Publish Date

September 9, 2019


Knapheide Truck Equipment

Finding an upfitter is important in keeping your commercial sales department thriving and successful. You need to make sure you work with an upfit partner that can deliver on your quality, cost and support needs, so look for a few important factors.


One of the first things you should look for in an upfitter is that they’re certified by a credible organization. Upfitters being members of The National Truck Equipment Association is one surefire way to identify a quality upfitter partner.

The NTEA’s Member Verification Program “recognizes eligible companies in the work truck industry for outstanding business practices, validating successful implementation of quality standards.” There are a number of criteria, ranging from upfit capabilities, regulations adherence, insurability, finances, safety, training and quality, that NTEA members seeking MVP certification must meet.

If it’s not an MVP certified upfitter, make sure you do your homework and request any credentials they may have that make them a viable partner.


Depending upon your volume needs, it’s important that you find an upfitter that can meet them in a timely and efficient manner. Whether it’s a sprawling installation center or a smaller bay-build operation, the first question you need to ask yourself is “can they get the job done?”

The next thing you need to consider is if your upfit partner can get the job done efficiently, whether that be cost, time or logistically.


Finding an upfit partner that can get the job done is important, but it’s more important they get the job done well. You’re busy making sales calls and manning the dealership lot, you don’t have a lot of time to deal with upfit issues, mishaps or unhappy customers.

Make sure your upfit partner has a long track record of producing quality upfits that can stand the test of time for your customers. After all, a poor experience on a product from your lot reflects on you.


Speaking of poor experiences, how your upfit partner handles those is paramount. As we said, when a customer has a poor experience with a product you sold, they’re coming back to you.

It’s very important you have a fair, responsive and capable partner when situations like this arise. A good upfit partner should have no issues working out agreements for customer warranty and support issues, and also for vehicle maintenance and service.