In an ideal world, ISP contractors would have the time to travel to a certified step van dealer around the country and test drive several truck options. The reality of the situation is that when the contractor goes out in search of a replacement or new step van, the need is immediate. Time doesn’t appear to be a luxury of contractors, as they are juggling all aspects of the business, and purchasing new fleet step vans is typically not the most exciting aspect of the job. However, dealers like MAG Trucks, offer customer service and expertise that make the process easy to purchase a new or used step van.
When you have a knowledgeable team that is working to save you money, offer the highest level of customer service, and secure a superior warranty, you have a sense of security and affirmation that you’re making the right decision. We have compiled a list of questions, aside from price, that are repeatedly asked by ISP contractors when you can’t see the trucks first-hand.
Question #1: What size of step van do I need to run the fleet as efficiently as possible?
Step vans range in size from 12 feet to 26 feet, however, the most common size for IPS contractors is between 18 and 22 feet. The length requirements can vary based on several factors, including:
- Route size
- Are you able to hold all shipments for the entire day within the truck without restocking the truck mid-day?
- City vs. county/rural driving
- If you are commonly running routes in the city, the smaller and more compact the truck size, the better.
- Having a truck that is 14-16 feet will be easier to maneuver in traffic compared to one that is 22-feet. Not only will be it be easier to park in the city, but you will most likely be running shorter routes which equate to less cargo space in your step van.
- If you aren’t driving in the city and you are traveling long distances with your truck you will probably want to consider an 18-22 ft. step van. It will allow for more cargo space on deliveries.
- Business and fleet growth
- Do you plan to expand the routes or swap trucks to ensure you're the most efficient? Consider if this new truck went to another route... would it still be the most efficient truck?
Question #2: What should an ISP truck have installed before hitting the route?
Each step van listed for sale has a slightly different description of what's included in the purchase price, so as a consumer you should be aware of what exactly you're getting. Some include new paint, custom shelving, and a back-up camera, while others are essentially the shell of the step van. If your dealer (or seller) does not include a standard list of equipment, you will find the costs of refurbishing to increase quickly and expensively. Here is a basic equipment list that MAG Trucks uses for their step vans.
Shelving is great if you need an organization within your truck. Installing shelves in your truck to store your packages, tools, and other items eliminates stacking your items on the floor of your truck. A lot of delivery trucks have shelving in them, but if your current trucks don't have shelves it would be something to consider. If you are looking to purchase new step vans visit www.magtrucks.com and see our inventory. We can install the shelves in the trucks for you, or we might have some trucks with shelves already in them.
AIR CONDITIONING AND FANS
Delivery drivers can get hot while they are on their route. Summer can be brutal in many areas and when drivers get how they tend to work slower. Air conditioning is already installed in many step vans but it will cost you a bit more. If air conditioning is not a priority to you, or your summers are not as brutal as other areas, fans would be a good option. Fans can be installed in the truck that aims towards that driver, which will keep the driver cool during their delivery route.
BACK-UP CAMERAS AND SENSORS
Step vans do not have a rear-view mirror, and that can make backing up difficult. Installing backup cameras will make it easier on your driver and it will help prevent them from backing into something that is behind them. Not only will backup cameras help your driver but adding sensors for backing-up will help too. Sensors will alert the driver if they are too close to something and they will know when to put on the breaks. Having a backup camera and sensors in your delivery trucks can immensely help your drivers and help prevent accidents to your trucks.
Life Gates, Ramps, and Dollies
Often deliveries are heavy and after doing several deliveries it can become exhausting with heavy items. Your driver may slow down on delivery time if they are lifting extremely heavy items throughout the day. Adding a lift gate to the rear of your step van can assist the driver with getting items out of the truck in a more efficient way. Also, adding ramps into your step vans can help the driver get into the truck and get the items in and out of the truck. Along with a lift gate and ramp, ensuring there is a dolly in all of your step vans can be extremely beneficial to the driver. They can get more items to the door quicker and easier. When adding these accessories to your truck it is important to remember that they will help your driver in the long-run and can increase the number of deliverers that can be done in a day.
Question #3: Is the step van DOT inspected?
From custom shelving, white paint, and graphics to engine and transmission repairs, MAG has provided reliable and affordable step vans to hundreds of contractors across the nation. Being DOT certified means that there are no mechanical safety issues with your truck. Not all sellers have the production and manufacturing facility to bring used step vans up to DOT standards. MAG Trucks will fix anything that is preventing the step van from being DOT certified before we sell the truck. This will eliminate headaches and unexpected expenses in the future.
Question #4: How long is the delivery time?
Not all step van dealers have inventory on their lots, ready to be shipped. MAG Trucks is one of the few nationwide dealers to have a lot of new and used step vans, refurbished to meet ISP standards, ready to join your fleet. MAG is located in Kansas City, MO, and delivers nationwide within 14 - 21 days. The turnaround time is very quick because MAG has an in-house fabrication team to complete all required modifications before hitting the road. Check out the inventory here.
Question #5: Does the step van offer a warranty?
One of the most important questions to consider when purchasing a step van is the warranty. If the step van is being sold by an individual or private seller, it probably doesn't have a warranty. However, if the step van is being sold by a dealer, like MAG Trucks, it can carry a warranty. Be sure to ask for the details of that warranty!
We hope you have found these Questions to Ask a Step Van Dealer When You Can’t See the Trucks First-Hand helpful. If you have specific questions, feel free to reach out to MAG's team at 800-888-4614.