Step 1 - Think about your needs - know your business, know your truck

What does my truck need to do?

Before visiting a truck dealer, try to answer the following questions:

What type of load do you need to carry?

e.g. aggregates (sand, gravel), boxes and loose cargo, bulky and unwieldy cargo, pallets—The type of body your truck needs can play a big part in economy. Buying a truck with a body that is larger than you need will result in wasted fuel.

How much do you need to carry?

e.g. maximum load either in weight or volume and where you need to position it on the truck—Overloading a truck will make it struggle, use a lot of fuel, and wear it out faster. To make sure it lasts, your truck needs to be up to the task.

Photo of Truck

What types of roads will you drive on?

e.g. suburban streets, freeways, rural roads, off-road, or a mixture—Power and gearing of different trucks will be suited to different types of driving. Get the best out of your truck by choosing one that is right for the types of roads you mostly drive on.

How much fuel do you use?

How many kilometres do you usually travel on a tank of fuel?—Fuel costs, especially these days, are a big part of the long term cost of a truck. Small advantages in economy can add up quickly if you do a lot of driving.

Hot Tip: If you have trouble answering any of the above questions, try writing down some of your basic travel details over a week of your normal business driving. Each day write down where you travelled, what loads you carried and which routes you took. Make a note of how far you travel on a tank of fuel. Use these details when you speak to a truck dealer as they will probably ask you to describe a ‘typical’ working day or week.

Click on one of the case studies to see examples of how business needs should guide truck choice.

Before you move to the next step, make sure you:

  • Understand the type and amount of load you need to carry—average, high and low weights or volumes
  • Think about the types of roads will you drive on
  • Understand how much fuel you currently use