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Upfitting

Canadian Company Invests in eNow

Canadian Solar Inc., a solar power company, announced that it has acquired a minority equity interest in eNow, a U.S. company specializing in solar-based energy management system for the commercial transportation industry.

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Avoid Repeating Past Inefficiencies: Build the Truck to Match Today’s Application

I asked one fleet manager how he spec’ed replacement trucks for his fleet application. He related that many years earlier an OEM rep spec’ed out his trucks and he has been using the same formula ever since. While this may work in some cases, specifications should be defined by today’s fleet application to ensure the replacement truck is designed to accommodate current operational requirements rather than trying to make your operation conform to trucks spec’ed for yesteryear’s requirements.

Removing Murphy’s Law from the Upfit Process

The multitude of upfitting options and potential configurations makes it easy to fulfill Murphy’s Law, which states, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Unfortunately, in many cases, who triggers Murphy’s Law is the fleet manager who does not carefully review the upfit specs, or has not consulted thoroughly with the actual users of the equipment, or attempts to over-engineer the upfit. These are all avoidable mistakes.

All Successful Upfits Start with Careful Planning

There are a multitude of specialized fleet applications that require the installation of auxiliary equipment on a truck or in a van. What complicates the planning process is that there are as many ways to upfit a vehicle as there are chassis and body configurations. It is critical that you properly define a truck’s application to ensure the supplier builds the truck to meet its intended use.

Increased Demand and Rail Delays Create Upfitter Logjam in MY-2015

One challenge for both the 2015- and 2014-MY has been the increased volume of fleet vehicles going to upfitters, which has resulted in capacity constraints. With the increasing demand and growth of the commercial truck and van segments – particularly among utilities and service industries – the percentage of upfitted vehicles is growing. Upfitters are feeling the pressure of increased demand.

The System is Still Broken

Looking back on the problems that plague the OEM vehicle ordering and delivery process. And deciding what can be done to repair this broken system.

Ergonomics and Enhanced Operator Safety Emphasized During Upfitting

Ergonomics and operator safety is a growing concern by HR and risk management departments, since there has been an uptick of workers’ compensation claims by fleet drivers. As a result of strong trends in the upfit market, there is an increased focus on designing upfits to enhance operator safety.

Upfit Lightweighting is More Complex Than Simply Reducing Weight

When used in the manufacture of truck bodies and van equipment, lightweight materials, such as thinner gauge high-strength steel, aluminum, fiberglass, and plastic composites, enable fleets to reduce vehicle weight to improve fuel economy, increase legal payload, and even drop down to a smaller (often more fuel-efficient) vehicle.

Increased Demand Creates Backlogs at Upfitters

One challenge for the 2014-MY has been the increased volume of fleet vehicles going to upfitters, which has resulted in capacity issues. With the increasing demand and growth of the commercial truck/van segments, particularly among utilities and service industries, the percentage of upfitted vehicles is growing. Order-to-delivery time on large trucks keeps getting longer with upfitters. Some fleets don't place factory orders and instead purchase most their vehicle chassis from bailment pools.

Altering Upfit Specs to Reduce Fuel Costs

From utilizing alternative fuels to decreasing vehicle weight to increasing vehicle aerodynamics, there are several options for fleet managers looking to reduce fuel costs through chassis and upfit specs.