pickups
Here’s a few standouts to keep an eye on this year.
2019 Ram 1500
One of the big improvements for this year is optional air suspension that keeps the truck level while hauling heavy loads. Pricing starts at $34,885 (5.7L V8).
2019 Ford F 150
The high strength aluminum in the bed and body panels gives this truck best in class tow ratings. Prices start at $29,750.
These are a good choice for small businesses that need to make a lot of deliveries. Vans are a good middle ground between a truck and a car. And they can be more maneuverable than a truck for those city deliveries.
Check these options off to get the right one for your SMB.
There’s lots to choose from in this space and the options start with a variety of engine sizes. Like a lot of the same choices you’d get with a pickup such as a 4.0-liter V6 or 5.6-liter V8. There’s even a 169-hp 4-cylinder on the market.
If you’re a florist or baker, you might want a more powerful engine to get perishable goods to where they’re going on time. The four-cylinder engine is better for your carbon footprint and reputation.
The V6 and V8 engines make more sense for contractors who need to haul trailers to the jobsite.
There are a few factors that go into what’s called the payload capacity. Whether you choose a low roof or a high roof model matters as does the wheelbase. The space that’s available inside is generally measured in cubic feet.
Here’s a general idea of what you should be looking for. The Ford transit is considered a benchmark for cargo vans with 487.3 cubic feet of space. You’ll need to carefully consider all these factors if you’ve got a small business painting homes. Transporting materials like scaffolding and paint cans take up a lot of room.
Best Work Trucks – Vans
Here’s a few of the industry leaders if you’re shopping for cargo vans.
An industry leader for good reason. It can haul up to 4640 lbs and comes in three lengths and roof heights. Starting price is between $34,000 to $38,000.
A turbo-diesel 3.0L V6 engine sets this one apart. You can also get the four-cylinder 2.0L version. The base price is between $35,000 and $50,000. More expensive than the competition, but this one doesn’t sacrifice or skimp on luxury.
Then there’s the vehicles you’ll need a special license for. These include dump trucks, cement mixers and tractor-trailers. Flatbeds and even tankers are in this category.
You’ll need a commercial drivers’ license for these.
It’s crazy to me how expensive these trucks are. And the cost of operations is higher too. You’ve gotta really have a good use for them to make them pay off.
I can understand how a business could really benefit from getting the right trucks to transport their supplies. Getting some help from a professional to make one that is custom for them could be really useful. It was interesting to learn about how if he works in construction or landscaping, he should get a bigger truck.
I’m glad you talked about how it’s important to think about a truck towing capacity before choosing one. Recently, my uncle mentioned he’s interested in purchasing a truck to help him with his deliveries. After reading your piece about trucking, I think my uncle could benefit from reading it too, so I’ll be sure to share it. Thanks for the tips about how to select the best truck for your needs.