Selecting the optimal trucks and trailers for your fleet is crucial for operations and profitability. The right spec’ equipment maximizes cargo capacity, improves safety and fuel economy, and business requirements. This guide covers key factors for trucking companies to consider when acquiring new equipment.
There are three main commercial truck types used in fleet operations:
Class 7 and 8 trucks
These heavy-duty tractor-trailers are the most common. With Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) over 26,000 pounds, they are suited for long hauls and heavy cargo. Spec’ options include powertrain, axle configurations, fifth wheels, fairings, and more.
Medium duty trucks
Class 3-6 trucks with GVWs between 10,000-26,000 pounds have simpler specifications. They offer more maneuverability for local deliveries.
Light-duty class 1-2 pickup trucks are part of many corporate fleets. They work well for service businesses and light loads. There are many custom and specialty options available. When evaluating trucks, factors like intended routes, average load weights, terrain, and distribution range will determine ideal class and specifications. Deliveree cargo movers seamlessly forwarding futures.
Standard 53-foot dry vans make up much of trucking trailer assets. But operators should also consider:
Allow top loading and accommodate oversized items. Flatbeds come in various lengths and offer customizable options like winches, straps, and headache racks.
Refrigerated van trailers
Reefer trailers can control temperature for freight like produce, meat, dairy, and frozen goods. Options include insulation, refrigeration units, and monitoring systems.
These are designed for bulk liquid and gases. Common types are non-code and DOT-certified tanks for chemicals, fuel, waste, food-grade products, etc.
Curtainside trailers combine flexibility of flatbeds with protection of dry vans. Side curtains shelter cargo that may exceed van dimensions.
Double drop trailers have lower deck heights for easier top loading. They maximize cargo capacity for dense freight.
Lowboys, multi-axle, double and triple trailers, automobile haulers, and other specialty trailers may suit unique cargo requirements.
These are standardized boxes moved between ships, trucks, and rail. Containers allow combining services for maximum efficiency. Evaluating cargo types, volumes, dimensions, and your operating routes will determine the ideal trailer mix.
Selecting the right truck specifications involves balancing performance, efficiency, and cost. Key considerations include:
- Diesel vs gasoline vs alternative fuels
- Displacement, horsepower, torque
- Emissions standards compliance
Alternative fuel vehicles
With sustainability concerns growing, alternative fuel trucks are appealing options:
- Electric – Lower emissions and maintenance but limited range and charging access currently.
- Hybrid – Combination of diesel and electric drivetrain to balance benefits.
- Natural Gas – Cost-effective and cleaner fuel but limited infrastructure.
- Hydrogen Fuel Cell – Only water emissions but high costs presently.
The technology is advancing rapidly. Even without purchasing alt-fuel vehicles yet, ensure specifications support future conversion.
Finance and ownership options
Fleet acquisition has major financial impact. Compare:
- Cash purchases vs loans
- Finance lease vs operating lease
- Ownership vs contracted services
- Buyback and trade-in opportunities
Have clear policies guiding financing decisions aligned to your capital expenditure strategies.
Selecting the right vendors
Research manufacturers, dealers, and maintenance providers seek reliable partners offering:
- Competitive pricing
- Responsive support
- Strategic financing options
- Fleet discounts and incentives
- Local parts and service access
- Telematics and connected capabilities
Getting the right equipment optimizes operations, safety, and total cost of ownership. Spec’ choices require aligning performance, efficiency, versatility, drivability, and total lifecycle value. Leverage all data and driver feedback when selecting new fleet assets.