Your truck is really a moving billboard. When you use your truck to run local errands and participate in parades, festivals and charitable events, it will be seen within the community and you’ll receive more calls.
Mention your truck on all of your marketing materials including your website, social-media platforms, fliers, business cards and print advertisements. Your truck is a value-added service, so promote it whenever and wherever you can.
Post fliers advertising your truck and facility at local businesses. Make sure they know your truck is also available for commercial use. Businesses that cater to the general public are generally reliable when it comes to promoting your offerings through word of mouth.
Participate in the design of the graphics for your truck to achieve a great marketing message and project a positive image of your business. This is your largest advertisement. You want to make sure it’s eye-catching and sends a timely and compelling message.
If you don’t have a great location to display your truck, consider trading limited free use of the truck with a nearby business that offers better visibility.
Before you lease or lend your facility’s truck to any person or company, you need to follow a couple of due-diligence safeguards:
- Always ascertain the customer’s intended use of the vehicle to ensure it’s acceptable.
- Verify the customer’s driver’s license, insurance, credit card and phone number. Check restrictions on the driver’s license and limitations on the credit card.
- Complete all necessary rental forms with your tenant and make sure signatures are in the correct places.
- Physically review the vehicle with the customer. Point out all features and concerns such as the height and extended ramp.
- If there is any doubt in your mind as to the customer’s credibility, do not rent your truck.
It’s imperative to keep your truck in perfect working condition. You can do so by adhering to the following steps:
- Follow all warranty conditions and recommend preventive maintenance as specified in the owner’s manual.
- Regularly check all fluid levels including brake, oil, transmission, power steering, windshield washer and coolant.
- Keep vehicle clean inside and out.
- Regularly check turn signals, headlights, brake lights and the interior cargo light. These may need to be periodically replaced.
- Check tire pressure and condition after every use.
- Test brakes daily.
- Replace damaged windshields and side glass.
- Replace damaged mirrors and lights.
- Repair all body damage.
- Check ramp and roll-up door for proper function.
- Check seatbelts to ensure they work properly.
- Keep hand truck and blankets clean. Always secure the hand truck inside of the box.
While a strong maintenance program will minimize breakdowns while the truck is in use, sometimes a breakdown does occur, so have a plan in place to assist the customer quickly and with minimal stress. If there’s any doubt regarding the safe operation of the vehicle, do not rent it, and get the truck repaired quickly. Most vehicles do not come with a spare tire or jack. The last thing you want is a customer trying to change a truck tire on the side of the road.
Enhancing Your Program
There are many ways adding a rental truck to your storage facility can enhance your customer-service offerings, provide exceptional marketing and advertising opportunities, and serve as a medium for community outreach. Careful planning will maximize your opportunity for tremendous success.
As you elect to evaluate and pursue this option, seek the services of a specialist in this area. There are several from which to choose. Just as you are committed to providing your tenants an exceptional long-term storage solution, rental-truck specialists are committed to maximizing your success with this unique service offering.
C.J. Steen is the marketing director at On The Move Inc., which offers a complete truck-rental package including insurance, custom graphics and visual impressions. For more information, call 800.645.9949; visit www.onthemovetrucks.com .