As a contractor, you need to make sure you have all the right tools and equipment to handle various jobs. Of course, the most important piece of equipment you can rely on is your pickup truck. A pickup truck allows you to haul various materials to and from different locations. As a contractor, you likely put your truck through a lot of abuse. Fortunately, there are ways to make your truck more efficient, so you can tackle just about any side job that comes your way.
Haul More than Before
Now that construction is bouncing back after a decades-long slump, contractors are finding that pickup truck purchases are their best option for hauling various workloads. In fact, contractors accounted for a little more than 51% of all new pickup truck purchases during the first half of 2013.
As a contractor, you need to focus on ensuring that your truck is capable of handling various workloads to make you more competitive. Unfortunately, the bed of your truck limits your ability to haul certain items to and from a work site. Fortunately, you can increase your hauling capacity by extending the bed of your truck.
Truck bed extenders allow you to carry longer items. For example, perhaps you need to haul boards for a carpentry job, but your truck bed just isn't long enough. A truck bed extender allows you to leave the tailgate of your truck down, therefore allowing you to haul longer items and materials.
You can attach the extender to the end of your truck bed so that it acts as a tailgate when your tailgate is down. Thanks to the added length, you can now haul larger, longer loads to and from jobs. Now that you can handle larger, longer loads, you can pick up jobs that you couldn't before.
Improve Your Shocks and Struts
The shocks and struts on your truck enable you to haul heavy loads without damaging your truck. Upgrading your shocks and struts allows your truck to handle heavier load hauls.
If you decide not to upgrade your shocks and struts, you should at least have them replaced as soon as you notice a problem. If you continue to haul loads even when the shocks and struts are broken, you could damage your truck.
Signs that your shocks and struts are broken may include grinding noises, particularly when you go over rough bumps in the road. Shocks and struts are meant to reduce the "bounce" of your vehicle when you drive over rough surfaces. The bounce in your vehicle may worsen if you are hauling a heavy load, so ask a professional about upgrades to make your truck more efficient.
Upgrade Your Truck's Horsepower
You should certainly improve your truck's horsepower in order to improve fuel efficiency. If you are a contractor, you are likely driving a larger sized pickup truck to help handle large loads. Although several models are available with plenty of horsepower, improving your horsepower can allow you to travel farther on less gas.
When it comes to fuel efficiency, the drive axles, engine, and transmission are some of the biggest factors to consider. Although cylinder count can also factor into fuel efficiency, horsepower can make a big difference.
Larger trucks with smaller engines will burn more fuel than larger trucks with large engines. That is because the small engine strains to get the larger truck moving. Furthermore, transmissions with more gears can also improve fuel efficiency. Therefore, a six-speed will output greater fuel efficiency than a four-speed.
Make sure you upgrade your horsepower in order to handle driving long distances to and from jobs. Even if you are not driving long distances, driving short distances back and forth between job locations, supply stores and home with inefficient power can eventually rack up fuel costs.