This article on straight trucks is the second of a series of articles regarding used trucks in the food industry (See part 1).
This second article will cover “straight trucks”, sometimes known as “bobtails”, “parcel vans”, “cube vans”, “cube trucks”, “step vans”, or “box trucks” and their use by the different players within the food industry. By definition, these type trucks carry their cargo on the same chassis as the power unit and cab. These type trucks can be either “refrigerated” or “dry vans”, depending on the type of product.
Different manufacturers use different methods within the supply chain as described next.
Some manufacturers / distributors own or lease all of their trucks, hire or contract their own drivers, therefore maintaining complete control of the distribution and delivery process. And there are many variations of this process.
Other manufacturers / distributors own or lease very few units of the necessary delivery equipment required to move their products to the retail outlets.
Many manufacturers or distributors will use their own eighteen wheel truck and trailers to move their product to regional or local distribution centers. At this point, the product is picked up by the variations and sizes of “straight trucks” described above.
At this point, many independent contractors are used to take the product to the retail stores. A large amount of companies have arrangements with leasing companies to provide lease financing for independent contractors. This is a great help for an individual who desires to be in business for themselves, but may not have the needed credit or finances required to acquire a delivery truck that meets the requirements of the various food distributor companies.
Many times, after a contractor has leased a truck through a leasing company, and has learned more about the business, decides he likes the business, and has learned to manage his own business, he may take the next step of acquiring his own truck , with his own financing. Financing can be obtained through many dealers with relationships to commercial lenders.
At this point, he will be able to make more money from his route, due to taking more risk, providing his own truck, providing his own insurance, and truck maintenance. Most individuals will look for truck from a reputable dealer with a solid reputation for selling solid vehicles with a lot of life left in the vehicle. And of course, a solid service and maintenance facility to keep their investment in tip top running order. Remember, if your truck is broken down and in the shop, the route has to be serviced and the product delivered to the stores. Having to rent a truck can be very costly to your bottom line. And there is no such thing as not showing up.
Next time we will discuss the different types of trucks – Dry Van, Refrigerated trucks; i.e.; cold plate, ‘0’ degree, hotshot, etc.
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