Adding Medium Duty Trucks To Your Operation

Adding a medium duty line to your commercial truck operation is an excellent choice. Getting a medium duty franchise is not easy, but generally you can get it done. If you have a Ford dealership for example, adding the F650 and F750 to what you are selling should be fairly easy. If you are committed to success in commercial trucks, it will come. The LCF (Low Cab Forward) tilt-cab line is also a huge plus for the Ford dealer. If I had to choose, the LCF would absolutely be first. There are so many selling features for the LCF type truck.

Sometimes there are some politics that get in the way. You can overcome that in a number of ways. Can you imagine a factory seeing a dealer who is stocking about 40-50 upfitted light duty trucks and creating success in that market turning down that dealer for a medium duty franchise? It happened to me three times! Seriously. It was as if they were out of their minds. Nonetheless, I was committed. So I got the Isuzu franchise--twice! I was so glad I did.

The medium duty line did many things for my commercial operation. First, I felt like it "legitimized" my overall commercial operation. In the commercial market that I was focused on, there was a strong, albeit smaller market for larger trucks that could haul more weight and do different jobs. Having the larger trucks available served to keep that business with me instead of the customer having to buy those elsewhere. This strengthened my relationship with my customer. I want to grow with them, so I need to grow my business too.

Next, I made more sales. How do you increase your sales? One way is to offer more and different items to sell. The first year of the Isuzu line, our operation only sold 16 units. Not too many, but remember, that is 16 more than before or a 100% increase! The second year went to 33 units. As you learn more about these markets and people find out more about you, that should give you increase. It grew from there.

In addition to the new medium duty trucks sold, we had a perfect opportunity to get involved with used medium duty trucks. I bought ex-Budget Rent-a-Truck trucks and others like that. I bought units from private parties who changed their business, went out of business and such. I found that I was selling as many used as new! The key was finding the used ones in good condition and keeping the pipeline filled. That is a challenge, but I created a network of people to help me find trucks. The used Isuzu's sold extremely well. We also bought used conventional cab medium duty trucks like the F650/750, TopKick, Kodiak, International, etc. All of this really improved our commercial presence and expanded our market dramatically. We could now approach and satisfy a lot more prospects and grow with their business needs.

My light duty sales increased as a result of the addition of the new and used medium duty trucks as well. You might think that one would rob the other, but that is not the case. It improved my operation a good deal.

Now I haven't discussed gross profits yet, but the medium duty really helped our bottom line. The medium duty typically had a better gross profit than the light duty and the used medium duty were the best gross profits of all. The added gross profit was most welcome and allowed me to do a lot more with my operation.

I highly recommend adding a medium duty franchise to your operation if you are serious about growing a strong commercial truck department. You might even start with the used ones and add the new later, but I recommend that you just jump in with both feet and commit yourself to staying with it. Add a tilt-cab franchise first. They are easy to sell when you know how to sell them and they will allow you to do a lot of different things with bodies so you can tap even more of your market. Go for it!

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