Do you remember your first work truck? No matter the make, model, or age, there is just something about a work truck. Ever since I started out being a contractor, I found out very quickly it is VERY important to have a personal vehicle separate from the work truck. Many people use their vehicle for work (absolutely nothing wrong with that), but you don’t want to bring your wife to a nice dinner date night with squeegees and wet towels in the back seat. Besides the person operating the truck, it’s the most valuable thing in the business. Yes, a receptionist is nice. One or 2 sales guys help the company, but the tech driving the work truck brings in the dough.
“Besides the truck being wrapped or having brand new tires and gas in the tank, ARE YOUR WORK TRUCKS READY? Ready for the busy season? Ready for an up-sell? Ready to tackle another job you didn’t have on the schedule?”
I’m going to sound like a broken record once again BUT companies are run on systems. A checklist goes a long way on our work trucks; checklists on checking the tire pressure, oil levels, straps to strap down the ladder, etc. Also, you need some checklists of every “layer” if you may think of equipment. What services do you offer? We offer full exterior cleaning, so we need to make sure we have (gas cans full, all ladders on the rack, extra rubber, towels, ETC.) I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten to a job and was out of steel wool, didn’t wash towels the night before so I didn’t have enough clean towels, or didn’t have trash bags for the gutter cleaning.
Whatever the case may be, you CAN NOT be a functioning business and be unprepared simultaneously; they go hand in hand.
We like to keep extra work shirts, extra hats, and pre-loaded cards for any expenses the tech needs in the field. There is no reason whatsoever not to be prepared for the day. Do you do paper invoices? Make sure to have the invoices, pens, business cards, fridge magnets, whatever you need for the customer at the end of the Job. Make sure the tablets are charged for credit card purchases. We like to make sure the trucks are CLEAN once a week. After the day is done, we make sure every tech takes out all the trash from the inside and outside of the cab. I’ve always heard it said you couldn’t be a cleaning service and roll up to the job site looking like a dumpster. Plus, before everyone leaves the shop, there needs to be a deep clean and wash at the end of the week.
A big thing that goes a long way with us is having a spreadsheet of what tools go on what truck, and every tool has a specific spot on the truck. If you have a fleet, it helps to have every truck fitted out to handle every service that you offer. Like anything else, if you have a place for your tools and put them back where they belong when you are done using them, you will know if there isn’t something in its place, it is missing, or you are out. That leads to another great topic, If you see you are running low on soap, rubber, trash bags ETC that is the time you order it, not when you run out.
The way you set up your trucks will speak volumes to your employees. No one wants to work for a company with hand-me-down equipment and rust bucket trucks. If you have the correct systems in place for your techs to succeed, your company will grow quickly. Or you can keep running a one-man show operation. Either way, you want to make sure your trucks are set up to run every day, all day in the busy season, be ready for any up-sell that comes your way, or be able to tackle a last-minute job on the way back to the shop. Day-to-day operations become so much easier when you have to think about doing the Job.
If your truck is set up for success, so are you!
-By Austin Grubbs