Buying a new vehicle or vehicles for your HVACR business is an important step in keeping your business healthy and profitable. As with any major purchase, smart shopping techniques and good research are the key to making a good decision. Factors to consider when purchasing new vehicles for your business include considerations such as job duties on the vehicle, its efficiency, life cycle costs, and how long you plan to keep it.
The first question that needs to be addressed is how you are going to use the truck, your specific needs and requirements. Standard questions start with your typical job description. Are you primarily involved in single-family home repairs and replacements, or do you specialize in large new construction projects? The bigger the projects you are primarily involved in, the bigger the vehicle you will need. In what type of area do you operate? Do you operate in a metropolitan area or do most of your jobs in a rural area that spans many square miles? If all of your business is conducted within a short distance from your base, it could mean that you have to select a different truck than if you were taking longer trips more routinely to work sites.
Rule number one in all cases is not to skimp on size or payload. Packing your truck up to the doors or loading it a few pounds of capacity all the time is a bad idea. It will make you and your team less efficient at work and the truck’s systems and components will wear out and start failing much sooner. Allow for growth in both capacity and load capacity. The GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is of utmost importance. The GVWR represents the total weight of the vehicle, including the vehicle itself, passengers, equipment, tools, etc. If you add a bunch of shelves, racks, and so on, you can very quickly consume the entire payload capacity of the vehicle.
The carrying capacity also applies to the crew. Think about how many bodies there will be on average in the crew. If you send a crew of two most of the time, it won’t be a big deal, but if you need to send four frequently, you might have to send an additional vehicle. Most manufacturers offer double and extended cab trucks that can carry up to six passengers to eliminate this problem.
Obviously, price will always be a priority, but don’t let the window sticker be the bottom line in your decision. Numerous factors must be considered in determining the true life cycle costs of the vehicle. You should consult your financial and / or business advisers on the details of how much to spend and how to spend it. They should be able to explain the financial advantages and disadvantages of various purchase options, including business expenses, tax advantages, and whether you should buy or lease.
Leasing can offer a number of advantages over buying. These include lower start-up costs, lower monthly payments, numerous tax advantages, and a guaranteed ending rental value. The dealer must also be a lot of good information. Compare prices, talk to at least three or four distributors, and select one that you think is interested in you and your business. A commercial vehicle dealership faces a completely different task than a typical retail car dealership. The dealer should be able to inform you of the exact specifications of the vehicles they offer, including warranty options, details of roadside assistance, and service and maintenance. Talk to the service department staff if you plan to have that dealer perform routine maintenance on the vehicle. Once you have purchased the truck, the service manager and his staff will probably be your most common contact, and therefore very important.
Once you have the required capacity, the cargo-carrying capacity, and the end of the decision money practically settled, you need to select what type of vehicle you want and need. The three basic options for the commercial HVACR operator are the truck, the van, and finally the commercial truck. Each one has its share of attributes and also of negative aspects.
The classic work vehicle, the pickup, remains a very popular choice, and for good reason. Available in a wide variety of styles, shapes, and payload capacities, the truck is the perfect answer for any number of HVACR job applications. One of the truck’s greatest attributes is that it also offers numerous cargo options, including the standard truck bed, the standard bed equipped with lockable tool boxes and a ladder rack, a cargo bed frame, or a cargo bed. special service for public services. While the service platform option will be more expensive initially than the other options, keep in mind that the service platform can be transferred from one truck to another and can last for three, four or more truck life cycles, which reduces overhead costs. Many manufacturers, such as HIVCO, a Los Angeles-based manufacturer, offer a service body package specifically designed for the HVACR industry.
The van is another excellent option for small and medium-sized businesses. Offered in mini and full-size models, the truck comes standard with good cargo capacity and good safety. General Motors makes the only rear-wheel drive minivan, the Chevrolet Astro and the GMC Safari, but several manufacturers offer front-wheel drive models that will perform very well for light-duty applications. The top three manufacturers offer excellent full-size van models. Virtually all commercial dealers offer interior trim packages and, when equipped with roof and side racks, the van can meet the needs of a large percentage of commercial HVACR operators very well.
If your business requires you to routinely haul very large loads, then a stepped truck or low front cab (LCF) might be the best option. Both the stepped truck and the LCF truck offer much higher payload capacity than the pickup truck or standard truck. Initially more expensive, they are becoming increasingly popular on all commercial avenues. Available in a wide variety of payloads, wheelbase, and general sizes, both stepped truck and LCF truck, these vehicles are your best option if your business requires a true heavy-duty truck. Once you have decided what type of vehicle, you must decide on the power choice. As a general rule of thumb, unless you have a different feel either way, if you expect the truck to go less than 30,000 miles a year, choose the gasoline engine. If the truck will go more than 30,000 miles a year, consider diesel. More expensive initially, diesel will provide better fuel economy and cost you less in the long run.
Lastly, don’t discard a used vehicle. The low-mileage units of all three options are available in the used vehicle market. They can be obtained with extended warranty protection, service plans, and can even be rented in some cases. Made with a little thought and sound decisions, your new vehicle or vehicles will serve you long, faithfully, and at the lowest possible cost.