Fleet Budgeting Guide: Four Steps to Success

Although budgeting may not be the fleet manager’s favorite task, it is important that it is developed and adhered to in order to determine financial goals, plan for unexpected costs, find ways to save costs, and monitor spending throughout the year.

Step #1: Determine financial goals

The first step to developing a fleet budget is to determine your financial goals for the upcoming year. Ask yourself questions like: how many vehicles will you buy and sell this year? What is the total cost of operations for each of those vehicles? What will be the annual fuel costs? It is also important to leave scope in the budget for vehicle depreciation, insurance costs, taxes and licensing fees. Depending on the laws and regulations in your city, safety programs, training and certification may be needed for each of your employees.  Determining your financial goals is an important first step in order to get started with your budget and become aware of the items that must be accounted for.

Step #2: Plan for unexpected costs

It is key that you plan for unexpected costs in order to avoid issues impacting your budget. One of the main unexpected costs is fuel price increase or decrease. Fuel price is uncontrollable and if there is a sudden increase, it is important that you are prepared, and your budget can handle the impact. Vehicle downtime is another unexpected cost that could come up. If a vehicle breaks down, you must be prepared to pay for parts, and labor to have it fixed. Accidents can greatly impact your budget as well. You must have the insurance to cover any damage done, costs to cover injuries, and the cost of any parts or labor needed to repair the vehicles. Including an emergency fund is a great way to protect your budget and prevent the impact from unexpected expenses.

Step #3: Analyze historical budgets

Once you take into account all the items to include in your annual plan, you need to estimate a dollar value for each item. A great way to complete this step is to analyze historical budgets and use those figures as a base for the upcoming year. It is important that you only use previous numbers as a guide and remember to consider inflation. Looking at previous numbers can also help you find trends and make financial predictions for the upcoming year. For an example, if gas prices have been steadily rising over the past 5 years, it is likely that the price will rise by a similar amount next year. As well, it is a great way to find areas where you overspent and find ways to cut costs in the upcoming year.

Step #4: Assess spending regularly

When your budget is complete, it is important that you review it regularly throughout the year. This will help you stay on track and assess the progress of your financial goals. It will also let you observe trends and allow you to adjust figures as needed. If you notice you are overspending in one category, decide whether you can cut costs from another category. Each time you review the budget, you can compare it to previous periods to see if you are on track. If not, an analysis can be made to find reasons for over or underspending and a plan can be put in place to get back on track. Remember that your budget is not a fixed document, it is flexible and can be adjusted accordingly.

Budgeting is often a unique process for each fleet manager, however if you determine your goals, plan for unexpected costs, analyze previous budgets, and review regularly, the budget will surely be a success.

 

EZ STAK has been in business since 1998 delivering configurable fleet solutions for any vehicle.

EZ STAK is a manufacturer of aluminum interiors and turnkey solutions for any vehicle in the utility, construction, oil & gas, and communication industries.  Whether you are looking for a full electrical installation, interior cabinets, or a custom storage solution, our design team will work with you to ensure your vehicle upfit is specific to your needs.

Call Calvin Lawrenson at 630-944-3300 x214 or send us an email to get started.

Optimize Your Pickup Bed with the EZ STAK Meter Tray

If you are looking for a drawer to keep your meters safe and separated from your tools, the EZ STAK Meter Tray is for you. This unique drawer optimizes the dead space in your pickup bed while providing easy access to your supplies while on the jobsite. The meter tray is tough and durable enough to store all your equipment and has many additional features sure to impress.

Keep your meters safe and organized

Service technicians carry around many supplies to get their job done. From tools to parts to fittings, it is difficult to keep everything safe and secure, which is why EZ STAK designed the Meter Tray. The drawer consists of three aluminum drawers to keep supplies organized, and a meter storage tray on top. No need to worry about meters getting damaged during transport, as they will fit perfectly in the pockets provided.

Easy access to tools while on the jobsite

When you are working on the jobsite, having easy access to your tools is key. That’s why the Meter Tray was designed with convenience in mind. As with all EZ STAK drawers, it is equipped with an EZ Latch with one-handed opening operation. Organized into three drawers, it can hold all the tools and equipment needed while out on the road. No need to reach far into your pickup bed to find a tool, the drawers have 100% extension slides for easy access to your supplies.

Tough and durable enough for all your equipment

EZ STAK drawers are built with high-grade aluminum making them tough enough to withstand the abuse of being opened and slammed shut each day. And because our drawers are made from aluminum, they have the strength to hold your supplies without weighing down your vehicle therefore improving payload. The Meter Tray is equipped with 500lb (closed) ball bearing slides for maximum weight capacity.

Additional features and options

There are many additional features and options of the Meter Tray which make it a top-quality drawer system. This drawer features a top rail around the box for storing additional cargo. Adjustable dividers assist you in keeping supplies organized in each drawer. Choose to add on standard key locks ensure your equipment stays safe and secure while out on the jobsite. Optional rubber matting keeps tools from sliding around during transport and minimizes noise. As with all EZ STAK products, the Meter Tray comes with limited lifetime warranty – we never compromise our standards for quality.

 

EZ STAK has been in business since 1998 delivering configurable fleet solutions for any vehicle.

EZ STAK is a manufacturer of aluminum interiors and turnkey solutions for any vehicle in the utility, construction, oil & gas, and communication industries.  Whether you are looking for a full electrical installation, interior cabinets, or a custom storage solution, our design team will work with you to ensure your vehicle upfit is specific to your needs.

Call Calvin Lawrenson at 630-944-3300 x214 or send us an email to get started.

Three Reasons to Come See Us at ICUEE

EZ STAK is exhibiting at the largest tradeshow in the utility and construction – International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) in Louisville, KY. With over 18,000 attendees, 1000 exhibitors, and 1.3 million net square feet of exhibit space, ICUEE is the ideal show for utility professionals and construction contractors to discover the latest products and services in the industry. Here are three reasons to visit the EZ STAK team at booth N2208.

Reason #1: Walk through a 24’ work-ready trailer

Take a walk through the largest trailer EZ STAK has ever showcased at ICUEE! At a whopping 24-feet-long, the work-ready trailer is fully upfitted with an enclosed office area at the front of the trailer, and a tool and equipment storage area at the rear of the trailer. Check out our built-in generator cabinet designed to fit up to an Onan QD 7500. This cabinet comes with access holes in the floor and insulation to contain heat and noise. Completed with HVAC, lighting, electrical and flooring, this trailer will show you the perfect example of how EZ STAK can transform your trailer into a turnkey mobile workspace.

Reason #2: Check out our meter storage drawer

We will be also showcasing an innovative product designed to hold meters. Take advantage of the dead space in your pickup bed to safely secure all your tools and equipment. With 360-degree access to your supplies and 500lb ball-bearing slides, this drawer optimizes efficiency and durability. The drawer offers a dual and stacked drawer configuration along with a slide-out meter tray on top. The overall dimensions of this drawer are 22”H x 48”W x 60”D, and it is designed to fit in the bed of most pickup trucks. Visit the EZ STAK booth to learn more of the impressive features of our unique meter tray drawer.

Reason #3: Learn the benefits of our service body drawers

Did you know EZ STAK can manufacture a service body drawer in any size and any configuration? Visit our booth to see the new powder coating option for the drawer face of any service body drawer. Built with heavy duty ball-bearing slides, these drawers ensure durability and functionality. Drawers come with install feet and an adjustable top for easy installation. Choose your desired configuration and number of adjustable dividers to suit your storage needs. Our standard drawers are built to fit Reading, Knapheide and Palfleet bodies, and some standard sizes are available for quick ship in just 48 hours! Ask the EZ STAK team how our drawers will optimize your service body truck.

Still need more reasons to visit our booth?

  • Meet our friendly team to learn more about what we do: Paul, Calvin, Ashlie, Shannon
  • Book a one-on-one consultation to come up with a layout for your enclosed trailer.
  • Receive a 20% discount when you register for ICUEE online using the promo code EXcp3dg7CST

The team at EZ STAK looks forward to meeting you at booth N2208 in Louisville, KY. See you in October!

 

EZ STAK has been in business since 1998 delivering configurable fleet solutions for any vehicle.

EZ STAK is a manufacturer of aluminum interiors and turnkey solutions for any vehicle in the utility, construction, oil & gas, and communication industries.  Whether you are looking for a full electrical installation, interior cabinets, or a custom storage solution, our design team will work with you to ensure your vehicle upfit is specific to your needs.

Call Calvin Lawrenson at 630-944-3300 x214 or send us an email to get started.

Case Study: Turnkey Trailer Upfit

Like most fleet managers, you believe it is important that your vehicles are well-organized to optimize safety of your employees, productivity, efficiency. When it comes to upfitting enclosed trailers, the EZ STAK way delivers on all these points. Working one-on-one with our design team allows you to come up with a layout that suits how you use your workspace. And the best part? EZ STAK is a one-stop, all-inclusive company who will not only supply a top-quality trailer but also a turnkey upfit including interior and exterior storage cabinets, insulation, power, HVAC and more!

The Challenge

A large utility company in Colorado approached EZ STAK with three 53-foot-long trailers they wanted to re-purpose. They needed a mobile workspace to accommodate an air-conditioned office space and a storage space to organize tools and parts. However, the challenge was the trailers were used and had to be completely gutted, insulated and paneled before commencing the project. The client also needed the trailers to be complete in a short period in order to have them ready for an upcoming utility project and to meet budget dates.

The Solution

This project involved the client working directly with the EZ STAK design team who provided full 3-dimensional renderings to assist in the final layout fit and finish. This company was looking for an office area for the work crew, shelving to store equipment, closets to store work clothing, and bin units for smaller parts and tools. Once the client was happy with the design, the skilled EZ STAK staff installed shore power, 120V wiring and a full interior shelving package to meet the application requirements. The enclosed office area had individual desks with drawers and overhead chest units for storage, whiteboards, a large closet unit, and even a refrigerator and microwave. The rear of the trailer included aluminum cabinets of all sizes and configurations to ensure tools, parts and equipment stay organized and easy to access while working in the field.

The Result

In short order, the fully upfitted utility trailers were completed and delivered to the client in Colorado who was overjoyed with the result. They now have all tools and equipment handy and have an enclosed office area to work in while on the job site. EZ STAK is committed to delivering custom-fit and turnkey solutions with aluminum interiors that are durable, tough and well-organized. Are you looking to upfit your trailer? Give us a call to get started: 630.994.3300

 

EZ STAK has been in business since 1998 delivering configurable fleet solutions for any vehicle.

EZ STAK is a manufacturer of aluminum interiors and turnkey solutions for any vehicle in the utility, construction, oil & gas, and communication industries.  Whether you are looking for a full electrical installation, interior cabinets, or a custom storage solution, our design team will work with you to ensure your vehicle upfit is specific to your needs.

Call Calvin Lawrenson at 630-944-3300 x214 or send us an email to get started.

Three Cost Reduction Strategies for Your Fleet

With the constant increasing cost of running a fleet, finding ways to cut these costs is a priority for fleet managers. The following three strategies explain how to reduce major expenses and help fleets to become more profitable.

Encourage Fuel-Efficient and Safer Driving

Fuel costs are known to be one of the main expenses for fleets and the best way to reduce these costs is to develop a company policy handbook. The purpose of a company policy is to make employees aware of their expectations when driving a company-owned vehicle and to encourage safer, more fuel-efficient driving. The handbook should include a list of all the rules and responsibilities of drivers, consequences if drivers fail to comply, and an agreement form which all drivers must agree to and sign. To ensure the driver policy is a success, fleet managers are responsible to ensure every driver understands and agrees with the expectations. Having a company policy handbook will reduce liabilities, decrease your insurance rates and encourage more fuel-efficient driving in order to cut fleet costs.

Implement a Preventive Maintenance Program

Unexpected vehicle downtime can be very costly for fleets which is why frequent checkups and maintenance is required. It has been proven that scheduled servicing leads to a more reliable fleet, reduction in unexpected breakdowns, extended lifespan of the vehicles, and increased resale value. To develop the program, start by creating a checklist of maintenance tasks such as checking tire pressure, brakes, steering, and wipers. The next step is to determine how often you should perform checkups. It is recommended to perform a service checkup on your vehicle every three months, or 6000 miles, whichever occurs first. However, it is important that you decide this based on your fleet’s requirements. Implementing a preventative maintenance program in your fleet will help you avoid unscheduled repairs and downtime and is a great strategy for preventing unnecessary costs in your fleet.

Spec’ing Fleet with Cost Reduction in Mind

There are many ways to spec your vehicles to save money both during the process and in the long run. When selecting your chassis frame, choose one that is tough enough to support whatever you carry in your vehicle, but light enough that it doesn’t result in unnecessary fuel costs. Another way to save money when spec’ing is to choose your interior storage cabinets and shelving wisely to accommodate your heavy equipment. Many fleets use wood shelving since it is a cost-effective option however, wood is heavy and does not last as long as other materials. Fleet departments have been moving towards aluminum interiors as it lightweight and and is just as durable. It is important when spec’ing your truck that you do so in the most cost-efficient way to save money both in the present and in the future.

Each of these strategies will contribute to cutting major fleet costs helping to increase productivity and improve your company’s bottom line.

 

EZ STAK has been in business since 1998 delivering configurable fleet solutions for any vehicle.

EZ STAK is a manufacturer of aluminum interiors and turnkey solutions for any vehicle in the utility, construction, oil & gas, and communication industries.  Whether you are looking for a full electrical installation, interior cabinets, or a custom storage solution, our design team will work with you to ensure your vehicle upfit is specific to your needs.

Call Calvin Lawrenson at 630-944-3300 x214 or send us an email to get started.

Why Start With EZ STAK’s Build Your Own Application For Upfitting Your Fleet

When upfitting your fleet, it is important that each component fits your vehicle seamlessly to avoid expensive manufacturing changes. That’s why EZ STAK’s Build Your Own application is the ideal tool when designing your interior workspace.

At EZ STAK, we are always looking for ways to make it easy for our to customers find the perfect layout for their van or trailer. We understand every fleet department has different equipment and layout requirements, so instead of selecting a standard package, they now have the option to design their own layout with the Build your Own Application.

Easy 3D Configuration

Using 3D technology, Build Your Own allows you to create a layout with a practical set up that suits your fleet needs. Start the process by choosing from 12’, 14’ or 20’ vehicle sizes. Whether you have a step van, a cargo van, or a trailer, this application can be used to design a layout for a variety of vehicle types. Since the layout is 3-Dimensional, it is extremely easy for you to visualize the final upfit.

Drag & Drop

To start designing your layout, drag and drop your choice of EZ STAK standard products into the driver and passenger sides. Create your ideal workspace using lockers, closets, drawers, shelving, chest units, and countertops. Choose from 4-5 sizes available for each product to ensure correct fitting. If you choose a cabinet size that doesn’t work with your layout, simply drag it into the trash can and instead choose a different size. The Build Your Own tool was designed to be easy enough for anyone to use. It only takes an average of three minutes to complete your layout.

Quick Quote & Easy Ordering

Once you are happy with your interior design, save it as a picture or PDF and share with your end-user for feedback. From there, you can click ‘Quick Quote’ and fill out the short form with your vehicle make, model and year. The EZ STAK team will send you a quote based on the cabinets selected which makes it exceptionally easy for budget approvals. Our design team will create an updated concept with your actual vehicle size and send it to you for your final approval.

Consider using EZ STAK’s Build Your Own application when planning for your next vehicle upfit. We guarantee it will speed up the design process, help you stay within budget, and let you create a storage system that will suit your needs. To start designing your walk-in interior today, visit www.ezstak.com

EZ STAK has been in business since 1998 delivering configurable fleet solutions for any vehicle.

EZ STAK provides aluminum interiors and turnkey solutions for any vehicle in the utility, construction, oil & gas, and communication industries.  Whether you are looking for a full electrical installation, interior cabinets, or a custom storage solution, our design team will work with you to make sure your needs are being addressed down to every inch and dollar.

Call our customer care team at 630.944.3300 or send us an email to get started.

EZ STAK Offers a New Competitive Truck Box to the Market

EZ STAK, has launched their new Truck Box to the market. Two years in the making, it sets the bar even higher for what’s possible with pickup truck storage solutions. Not only does it increase payload, its tough aluminum design can sustain heavy weight, and it’s competitively priced in the market.

Coming in at just 200 pounds, the Truck Box can hold 750 pounds of whatever you can throw on it, and 450 pounds inside the drawer at full extension. That’s a lot of weight for such a light box, but one reason it’s possible is because it’s made of aluminum.

“There’s nothing out there that’s this light and this tough. A lot of departments are looking for storage solutions that can save fuel, carry a lot of heavy equipment and go easy on a truck. This box does all three.” says Calvin Lawrenson, EZ STAK’s business development manager.

Truck Box Features

Features of the Truck Box that will impress are the lock-in, lock-out drawer slides, which extend to 42 inches. So when your pickup is parked on a hill or slope, the drawer will lock in place.

“It’s a nice feature because if you are on a slant, you don’t have to hold the drawer,” says Lawrenson. “You can just grab your equipment and not have to worry about figuring out a way to keep the drawer in place at the same time.”

Other features include dual drawer slides to enhance lateral strength and stability; water-resistant design; a standard middle drawer divider with divider kits to keep equipment organized; and the drawer’s slam-shut capability. EZ STAK’s Truck Box also available in four different sizes: 13x48x48, 13x40x48, 13x30x48, and 13x20x48 (height X width X depth). The 13-inch height means that these have more capacity inside and the 48-inch wide option means that the box can fit nicely between the wheel well.

Lifetime Warranty

Plus, as with most newly purchased products from EZ STAK, the new Truck Box comes with a lifetime warranty. In other words, if you remain the original owner, the company will always fix or replace it if it ever become defective due to materials, workmanship or manufacturing.

The type of confidence that lifetime warranty shows has been a hallmark of EZ STAK since day one. Launched in 1998, the company has grown steadily over the years, and is now an industry leader and manufacturer of vehicle interior storage systems for work trucks, vans and trailers.

Why EZ STAK?

From its three locations in Watertown, New York, Schaumburg, Illinois, and Kingston, Ontario, EZ STAK prides itself on working one-on-one with its customers to develop configurable storage solutions that are tough enough to take daily abuse.

And as the new Truck Box clearly shows, the company is constantly innovating. Its design and engineering teams, for instance, use the latest SolidWorks 3D technology to create both standardized and customized storage systems. Company wide, EZ STAK embraces lean manufacturing and Six Sigma quality standards, resulting in added value for clients and a respectable workplace.

“This new Truck Box is just a prime example of what we do for our customers,” says Lawrenson. “We keep going back to the drawing board until we come up with a storage solution that will keep them organized, stand up to heavy use, save them money and make their lives a whole lot easier.”

 

EZ STAK has been in business since 1998 delivering configurable fleet solutions for any vehicle.

EZ STAK provides aluminum interiors and turnkey solutions for any vehicle in the utility, construction, oil & gas, and communication industries.  Whether you are looking for a full electrical installation, interior cabinets, or a custom storage solution, our design team will work with you to make sure your needs are being addressed down to every inch and dollar.

Call Calvin Lawrenson at 630-944-3300 x214 or send us an email to get started.

Three Reasons to Come See Us At NTEA The Work Truck Show

The EZ STAK team will be exhibiting at The Work Truck Show hosted by the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA), in Indianapolis, Indiana and we have 3 reasons for you to stop by and see us at BOOTH 5767.

Set for March 6-9, The Work Truck Show is the largest work truck event in North America. Every year, it’s where fleet professionals go to learn about the latest technologies, product innovations and network with thousands of industry professionals.

Reason #1:

Walk-through our turn-key trailer

EZ STAK’s turnkey mobile workspaces are designed to exactly how your team works in the field. So whatever your workstation needs are, our sales engineers will design to your specs. The trailer at the show will showcase our modular interior cabinets, an exterior generator cabinet, directional and scene lighting, and 110 outlet. Come learn how EZ STAK is your one stop shop. 

Reason #2:

New product launch of our Truck Box

EZ STAK will be introducing for the first time, our new drawer line designed for pickup trucks: The Truck Box. Designed with cost in mind, this drawer is guaranteed to fit within your budget. Made of North American Aluminum, 450lbs drawer capacity and 750lbs top capacity, this drawer is capable to handle all your tools and equipment. Stop by our booth to see it first!

Reason #3:

A drawer solution that’s guaranteed to fit

See for yourself why EZ STAK is an industry leader for service body drawers. Any size, and any compartment, EZ STAK will design and manufacture a drawer that is guaranteed to fit everytime. We offer drawers in aluminum or galvanized steel, and comes with heavy-duty ball-bearing drawer slides, to ensure our drawers are durable enough to organize all of your parts and tools.

Need more reasons to visit us at NTEA?

  1. Book a one-on-one consultation with Paul to discuss your next trailer upfit.
  2. Meet the EZ STAK team to talk about an upcoming storage need: Paul, Calvin, Ashlie and Jessie
  3. Get a FREE Pass to the tradeshow using the promo code WT203 when you register online.

 

Have a look at the FLOOR MAP to see where EZ STAK’s booth #5767 is located. 

 

The season of giving

As 2018 comes to an end, EZ STAK would like to take a moment to give thanks to you – our valued customers, team, and community. In spirit on the holidays and giving back, our family-based business passionately decided to support C.O.P.S. Foundation and Rideau Heights Public School this year.

It is our pleasure to be able to support these foundations and reminds us that we are grateful for the efforts these – and other organizations – provide throughout the year.

We wish everyone a healthy, prosperous and joyful new year!

 

About C.O.P.S.

c-o-p-sC.O.P.S. was organized in 1984 with 110 individual members.  Today C.O.P.S. membership is over 37,000 survivors.  Survivors include spouses, children, parents, siblings, significant others, and affected co-workers of officers killed in the line of duty according to Federal government criteria.  C.O.P.S. is governed by a National Board of law enforcement survivors.  All programs and services are administered by the National Office in Camdenton, Missouri.  C.O.P.S. has over 50 Chapters nationwide that work with survivors at the grass-roots level.

www.concernsofpolicesurvivors.org

2018 Holiday Hours

Wishing you a Happy Holiday from the team at EZ STAK!

During the holiday season, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our success possible. It is in this spirit that we say thank you and best wishes for the holidays and New Year!

Kindly be advised that EZ STAK will be closed for the following days during the holiday season: 

 

 

During the holiday season, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our success possible. It is in this spirit that we say thank you and best wishes for the holidays and New Year! Kindly be advised that EZ STAK will be closed for the following days during the holiday season. December 21st closed at 1pm, December 24th closed, December 25th closed, December 31st closed, January 1 closed.