There's on-going debate over which type of vehicle is best for a contractor or fleet vehicle. Contractor website toolsofthetrade regularly surveys business owners to find out what they're driving. A standard pickup is the vehicle of choice for 40 percent. Standard vans are used by another 18 percent. Thirty-six percent use a trailer, cube van, or a pickup with a service body. River City Auto Body respects that this isn't just your point-A-to-point-B mode of transporting equipment……it's a rolling advertisement.
As an ad, the condition of the vehicle says a lot about the condition of the business. Remember the TV sitcom, 'Sanford and Son?' That was one beat-up pickup: Fred, Lamont, Grady, Rollo, and Bubba were some beat-up sketchy characters. That isn't to say a beater truck is always going to be driven by deadbeat contractors, however the service vehicle is often the first – or only – visible advertisement for contractors. Make it count.
Four things to consider:1) Repair damage immediately. With the amount of miles a typical local business puts on a vehicle, collisions are always a risk. When you have collision damage that's unrepaired, consider how many people see your name next to the dent or scrape every mile it rolls down the road.
2) Elements and acid-rain deteriorate the image. Many times the service vehicle has to be stored outdoors all year due to its size compared to a standard height (or width) garage door. Wisconsin's climate isn't kind to your advertisement.
3) More aluminum is being used today than ever before. Check out the River City Auto Body archive on aluminum frames and body panels. These require specific certification to be repaired and repainted properly.
4) Taller service vans are growing in popularity. Dodge's Ram ProMaster and Ford's Transit are just two of the dozen vehicles on the market specifically for business owners. First, consider these are taller and you will need a repair business with the extra-tall paint bays needed to accommodate the size. (River City Auto Body can accommodate any vehicle, BTW.) Second, some of these vehicles are now coming into their second owners: If you're that second owner, do you want the old business's paint scheme? You'd only be advertising their business, not yours. Even when you peel off the old decals, the climate changed the paint around the old logo. Start fresh. It's your ad.
Photo by A Ancu, used with permission.