If my past 5 years in the staging business has taught me anything, it has taught me that a good truck can can really boost the productivity in your business. Every business has different needs for trucking- some need to deliver items to customers directly, while others freight ship things via pallets to other companies on their own trucks. My guide is here to help you navigate some of the features and thoughts you need to consider before renting long term or leasing a box truck.
For business, the first thing I suggest you decide on is dock height. Do you or your suppliers have and use full height loading docks, or do you often deal with ground level loading or van height docks? If you frequent full height docks or move a lot of pallets, than a full-height truck is a no brainer! You can't move pallets down a ramp easily, by any means! However, if you often move product to ground level or aren't using pallets, you may not need a full height truck. Choose the size of truck that you need most often, keeping in mind that you can occasionally rent a larger truck if you need something larger once in a while.
With that said, it is also important to consider if you need a lift gate or a ramp on the back of the truck- or neither! Like I said above, if you are moving a lot of product via pallet, or many large items, you probably want a lift gate. When looking at a lift gate, know that all lift gates are not made equal. Some lift gates are larger than others so you can fit more on them, and some smaller gates actually tilt at the ground and can make wheeled items fall off- not good if you are a 1-man operation! When choosing a ramp, look at the ramp width, weight and versatility. You want to make sure that any hand cart or wheeled item you're using will fit up the ramp, and you may occasionally need to reverse the ramp from ground loading to dock loading if your truck isn't dock height.
Thinking of hand carts- if you're planning to move a lot of product with one, you'll want to purchase one, and a good one at that! If you don't have money at first for a Magliner- the "Rolls Royce" of handcarts, consider buying a well-built model that has pneumatic tires and a good handle. However, a good, aluminum Magliner is incredibly light and easy to maneuver. The tires can take bumps and the back is designed to take on steps and large curbs easily. If you are moving product for a living with a handcart, it is so worth it to get a good one!
So remember- when looking at trucks to rent, make sure to consider your situation and what you need. Remember to think about lift gates, ramps, hand carts and your size needs. Know that you can occasionally rent a larger truck when needed. Use these tips to boost efficiency and grow your business to the next level!