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  • 20400 Old Rome State Road, Watertown, NY 13601
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Depending on the size of your fleet, it can cost tens of thousands of
dollars to upfit your trucks, trailers or vans with storage units and
interiors. You need to know that your upfit will suit exactly how your
team works in the field. So how do you do that? Plan properly.

1. Know What You Need

The first step in planning for an upfit is identifying how and where your vehicles will be used.

“Think
about weight requirements, equipment requirements, electrical and power
needs, and the space and size of the vehicle,” says Paul Lawrenson, EZ
STAK’s Director of Business Development. “If it’s going to be used in
rural Illinois versus downtown New York, well then you have more space
to work with.”  

Then it’s a good idea to meet with
the people in the company who will actually use the vehicles. Since some
may use those vehicles every day, those user groups will likely have
the best idea of what’s needed. Plus, with that initial buy-in the
likelihood of later displeasure is greatly reduced.

2. Find Your Upfitter

Though
there are relatively few companies out there specializing in vehicle
upfits, no two are exactly the same. And some will be more attuned to
your needs than others.

“When
you’re looking for an upfitter, what’s important is the stability of the
company,” says Lawrenson. “Have they been around for a while? Have they
done projects like yours? You want to make sure their business is
sustainable and that they can handle large projects.”

Some
can’t even handle the financial side, adds Lawrenson. Find out if
that’s true with the upfitters you’re considering by speaking with their
past customers. They should also be able to tell you about the quality
of the products, warranties and service, and how the upfitter handled
customization requirements and timeframes.

3. Stay in Touch

If
you’ve done your homework and found a capable company that’s designed
an upfit that works for you, you should be good to go. But remember that
the process from initial contact with an upfitter to fleet delivery is a
long one. A year in some cases. Stay in touch to make sure you get
exactly what you want.

Even after you’ve signed off on a design,
it’s a good idea to make sure timelines are being met and that you get
answers to new questions or ones not previously addressed.

Remember,
too, that needs can change in a year. You may be able to make tweaks to
a design in the early stages of the manufacturing process. Having open
lines of communication makes this easier.