Talking Shop Trucks

May 5, 2010

During spring cleaning this year, my neighbor really helped me out by offering to take a big load of junk to the Dumpster at the rent-all company he manages.

As we were loading my old sink and some other items into the bed, he told me a little about the advantages of having a shop truck. And while I’m not sure if helping your neighbor move a bunch of heavy stuff on the weekend counts as a plus or a minus, it got me thinking about business vehicles and what they might do for a local speed shop.

The costs of owning a shop truck jump immediately to mind. Not only do you have to buy or lease the truck and insure it, there’s also licensing, maintenance and repairs, gas, cleaning, parking and the hundreds of other little expenses that come with vehicle ownership.

But, as my neighbor pointed out, there are a lot of things to like about it as well. And since our June 2010 issue includes an article on truck performance, it makes sense to list a few of them for anyone out there considering a shop truck for their business.

Rolling Billboard. From small door signs to partial and full vehicle wraps, there are lots of ways to get your shop noticed while driving around town or just parked out front. And most of the signage can be easily removed, should you decide to sell the truck or repurpose it.

Product Display. What fun is a shop truck if you don’t outfit it with the latest aftermarket goodies? Many shop truck owners recommend installing your top-selling items and then taking customers outside and lifting the hood-or even taking a test drive-when they have questions about these particular items.

“Building a shop truck is a great way to show the work your shop is capable of doing,” notes Tim Stewart of K&N Filters.

Keep On Truckin’. Whether it’s a special delivery, a run to the parts store or shuttling a customer to work for the day, it’s a truck, so use it. Just be sure whoever is driving follows the rules of the road-after all, your name and contact info is right there!

Support Vehicle. Shop trucks allow you to have a presence onsite at events such as cruises, celebrations and local races, with the ability to haul tools, products or other items to provide basic services.

Says Brian McNamara of Motovicity Distribution in a recent Club Racing article: “Get out to the races and market yourself and your business; get involved.” A shop truck will help you do that.

So, if your business is in position, adding a work truck allows you to increase your visibility and service capabilities. Although, I suggest that if you see your neighbor piling a bunch of trash on the side of his house, you either leave it at the shop or park it in the garage!

Does your business have a shop truck? Is it a blessing or a curse? I’d love to hear your thoughts and maybe even run some photos of the best shop trucks out there. Email me at jwhite@nbm.com.