The Little Things Aren't Little, Part 3

Even in the best of times, some units will sit longer than others for the right buyer to come along. Anything that is left out in the weather is going to deteriorate over time. That includes paint on a new car, wood on a flatbed, plastic parts, etc. And, it includes truck bodies. When they start looking like they have been around a long, long time, take charge and get them back in shape.

Get your body company involved in helping you keep your commercial trucks looking sharp. You have the responsibility, but they are generally willing to help because it serves them to help move it off your lot as much as you. I can assure you that if you do your part and are fair with them, they will be pleased to assist you.

Some common items that need refurbishing are stakeside gates where the wood has faded from the sun. An easy fix: hit the wood quickly with some sandpaper, wipe of the residue and give them a coat of linseed oil or some stain according to they way they were new. Another very common one is a wood flatbed. Some are painted as a temporary protective coating meant to dress them up and slow the exposure down. After a few months on the lot, the paint begins to peel and it is unsightly. An easy fix, quick hit with sandpaper and scraper, clean off and repaint. If it was an unpainted bare wood deck, it usually has a stain or linseed oil coating or sometimes a clear varnish. Also easy fixes.

Service bodies and other similar bodies like the USC combo, plumber's body usually just need a really good detail cleaning and would be protected longer with a coat of wax or protective coating. Easy fix. On open service bodies, the floor has a tendency to turn darker from dust and moisture, sun and wind. A little more cleaning there is an easy fix.

Sometimes there are rust stains where moisture has come from a small unpainted space that is not easily seen. That can look unsightly but it is an easy fix. Make sure and include cleaning the inside of the bodies and compartments and lubricate the lock mechanism. Some units may get a scratch or a small dent and they should be repaired as necessary.

All of these things are little things that can turn into large things when a prospect is looking at the vehicle. How it looks on your lot is very important. It can make the difference of a sale or no sale. This should be an ongoing process so that it never stops. Units are always being checked and spiffed up as necessary. This also helps keep the cost of maintaining them lower. Remember to get your partner body companies to help you get these tasks done effectively. Perhaps they will pick them up and take care of it for you, or maybe they will give you some money or credit and you can get it done through local vendors or your own shop.

One last thing on the clean up schedule. Take the old sale price signs and writing off the vehicle and keep them fresh looking. The customer will have no idea how long you've had the truck unless you tell them verbally or by the way the truck looks.

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