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The Changing Face of the Service Body
The Changing Face of the Service Body
March 6, 2018

For most of the last century, pickup trucks have been sold by the manufacturer in one of two ways – complete with the bed already installed or as a “cab and chassis” for the buyer to complete outfitting based on how they planned on using the truck.  If you opted for a cab and chassis, you pretty much had two options – a flat deck or a service body.  While flat beds could be had with numerous options – length, tool boxes, hydraulics, side boards, etc…, the service body was pretty much limited to a heavy steel bed with built-in storage, a small interior bed for hauling loose supplies and tools, and, if you were lucky, you might be able to get that service body in either white or black unless you worked for the provincial or local government, then you could get it in a particularly bad shade of yellow, orange, or green.

In the last two decades, though, there’s been a huge change in our industry – that of upfitting and outfitting trucks and vans for hard work in the trades and the fields of industry.

Customers wanted options they had never been offered before – lighter weight service bodies, “toppers” and caps that actually provided room for storage and a spot to work out of the weather, and fully integrated systems that seamlessly tied into the computerized systems that the vehicle used, too.

At Expertec, we led the charge in western Canada with these service bodies and slip-in caps.  Going all the way back to our early years, we offered options that customers wanted but hadn’t been able to find.  Today, the list of requirements for our customers when they decide to purchase truck bodies for their vehicle fleet is extensive and we’re proud of the fact that we represent the leaders in customizing service bodies and slip-ins for contractors and tradesmen.

So what’s changed?

The speed of business, for starters.  The expectation today, among people, is that a contractor or a business, when they send out a representative to address an issue or provide a quote, can get the job accomplished – or at least started – right then.  With communications largely instantaneous, the ability of a company to handle a project immediately, requires tools, equipment, and supplies – right then and there.  The only way to do that is to effectively outfit a vehicle to handle the work and have all those items on site when a bid or quote is accepted. 

So the right service body or cap for a truck makes sense – company image, security, and a mobile work environment can already be onsite and the job commenced – and finished – in the time it used to take to simply get an approval.

We’ve worked with our own partners to design functionality into every one of the utility bodies and caps that we sell to allow your own team to be able to treat the truck as a complete office and work place – need lighting or a computer hookup?  We’ve custom-built power inverters and wiring harnesses into service bodies.  Air compressors?  All plumbed and hidden to maximize space.

service bodies and slip-in caps

What about welders?  Check.

Hydraulic systems?  Check.

Trailer hitches?  Out of site until you need them.

Custom storage?  We started that.

The simple truth is, for companies to be effective, they have to be able to move quickly and secure the customers business.  If those companies are in the trades or deploy a fleet to handle service, then equipping their teams with state-of-the-art systems to work quickly means more jobs finished and less “windshield time” to get those jobs finished.  The result?  Lower costs and more profits. 

At Expertec, we’re proud to have helped to lead this change in how fleets and tradesmen do business and to make our own clients more profitable due to better efficiency.  A service body or slip-in cap may not seem like a profit center for your business, but believe us, it should be.