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Chassis-Mounted Auxiliary EquipmentA number of trends are influencing chassis-mounted auxiliary equipment by commercial truck fleets, ranging from fuel efficiency, telematics and wireless tools to lead time and equipment refurbishment. Here are the top reasons fleets are adopting this spec:
A major trend with truck auxiliary equipment is the push for increased fuel efficiency in an attempt to decrease overall operating costs. Large gains are being made in both fuel economy and environmental sustainability by spec'ing auxiliary equipment for weight reduction, improved packaging and the increased use of APUs.
Fleet telematics applications have increased exponentially in recent years. The telematics industry is an invaluable partner in providing fleet operators with real-time information that assists them in doing their jobs. The devices provide cost savings by developing downloadable data such as driver habits, accident prevention and fuel usage.
Increased Lead Times
As the demand and growth of commercial trucks increases, the percentage of upfit vehicles is growing, which creates backlogs and delays in order-to-delivery time. Few OEM and auxiliary equipment manufactures have added capacity to meet these demands. Shop floors and systems are being challenged with heavy order volumes, and lead times are growing as many firms absorb the increases.
A big industry trend is the refurbishment of auxiliary equipment and the re-usage of existing service bodies and equipment for a customized or specific job. Fleets invest a large amount of time and resources to create upfits and equipment that fulfill the needs of drivers. Often, the cost of the equipment exceeds the cost of the chassis. The value lies in the ability to get the equipment to the jobsite. It's easier to sell a cab and chassis than finding a buyer for specialty equipment. Because of this, refurbishing and refitting equipment when it's time to cycle the chassis is often preferred.
More companies provide laptops to employees. As a result, fleets are providing upfit technology so drivers can do their job on the road and still connect back to home base. With the need to supply a constant source of energy, the wireless tools provide a constant communication link.
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