According to the U.S. government, the average commercial fleet van has a useful life of just under 5 years. For some government agencies, useful life is estimated in mileage instead, and here a 100,000 odometer reading is the benchmark.
But regardless of where your own fleet is in the use life cycle, you will want to be thinking about essential upgrades your fleet needs when the time comes. Learn about the six most essential upgrades in this post.
Upgrade #1: Comfort-centric amenities.
While they may not directly impact your bottom line, studies show that comfort-centric upgrades can affect your return on investment in other ways, including happier and more productive drivers and higher resale value on your used fleet vehicles.
Upgrade #2: Safety and security features.
Here again, you may not find a direct line to your bottom line, but you may very well realize savings on your business liability and fleet insurance as well as improvements in your used fleet’s resale value.
In the same category, fleet managers are giving greater scrutiny to crash-test ratings and match-ups between vehicle safety and corporate safety initiatives.
Upgrade #3: Upgrades to the engine.
A more powerful engine will serve your drivers well and will also translate to better returns when it is time to resell your fleet vehicles. This upgrade can produce better maneuverability and safety ratings for your drivers and up to a 100 percent increase in resale value.
Upgrade #4: Energy efficiency improvements.
Whether this comes in the form of converting to alternative fuels, hybrid engines or PEV(plug-in electric) vehicles or simply selecting modes with known improvements in fuel efficiency and gas mileage, your company itself is the big winner here.
You may pay a bit more on the front end, but the savings will start showing up monthly thereafter. And your reduced carbon footprint will give your marketing, public relations and community relations staff something to smile about on an ongoing basis.
Upgrade #5: Vehicle diversification.
Many fleet managers are focusing in on diversification within their fleet, opting for smaller or more compact trucks, minivans over SUVs, larger Euro vans over traditional western designs and AFVs (alternative fuel vehicles) with traditional fuel vehicles.
This move towards fleet diversification across industries provides a wider range of usefulness within the fleet as well as cost-cutting options where opportunities may present themselves.