Tilt Cab Strategies

I do have a fondness for the tilt cab truck because it really adds a new dimension to my commercial truck operation. My strategy with the tilt cab is fairly simple: I want to show prospects how that truck really shines by stocking the body selections that demonstrate its unique value and benefits.

In the previous article, I discussed the main benefits of the tilt cab versus the conventional cab, so my strategy for stocking bodies will take advantage of these benefits and point them out in very obvious ways. Here is that general strategy: Stock the same kind of bodies that you sell on conventional cab trucks, but stock them with longer bodies. As an example, lets say you are stocking a 12' flatbed on an 84" CA conventional cab truck. It is a very common truck. On the tilt cab, I will stock the 120" CA and put a 16' on it. The overall length of each truck is about the same, but I can put 4' more cargo on the truck with the same overall length. That is a huge advantage. Instead of an 11' Service body on an 84" CA, I will stock a 13' or 14' Service body on a 108" CA and it will still be shorter than the 11' body on the conventional cab. Again, more cargo for the same or shorter length.

Now, let us just take Ford for an example on the conventional cab truck. An 84" CA on the Ford would have a wheelbase of 165" approximately and accommodate a 12' bed. If I compare the Ford LCF tilt cab with a 108" CA, the wheelbase is 137" with a 14' bed, 149" with a 16' bed, and 167" with an 18' bed. So the turning radius is about the same on the 18' bed LCF versus the 12' bed on the conventional cab. That is the power of the design of the tilt cab.

I have found that if I stocked the same length bodies as normal, but just pointed out the shorter turning radius that this strategy did not do much to increase my sales. When I stocked the longer bodies, that did increase my sales and turned my inventory faster. People want more bang for their buck and with the tilt cab, they get more body for their truck.

The other strategy is to take advantage of certain markets that cry for the tilt cab. The first and most common application is the dry van body. Again, my strategy in length to stock will be the longer like the 16' and 20' van bodies with a few 14' units thrown in for good measure. Stakebed is another example of a very common application and I would focus on the 14' and the 16' mainly with a longer one for good measure.

In addition, there are some other markets that are often overlooked that work wonderfully with the tilt cab. One of them is the Landscaper type body which is a common name for a flatbed dump with solid sides and a swing away rear gate system that is used most in the landscaping field. Here again, I can take advantage of the less common 14' body and still have a much shorter turning radius and shorter overall length to boot. This is a great seller on this chassis. It is also a great seller with a storage box behind the cab in front of the body. Another overlooked body is the flatbed dump. I would stock that in a 14' and 16' model with no side gates. The gates can be added later if desired. Of course, I would make sure the dump is displayed in the up position to take advantage of the way this looks.

Another perfect body for this truck is the taller service body and combo body options. As an example, Harbor Truck Bodies sells a service and combo body that is 56" tall instead of their standard height of 41". The tilt cab truck is perfect for this body and you will find it a fast seller as well for a number of reasons. One is that body looks like it belongs on the truck because of the taller cab, and two, the body will carry larger and/or more things in the same or less overall length. Continue to point out the advantages.

If you were involved in the sale of tow truck bodies, the tilt cab is an excellent choice for the obvious advantages of the increased maneuverability and shorter overall length.

I have learned that trying to sell the common length bodies did not work well, but selling the longer bodies and displaying this perfectly on the tilt cab truck worked perfectly.

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