November 27, 2017
We all know the norm with technicians and their work vehicles. They receive a brand new work truck and are itching to add their own touch to it. While, at times, allowing them to do so will increase their productivity, there are other instances where it should not be allowed. How do you determine where the customization line occurs for your operators and when to say yes and when to say no?
In a perfect world, every work truck would be exactly what the operator needs to get the job done in an efficient and safe manner at the time it is put into service. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. To minimize the need for customization after the vehicle is put into service, involve your operators during the planning phase of new work vehicles. Have a firm understanding of the everyday application and have them offer suggestions and improvements with the design of their current work vehicle when it is time for replacement. This proactive approach is a win-win for everyone as it will produce a work truck that is right for the job and cut down on vehicle modifications by the techs.
A defined policy on vehicle customization by operators will eliminate any remaining uncertainty of what is allowed and what is not. Consider the following guidelines to help you form a policy for your techs.
- Never allow techs to add or modify items that interfere with visibility from the cab of the vehicle (items near cab windows or mounted to top of vehicle dash) or distract the driver as this can create safety issues.
- Never allow techs to install items on the vehicle that hinder or modify vital safety or security features (anything that would interfere with the performance of rear vision cameras, back-up alarms, vehicle security alarms, etc).
- Never allow techs to add items on the exterior of the vehicle that limit visibility of company graphics including logos and contact information.
- Require techs to receive approval before drilling any holes into the truck (chassis or body). While it may be necessary to add items after the fact as the business needs change, it is recommended to minimize drilling through especially on the exterior of the vehicle. Drilling additional holes exposes raw edges of the metal and creates an environment for rust and corrosion to form.
- Enable techs to set up the organization of their tools, parts and equipment to fit how they work. If they need additional storage or organization after the vehicle is put into service (extra toolbox, mechanics drawers, etc) define a process for the request, approval and installation.