Bought on a Hunch?

Keeping informed when spec'ing to cut construction fleet costs.

5 Consider life cycle costs. A vehicle that has been optimized for its intended application will provide the lowest overall cost of ownership over its lifetime when all factors are taken into consideration. The primary factors impacting life cycle costs are initial purchase price, long-term operating and maintenance costs, vehicle productivity and resale or salvage value. When evaluating the cost-to-benefit value for any component, a for-profit business should consider the time value of money and the impact of taxes on cash flow. This can be accomplished by using a basic after-tax net present value analysis.

"It's very important that fleet managers learn as much as they can about the various components that go into their work trucks, so they can make informed purchasing decisions," Johnson says. "One easy way to learn more is to attend The Work Truck Show®. Many trade shows display finished vehicles and vocation-specificonstruction equipment, but exhibitors at The Work Truck Show also exhibit all of the pieces and parts that go into and on the vehicles. This single show gives construction fleet managers and others a perfect opportunity to look at all of the parts and to talk directly to component suppliers."

There is also extensive information about specifying work trucks available on the "Fleet Manager" section of The Web site content includes a detailed eight-step vehicle specifying process.

The costs are too high to spec' vehicles based on gut instincts or to accept whatever components the upfitter wants to installthat are not optimized for the vehicle's application. By following these five specifying rules, construction fleet managers can keep expenses under control long-term.

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