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Setting Up Your Work Vehicle

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A five-step guide from Flexiglass
Flexiglass provides tradie vehicle accessories and upgrades, fitment and delivery services and top-notch support to commercial clients across Australia. Reach out to our team today or pay us a visit at our locations in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland.

As a tradie, you rely on your work vehicle. You need a vehicle that’s tough enough to handle everything life and work throws your way, but also comfortable and efficient enough to support you and your business for years to come. Take a look at Flexiglass’ five-step guide to getting your work vehicle set up right.

    The first step is to choose the type of vehicle that best suits your purposes. There are a number of different elements at play here, and you need to consider all of them together if you are to make the right choice. Some of the things to consider are budget, durability and comfort, reliability, efficiency and job-specific needs. What will you be carrying? Do you need to customise your vehicle to meet any load-specific needs? Factor these things into your choice so you select a vehicle that meets all your requirements. Think about how you will advertise your business too, and how you want to apply this branding to your chosen vehicle.
    You need to decide which aftermarket supplier can:

• Offer a fair price for the accessories and equipment you need.
• Offer combination deals, such as ute trays and canopies together.
• Boast a strong track record of getting great results for their clients.
• Offer ongoing services and support.
• Guarantee the quality of the aftermarket products they provide.
• Sell products approved for commercial vehicles in your class.
• Show it’s an established organisation that will offer maintenance and spare parts long term.
• Show a strong online presence and customer service team, backed up with physical stores for convenience and reliability.

    What kind of equipment will you be adding to your vehicle? You may decide to add:

Canopies – will enable you to carry more materials and equipment in a safe and protected manner while also giving additional flexibility and security. A good quality canopy should offer a tough-built body and safety-glass windows, along with the ability to customise window configurations and add a range of optional accessories.
• Ute trays – will enable you to carry more materials and equipment but without being restricted in height. Key considerations should be weight and strength. A ute tray shouldn’t weigh down a vehicle, but should be strong enough to carry a heavy load.
• Bull bars – add versatility, and are designed to protect the vehicle and its passengers, but they also allow mounting other 4×4 vehicle safety accessories like radio aerials and lights.
• Roof racks – utilise an unused portion of the vehicle to carry a little extra. Additional storage is always useful.
• Lights – can extend your hours of service and maintain safe and effective standards of operation.
Anything else specific to your purposes.

    Your GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) is how much the vehicle will weigh when it is fully laden. It’s an important consideration.

Calculate the kinds of loads you will be carrying and then compare these against the specifications of the vehicle. Think about the ratings of the vehicle’s suspension and its axles. Ask the vehicle dealer about ma ximum weights and their effect on the vehicle’s braking or the load placed on the clutch, gearbox, engine and diff.

It’s also important to think about what kind of loads you will be towing. You will not be permitted by law to tow any loads that exceed the vehicle’s BTC (Brake Tow Capacity).

Finally, will you be towing heavy loads while the vehicle itself is fully laden? If so, you need to be aware of the GCM (Gross Combined Mass) rating. This value relates to the maximum mass you can load into your vehicle while also towing safely.

    With your vehicle selected, along with the accessories and addons you need to get the job done, your attention will to turn to fitment and delivery. Consider the following factors:

• Locality – work with a partner with a physical base in your area to make the delivery as timely and efficient as possible.
• The right relationship – your fitment and delivery partner needs to be prepared to work with you to help you to achieve a vehicle that suits your needs.
• Industry knowledge – your partner needs to understand your industry so they can apply their own skill and experience to your plans for the vehicle.
• Legal and regulatory compliance – only work with a qualified partner who can deliver you a vehicle in full compliance with all legal requirements and industry regulations.
• Long-term support – you may need additional work carried out, for example, if your needs change in the future. Work with a partner you can rely on to provide additional support as and when you need it.
• A solid reputation – check out reviews of the business you choose to work with, or speak to other figures in your industry to get a good idea of the organisation’s reputation.

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