Pimp My Ride

Deck your fleet out in the latest racks, cabinets and gadgets to tote your business tools.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the April 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Many small companies take their services with them on the road, which means they need to equip their vehicles with customized shelving, partitions, cabinets, consoles and toolboxes. This year, there are more upfitting options than ever, making it convenient to carry your business to your customers with conversions that can turn your truck into a mobile service center.

Sportsmobile Conversion is responsible for upfitting the Chevy Express, Dodge Sprinter and Ford Econoline cargo vans and other vehicles with desks, racks, bins, drawers and other various storage options. These vans are particularly suitable for hauling display items and products to trade shows and can even be fitted with cantilever bunk beds for an overnight trip. The Sprinter van, already the tallest on the market, has a pop-top that can be fitted to accommodate extra-tall items. Dodge's 2009 Journey crossover is equipped with in-floor storage bins, and its rear doors open 90 percent of the way.

Ford's midbox for its F-Series pickups is one of the most innovative on-site storage solutions for pickups. Located between the cab and the bed, the midbox fits into a small space on each side of the vehicle with swing-out doors. It's fitted with slide-out drawers or custom partitions for handy access to tools and other items. If your Dodge trucks need on-the-road work space, a dealer will locate approved upfitter suppliers near your business and provide a limited three-year/36,000 mile warranty on products installed, for example, in Ram trucks. Most heavy-duty trucks have several upfit options available. For example, the Dodge Ram 3500 Chassis Cab includes special wiring to support specific electric upfitter applications, fuel tank location flexibility and optional packages for transfer case skid pads and trailer towing.

GM's Business Choice program gives discounts of $500 to $1,200 on a variety of eligible upfits, including safety partitions and bulkheads, winches, bins and shelving, utility racks, running boards and cargo organizers, and a midbox on the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups. The program requires little or no cash outlay and teams up with rewards partners like Lowe's. A $1,067 all-purpose storage bin system on the Chevy Uplander cargo van costs buyers nothing. If you need to add toolboxes, ladder racks, floor drawers, shelves and cabinets after you've owned your vehicles for a while, you can order custom products from Adrian Steel and Monroe Truck Equipment.

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