Do you run a landscaping company that helps clients to create custom landscapes? Investing in a fleet of trucks can offer your business many benefits. For example, it can increase your organization’s efficiency and productivity, improve service delivery, and reduce transportation costs. Unfortunately, building a fleet of vehicles for your business is difficult and can get overwhelming quickly. Luck for you; below is all the information you need to create and manage your landscaping vehicles.
Determine the Type of Vehicles You Need
One of the top tips when building a truck fleet for your custom landscapes business is to decide the type of vehicles you need. After all, there are many vehicles that you could purchase, but not all of them will benefit you. Of course, the type of vehicles to invest in will depend on the nature of your business, so you need to invest in suitable trucks for your business needs.
For a landscaping company, transportation trucks are one of the top types of vehicles you can invest in when building a fleet. These can be useful in moving materials, for example, gravel delivery to job sites. They can also come in handy for hauling landscaping tools and equipment or even carrying materials, equipment, and other items from suppliers to your office.
Utility trucks are another excellent idea when investing in a fleet for your landscaping business. These vehicles are versatile and thus can be used in various ways, from employees’ movement to hauling equipment and supplies. They can also be fitted with attachments to perform specific landscaping tasks like plowing snow, spraying a garden, or irrigation installation.
Lastly, you can invest in special-purpose trucks for your landscaping business. For example, you can purchase a dump truck (for debris removal), a grapple saw truck (for tree care), or a gravel dredging truck. Of course, these vehicles are an expensive investment and might not be very versatile, so you must be sure that your company needs them.
Decide Between Purchasing and Renting
Purchasing or renting is another vital decision when creating a truck fleet for your custom landscapes company. Of course, this decision will mostly be affected by the available budget. However, both options have several pros and cons that your business needs to consider carefully.
Buying trucks when building a vehicle fleet for your landscaping business can offer many benefits. This includes full control of the vehicle, the ability to customize it, and fewer restrictions on how to use it. However, on the downside, it does have a high initial investment, which can limit the number of vehicles you can purchase if your budget is limited.
However, according to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, you can invest in used trucks for your business. This can offer you all the benefits of buying a business vehicle but with fewer financial constraints. However, you should be careful not to purchase a faulty second-hand vehicle with high repairs and maintenance costs or a short lifespan.
Lastly, you could lease the vehicles your landscape business needs from a truck rental company instead of buying them. Leasing will have lower initial costs, so it will help your business to preserve capital or invest in a larger fleet. In addition, you can get new vehicles that are efficient and have fewer repair and maintenance costs. Unfortunately, since you’re renting the trucks, you won’t have much control over them, especially in terms of customization.
Invest in Fleet Maintenance Services
Your truck fleet is one of the most vital assets for your custom landscapes company. Therefore, you must invest in fleet maintenance solutions to keep your vehicles in good condition. This will save you from constant breakdowns that are costly to fix and which can interrupt your business operations, leading to losses. In addition, according to WeeklySafety, it helps keep your employees safe by preventing workplace accidents.
One of the top ways to maintain your vehicle is to invest in auto repairs and maintenance. For the best result, you can choose a single auto mechanic shop where you can take your trucks for routine service or repairs in the event of a breakdown. You can also invest in more solutions like roadside assistance or a tow truck service; these can help to rescue your trucks if they break down on the road or at a job site.
Employee accountability is another top way to maintain the perfect condition of your landscaping truck fleet. For example, drivers should ensure their assigned vehicles are in top shape and promptly report any issues. They should also perform routine maintenance tasks such as checking tire pressure & engine oil and keeping the car clean.
Keeping up with routine maintenance can be tricky if you operate a large truck fleet. Therefore, another excellent idea is to hire a fleet manager to stay on top of each truck’s maintenance schedule. They can also supervise your drivers, thus ensuring more accountability in using and maintaining your business vehicles.
Install the Necessary Landscaping Equipment
Equipment is just as important when creating a fleet of trucks for your custom landscapes business. Therefore, after purchasing or leasing your vehicles, you’ll need to equip each one with the necessary tools and equipment. This will ensure your employees have all the essential tools to do their job, improving efficiency and productivity.
Like with trucks, the equipment you need will depend on the nature of your business. For example, if you offer lawn care services, you’ll require lawn mowers, trimmers, shovels, rakes, sprayers, etc. On the other hand, if you’re a landscaping supplier, you will need tools like loaders and hydraulic lifts.
Depending on your budget, you can invest in specific equipment for each vehicle. For example, if you run a lawn care company, you can ensure each truck has its equipment. This will prevent a situation where your employees arrive at a job site and start looking for tools, leading to delays and poor customer service.
Lastly, you must also invest in proper landscaping equipment maintenance to reduce costly breakdowns. Maintenance, for example, cleaning and oiling, helps to keep your equipment looking good, which portrays a professional business image to your clients. In addition, according to OSHA, landscaping equipment, especially power tools, could pose several hazards to your employee. Maintaining them is one of the top ways to mitigate these hazards, thus keeping your staff safe.
Invest in Fleet Management Services
Keeping track of one or a few company vehicles can be easy. However, as your fleet of trucks grows, you might have a harder time managing them, which can severely affect the efficiency, productivity, and service delivery of your custom landscapes business. So, to avoid this, you should invest in fleet management solutions for your trucks.
You can invest in several fleet management solutions for your landscape trucks. At the very least, your vehicles should have a GPS unit, allowing you to track where they are. Other excellent ideas include fuel management systems, driver monitoring software, fleet alerts (speed, temperature, maintenance schedules, etc.), and smart routing software.
Investing in fleet management systems can offer your landscaping company many benefits. For example, according to Business News Daily, it’s one of the top ways to lower vehicle maintenance costs. This is because it allows you to easily keep track of things like fuel usage, distance covered, and routine maintenance, which can result in high overhead costs if not properly monitored.
Fleet management systems can also improve your landscaping company’s efficiency. For example, say your business operates landscape nurseries, and you have multiple crews working in the field. In this case, you can use GPS tracking and fleet routing systems to reduce the time it takes to move from one job site to another. You can also keep track of each crew’s activity and redeploy them to other job sites if they’re idle.
Prioritize the Safety of Your Trucks
According to Business Yield, an accident involving one of your company vehicles can have severe consequences. For example, it can affect your operations, lead to expensive payouts in compensation, hike your insurance rates, and damage your business’ reputation. Therefore, investing in safety is another top tip for building a fleet of trucks for your custom landscapes company.
One of the top ways to prioritize the safety of your business vehicles is to institute a strict safe driving policy. This should start with comprehensive driver education to ensure employees know the required safety standards and protocols when operating company trucks. Then, you should monitor, punish, and record safety violations like speed, distracted driving, not using seatbelts, driving under the influence, etc.
You can also invest in several other safety protocols to protect your fleet, employees, and company image. For example, strictly following routine maintenance schedules will ensure you don’t have unroadworthy vehicles that can cause accidents. In addition, you can use driver monitoring technology to deter reckless driving or warn you when it happens so that you can intervene in time.
Unfortunately, even with the best precautions, your custom landscapes business vehicles can still be involved in an accident. Therefore, you must take proactive measures to protect your business from such an eventuality. For example, you should ensure that your vehicle and business are fully covered, thus saving you from having to cover any payments using company funds. In addition, you should retain a good truck accident attorney to protect the interests of your business in the event of an accident.
Regular Inspections for Your Trucks
Regular inspections are another vital aspect of building a reliable fleet of trucks for your custom landscapes business. First, the inspections help detect vehicle issues, allowing you to fix them before they lead to costly repairs or, worse, accidents. Secondly, according to the Department of Transportation, all commercial vehicles must undergo periodic inspections. Therefore, having your trucks inspected ensures that you comply with DOT regulations.
When creating a fleet inspection policy for your company, you should ensure that each truck is inspected at least once yearly. This is the mandated DOT requirement; thus, it will help you avoid fines for compliance violations. However, depending on usage, you could also have your vehicles inspected more frequently. Consequently, this will help you detect and fix any issue that can prove problematic when your trucks are on the road.
Besides the routine inspection, your drivers must perform daily inspections on their assigned trucks. For example, before leaving the office, a driver should check the tire pressure & treads, engine oil level, brakes, lights, mirrors, etc. This will help ensure the vehicle is in safe working condition before getting on the road.
Lastly, you should invest in regular inspections for your landscape company’s equipment. The check should cover all your company’s tools and accessories, from lawnmowers to power tools and commercial garden irrigation equipment. This will help to ensure that your business assets are safe to use and all accounted for, thus saving you from expensive damages or losses.
Brand Your Landscaping Trucks
According to Chron, business vehicles offer an excellent opportunity for promoting your organization. Therefore, you should take advantage of this when building a fleet for your custom landscapes business by branding your trucks. Consequently, your company will enjoy free advertising, which can help to generate many leads.
You can use several tips when branding your company truck to increase audience targeting. For example, you should ensure that your business’ name is conspicuous and readable and paint your vehicles in the company’s colors for easier brand recognition. In addition, you should include your company’s contact details so potential customers can reach you.
When branding your vehicles, you can also include the services you offer. For example, as a landscaping contractor, you can list your main landscaping solutions. This will help potential customers to know what services they can call you for.
Lastly, when branding your vehicle, you should understand that it can also bring negative attention. For example, reckless driving, dirty cars, or trucks spewing black smoke can harm your business image. In addition, according to Automotive Fleet, branding your vehicles could put them at an increased risk of stage-managed crashes. Therefore, you need to be aware of these risks before using your fleet of trucks for advertising.
Are you looking to purchase vehicles for your custom landscapes business? The above is all the information you need to create a reliable fleet of trucks. Consequently, this can provide many benefits to your company, including improved efficiency and productivity, brand promotion, and better customer service, leading to a bigger bottom line.