A cluttered work truck can be a huge problem for companies. Extra equipment can easily make a truck overweight without the company even realizing it. When a truck is loaded past its rating, it is more likely to be in an accident, and it can also cause more wear and tear on the chassis. A disorganized work truck can also affect a company’s reputation. A work truck is like a moving billboard — by keeping your truck clean, you present a professional appearance and customers will have more confidence in your work. There are many reasons that fleet managers and technicians should keep a work truck clean. Wear and tear, safety and truck appearance can all impact a company’s bottom line.
Stay Underweight or Pay
Current truck size and weight standards are a blend of federal and state regulations and laws. Federal law controls maximum gross vehicle weights and axle loads on the interstate system, and state regulations govern non-interstate highways. The Federal Highway Administration defines vehicles as Class 1 through Class 8 based on a vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), which is the maximum operating weight. Work trucks are typically in the light- and medium-duty vehicle category, which includes Class 3-6 (10,001 to 26,000 lbs)
Fines and enforcement are handled at the state level, and fines for exceeding a truck’s GVWR vary by state. Usually, there is a baseline fine for a truck loaded past its rating. In addition, there may be a charge for every pound or percentage that a truck is overweight. Fines can range from $100 to thousands of dollars.
Companies aren’t the only ones that have to worry about trucks exceeding their weight limit. The citation is given to the driver of the truck, and it goes on their record. Depending on the contract arrangement, the company that owns the truck may cover the fine, or a driver may end up having to pay the entire fine. In addition to the financial consequences, an overweight truck also poses safety concerns. Overweight trucks need more time and distance to stop, can roll over more easily and can be harder to control. Statistics show that overloaded trucks are more likely to be involved in truck-related accidents.
Solutions to Reduce Truck Weight and Clutter
There are solutions on the market that can help reduce truck weight and free up payload space to keep the truck more organized. One available all-in-one work truck power solution, the Miller EnPak A28GBW, delivers compressed air for jobsite tools, generator power for electrical needs, battery charging and crank assist, plus versatile stick welding capabilities for field repairs.
Utilizing this type of power solution with a small footprint can significantly reduce weight on a work truck and provide more space for tools and service parts. An all-in-one design can save up to 550 lbs compared to using a PTO-driven air compressor and an engine-driven welder/generator.
In addition, the space savings provided by an all-in-one power solution can also help improve technician safety by reducing clutter in the truck bed and, therefore, reducing exposure to trip and fall hazards.
Slips, trips and falls can be costly for employers and workers. These accidents can result in lost productivity and missed work days, increased insurance premiums or workers’ compensation claims and costs associated with training replacement workers. Slips, trips and falls are the second-leading cause of accidental death on the jobsite, behind motor vehicles, and one of the most frequently reported jobsite injuries. They make up 25 percent of annual reported claims, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Too many recordable injuries on the job can also result in investigation and/or fines from OSHA.
Safety can be further improved by choosing an all-in-one power solution with a remote operator panel, which reduces the need for a service technician to repeatedly climb in and out of the truck to make changes. This also contributes to greater efficiency on the job. The EnPak A28 features a remote panel with simple, straightforward controls, so technicians can easily make changes as needed from outside the truck.
Less Wear and Tear for Extended Life
Implementing an all-in-one solution that reduces a work truck’s weight can help reduce wear and tear on truck components — resulting in extended chassis life and less time and money spent on maintenance. Brakes, transmissions and other truck components are under more stress with added weight. Kelly Klemisch, regional truck manager for ARI, says he often builds in time on a driver’s schedule for work truck cleanup. Cleaning out a work truck on a regular basis helps to prevent inventory creep and keep truck weight within the required limits, Klemisch says, which is key to prolonging asset life.
An all-in-one power solution that is fully enclosed and integrated on the work truck can also help improve a truck’s appearance. This can have an impact on customer and employee satisfaction and help attract more business. A messy work truck may not portray the quality and expertise that a company brings to the job, while an organized truck gives the impression of a capable company that takes care of its equipment.
Utilizing a space-saving work truck solution can also free up payload space to carry the right tools or spare parts. This helps technicians get the job done quickly and efficiently, without the need for multiple return trips. Having the right tools for the job on the truck — rather than having to make do with other tools — also helps ensures quality work.
With the right tools, a well-organized truck can also play a role in technician satisfaction. Companies compete not only for customers but also for qualified service technicians. It’s important to implement solutions that help technicians be more efficient and effective on the job.
Avoid Overweight Fines
A cluttered truck poses numerous legal and safety concerns that can impact profitability. In addition, a work truck’s appearance makes an impression on customers’ perceived value of a company. Choosing an all-in-one work truck power solution can help companies reduce truck weight, free up payload space and provide a more organized and integrated setup for service technicians. The result is improved safety and efficiency — for a positive impact on the bottom line.