If you need to add heavy-duty trucks to your fleet, you could be waiting a long time. Trucks that would normally have a 90-day delivery time may now not arrive until spring 2019.
In this article, we’ll share what you can do about this situation, plus provide tips to keep your fleet operational, no matter what.
HOW TO WORK WITH THE DELAY AND KEEP YOUR FLEET OPERATING
When you order from the factory, 2500, 3500 (or three-quarter and one-ton) trucks usually have a 90-day delivery date. But recently, order times have been limited because demand has increased in the US. As a result, delivery times are delayed.
What does this mean for you?
If you need new trucks in Q1, and you haven’t got your order in yet, put it in now. Doing so will give you the highest priority possible, given the circumstances. You can order vehicles through a fleet management company, or through a dealership. It’s not possible to approach a factory directly.
The good news is, if you order now, half-ton or light-duty trucks can still be delivered in Q1 2019. However, three-quarter and one-ton trucks—no matter the brand—won’t be delivered before May 2019.
So what can you do to keep your fleet running smoothly?
Keep an open mind to alternative options, in case you don’t get the trucks you need on time.
These could include:
extending the use of vehicles you have
renting vehicles, or
using a less perfectly-suited vehicle temporarily.
Some Tips on Planning
It’s always wise to place orders in advance and September is the start of the new automotive model year. Since the normal time for an order to arrive is 90 days, always plan ahead of your required start dates.
Before September of each year, get a plan in place to project which vehicles you’ll need. Look at your expansion plans and replacement cycle. You can then order ahead of production and to get the best opportunity for vehicle supply. Projecting your order volume accurately will also help you get the most out of fleet discounts.
If you don’t get your order in early, you can still generally order trucks up until the following spring. Orders are accepted until the manufacturers begin their build out. Every year, they announce the build out final order date, so you’ll be able to plan in advance.
A fleet management company (FMC) can help you plan effectively for the entire year. For example, they can help you plan for the vehicles you’ll need to order 10 months from now.
The FMC can then place the order today, a process which is called a delayed build. That way, you can be sure you’ll get the vehicles you need, exactly when you need them.
Thankfully, this delay in truck delivery times is a temporary situation. Once there is a resolution to supply, delivery times will improve.
In the meantime, put orders in as soon as possible, and then consider options to help keep your fleet operational, including renting, or making the most of the vehicles you already have.
If you’re ready, get in touch with a fleet management company, which will help you navigate the ordering process and get the best prices on the vehicles you need.
Using factory ordering as a planning tool can greatly improve your business. You’ll always save by selecting the right equipment over retail inventory, and you’ll be able to plan your projects with more confidence.
Authored by Jim Skalk
Download Factory Ordering: Purchase the Options Your Fleet Requires, For Less. It will help you learn how to plan your factory ordering for maximum savings.