In our last article, we looked at three top trends in truck upfitting: enhancing safety and productivity, lightweight equipment, and increasing use of telematics. Today, we’ll look at three more important trends to keep an eye on as you plan your upfit.
4. LED Lighting
There has been a dramatic increase in the use of LED lighting on upfits. LED draws much less current from the electrical components in a vehicle, has a much longer service life, and has a much better lighting capacity, which is of the utmost importance in public safety vehicles.
Whelen light bars are the ultimate in LED lighting sources for any type of upfit. The Legacy DUO+ Super-LED WeCan Lightbar is a favorite among all types of first responders for the clarity, super bright lights, and low profile that requires very little service and lasts a vehicle’s lifetime.
The new trend in LED lighting has driven spotlight manufacturers to get in on the additional business with LED spotlights for the right amount of light in any situation. Complete LED lighting packages on a truck upfit may include LED lighting for your four-corner lights, rear deck lights, and grill lights for great visibility by the public from all angles in the dark of night. These types of lights keep your vehicles and their drivers and passengers safe.
5. Smaller Chassis
Fleet managers are moving to a smaller chassis, often referred to as “rightsizing” the fleet. It takes some time to do the research involved and make certain that your fleet vehicles will still be able to perform at their maximum capacity, but the upftting benefits of rightsizing are many.
A smaller chassis translates into a lower overall vehicle weight, reducing fuel costs by increasing MPG on each fleet vehicle. Choosing a smaller chassis also increases the life of the fleet vehicles, creating substantial savings in vehicle replacement. With the volatility of the oil market, it’s best to be prepared for price increases by keeping your fleet as fuel efficient as possible.
Instead of a steel chassis, you can choose a lighter weight aluminum structure. Aluminum’s natural properties allow it to flex and bend easily under a load while still maintaining the integrity of the undercarriage and being dependable in highly corrosive environments, such as on icy roads covered in salt. Some lightweight components can flex up to 33 degrees on center without damage, which can extend their life cycle. This would make a lot of wear and tear on a steel counterpart.
More lightweight steel, aluminum, and composites are expected to be entering the upfit market in the future.
6. Better Battery
A common problem many public safety departments face is vehicle batteries dying on the job. Batteries must be powerful enough to withstand hard and volatile use in the field. While on a call, the driver may turn off the vehicle’s engine but still need to utilize auxiliary accessories that draw power from the vehicle’s battery. The battery must be powerful enough to last, but many are not. For conventional starting, lighting, and ignition batteries, frequent, deep discharges will shorten the battery’s life, requiring jumpstarting on the field and frequent replacement, which is not only inconvenient, but can be costly and detrimental in emergency situations.
Consider the ODYSSEY 12V—a heavy-duty commercial battery designed specifically for fleet vehicles. It’s a drycell battery with deep cycling capabilities, built with the reserve power to run on-board accessories while the engine is turned off without shortening the vehicle’s battery life.
Are you interested in upfitting your fleet with the latest features for enhancing safety, productivity, efficiency, and more? Click below to get a quote.