Buying a truck with the right specifications

Content provided by a guest contributor.

Buying a truck for your business is no negligible expense, never mind buying a whole fleet of trucks. Therefore you want to make sure you get the best truck for the job.  If you get the specifications right from the beginning your vehicle will be more fuel-efficient and ­provide maximum reliability.

Here are the most important pieces of information to talk to your truck dealer about.

The types of loads you will carry

The type of load your truck carries determines specifications like suspension type, number of axles, chassis dimensions, rear axle and engine size. By optimising the payload capacity of your truck you can maximise the income it generates for your business.

For instance, heavy or dense loads generally require more tough components like leaf suspensions and strong chassis frames. The vehicle weight should then also be minimised to get maximum payload in tonnes. On the other hand, lighter or vibration-sensitive goods like fresh fruits do well with the features offered by air suspension.

The location you’re driving

Tell your dealer where your truck will be driving so that you can be sure that it will comply with the region’s emission legislation and weight and dimension restrictions. You could also then benefit from operating a truck that has a service network in place along its route.

The conditions you’ll face

Your truck should be able to face any normal driving conditions that would come its way, but some trucks are more optimal for certain conditions than others.  For instance, if your truck’s route consists of a lot of hills but its engine is under-powered, the driver will have to change gear more often, while also driving with engine revs outside the economy range to maintain speed. The result is increased fuel consumption and unnecessary wear and tear on the driveline.

Further, some truck models are adapted with a selection of components that make it suitable for high altitudes or extreme climatic conditions.

The financial control you can get

There are several ways in which your dealer can help you take control of the total operating costs associated with your truck. This includes optimising the capacity of your vehicle, making it as fuel-efficient as possible, and having a professionally optimised driveline, chassis and suspension to help minimise operating costs. You can also speak to your dealer about the suitability of outsourcing your fleet management services.

Additionally, planned service schedules can help extend the service life of a truck, while maximising uptime and preventing unplanned stoppages. The dealer can also provide your drivers with all the training they need so that they can operate the truck as efficiently and safely as possible.


The content in this article was provided by WesBank – a leading Vehicle and Asset Finance provider and part of one of the largest financial services groups in Africa. WesBank is a division of FirstRand Bank Limited.

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Tel: 0861 922 677


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