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What's the Real Cost of Ownership
What’s the REAL Cost of Ownership?
May 10, 2017

Boom! You just got the contract you’ve been chasing for months and now you’re ramping up the business to handle the expansion. There are some hoops you’re going to have to jump through and one of them is having enough vehicles outfitted correctly for the job.

You’ve got a really tough decision to make – do you bite the bullet and purchase a new van rigged the way you need it or do you try to just “make do” with one that costs less but isn’t as well suited to the job at hand?

Seeing how much we all have struggled in Alberta these last few years and how critically short a lot of small businesses are on cash reserves right now, the “logical choice” is to make do with a lesser vehicle until you can afford to put a new one on the road. Let’s look at that a little more carefully, though – you can buy a Plain Jane cargo van or one that is completely outfitted and ready to work

That new vehicle is going to cost you the same (for the most part) to operate each day – fuel, insurance, maintenance, but since one is a stopgap vehicle, your team is going to have to either ensure or guess that all the equipment needed to do the job each day is in it before the workday starts. Ditto for any inventory that your guys will be hauling or expect to have on hand throughout the day. A fully outfitted van is ready to go when you need it – no loading, unloading, or guesswork needed. You’re on the job faster and done quicker.

Now, far be it from us to say that sometimes workers aren’t as thorough as they should be, but won’t it cost you money in time, fuel, and labor if your team has to stop in the middle of the job and go buy a part at retail cost to finish a task? If that is an issue even once a week, then your team physically cannot do as much work as they could with all the tools they need, when they need them. If it’s a $1,000 job and they need an extra two hours to do it, how much does that lower your hourly rate, especially if you bid by the job, not the hour?

Could issues like that be prevented if you had everything organized in an upfitted vehicle before they went on site?

Absolutely.

The next question is one that really happened last year in the southern United States. A contractor in the state of Georgia decided to save a little money by pressing his half-ton pickup into towing duty for a forklift. You guessed it – the hitch wasn’t properly secured and he never hooked up the trailer brakes (he didn’t have a controller in this vehicle) and what should have been an easy tow with the right vehicle turned into a multi-car collision and a series of lawsuits.

Do you think he’d like to have a “do-over” for that series of decisions? The cost of ownership, or lack thereof, for him was financially devastating.

Let’s face it, the decision to buy a new vehicle that is properly outfitted for your trade is a very personal one. When you buy a used truck or van, you’ve bought all the previous owner’s problems and usually, you cannot make use of any manufacturer’s warranty. You’re going to be looking, almost assuredly, at new tires and brakes and you can only hope that if they towed heavy, they didn’t overheat things.

What is your piece of mind worth? What is your bottom line worth?

At Expertec, we’re in the business of providing solutions to companies that need outfitted and upfitted vehicles – from vans to trucks to trailers – and many times, the solutions that we find are most effective in the long run are often not the cheapest ones in the short run. Sure, it might cost you an extra $250 each month to put a new and completely custom vehicle on the road, but we see how much more efficient that rig is at allowing your team to generate income and suddenly, that extra money for the right tool is not an expense, it’s simply the cost of being prepared for anything in your business. Just as importantly, the fact that your crews have exactly what they need means they can get the job done in less time – again – meaning higher productivity, and savings, for your company.

No company operates in a vacuum and yours is no exception. As a part of our commitment to helping our customers, we’ve now started a new leasing program to make it even easier to get you’re the equipment you need at a price point that is most effective for your situation. If you’d like to know more about how leasing can positively impact your costs of ownership and increase your company’s productivity, simply click here and reach out to us to find out more.