If you are interested in purchasing a new truck for your fleet or you want to add one to your existing fleet, it can be difficult to know what to look for. You will need to look carefully at all possible damages and will need to look at the different features of DAF trucks in South Africa in order to make the final decision. Below are some of the most important aspects to look out for when choosing a fleet truck.
Use and operation
Whether you are buying, financing or leasing your fleet’s DAF trucks, you will first need to look at what you will be using the trucks for. You should focus on the required vehicle features and capabilities, which include the following:
- Size, style and carrying capacity: This means looking at what types and amounts of materials, products or equipment you will be using your truck to carry. For example, is a large trailer a better option than a closed body?
- Routing, roads and terrains: This is the second most important aspect to look at: what terrain and routes will you be using for your truck? Will it be used mostly in an urban stop-and-go environment or will your DAF trucks in South Africa be used on dirt roads and bumpy terrains? This will affect the size of your truck and what type of tyres and body you need to choose.
Consider your drivers
Another vital aspect of choosing a fleet truck is to consider your drivers. Most importantly, you will need to address their safety and comfort, especially if they will be travelling long distances over dirt or untarred roads.
You will need to ensure that the specifications of each vehicle align with your company’s safety policies and procedures, and that your driver is able to safely operate the new vehicle if it is vastly different to your current trucks. Comfort-wise, the driver’s seats should be both comfortable and firm, as ergonomics will help to keep your drivers healthy, happy and alert while driving.
This is important to your budget as a fleet owner. Choosing a truck that does not have parts readily available will not only end up costing you extra when having to order the parts, but it will lose you money as the truck will be out of operation for a period of time while the part is being ordered.
Parts availability is also a matter of safety and comfort for your drivers. It is unsafe to choose a truck that does not have parts available, as in case of a breakdown, your driver will be stranded for hours while a mechanic sources parts for your truck. Look for trusted brands and for models that can easily be fixed, with parts that are available from a variety of mechanics.
Ease of maintenance
Another important part of looking for a fleet truck is to consider how difficult and costly the truck is to maintain. Be sure to do your research into the projected costs of the vehicle’s routine maintenance, such as service needs, parts and labour.
An effective way to calculate the maintenance is to speak to the different departments of your company, such as asking the drivers exactly how they will use the vehicle or asking the accounting department what their projected costs for new vehicles in later model years are and what they believe the resale price of the truck could be.
What engine best suits your needs?
When you look at what you need in a truck, you will also need to consider whether a gas or diesel engine is best suited to your needs. Gas engines are often limited in availability, according to model and manufacturer but are still on the market.
You will also need to consider the horsepower that you need for the trucks, based on what you will be using them for and on what terrain they will be driven. Is a high-horsepower, high-torque motor a must or will a simple 200-horsepower motor be enough? It is important to remember that the higher the horsepower and torque, the higher the cost of the vehicle will be. If you are going to be hauling heavy loads, then a high-powered engine might be the best choice for your fleet.
Weigh the pros and cons
Once you have looked at all of your options and have considered how you will be using the vehicle, what terrain it will be driven on and how comfortable it is for your drivers, you will have to weigh the pros and cons of each model you have chosen. A fleet vehicle is not a decision to be entered into lightly, as it is an expensive purchase and the success of your logistics business could very well depend on which truck you choose.