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On August 12, 2021, Semi Service, Inc. was acquired by Reading Truck Group. Read the Press Release.
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Purchasing a new vehicle, or fleet of vehicles is a big investment. It’s a decision that needs to be smart, savvy and sound. So, what things do you need to be sure to look for? What is necessary and what is optional? Another important question, what is your budget? We’ll look at 5 tips to help you when buying new service trucks. The purchase of new vehicles is one that will impact your business for many years to come, so you want to make the best decision possible.

Research, Research, Research!

The larger the investment you are making, the more research that should be put into it. When you are buying new service trucks or vans for your business, it’s an investment that should last for years to come. The more years your new service vehicle continues to function well for your business, the better off you are. This is true even if the up-front costs are a little more!

When you are researching vehicles, look for those with high ratings in areas such as longevity, ease of maintenance, and ease and cost of repair to name a few. There are times and circumstances where it could be tempting to rush out and buy a new vehicle right away. Unfortunately, all too often, you would end up frustrated and angry with yourself down the road when that “great deal” ends up to be more of a lemon. Take the time to narrow down your search to the best available options. There are a lot of unique types of service bodies and upfit opportunities, so put in the homework ahead of time and get the best value overall when buying new service trucks or vans.

Know What Your Needs Are

When you spend the time determining exactly what your needs are, you’ll save time and money by narrowing down your search. Since not every vehicle works for every purpose, with checklist in hand, you’ll be able to weed out the vehicles that are not best suited for your business and focus on the ones that are!

Some service trucks and vans will fare better in the winter and be better equipped for the snowy winter roads. Other vehicles may offer the benefit of better gas mileage which can save you money. But it is important to take your business into consideration when buying new service trucks to make sure they will be a good fit for your business and how you work.

If you travel long distances, gas mileage may be a huge factor in your purchase. But if your work is conducted locally, it may not be as much of a consideration in your decision.  If you are purchasing trucks for snow plowing, knowing whether or not you plan to also use them in the warmer months for landscape and lawn care can also make a difference in what you ultimately purchase.

Buying new service trucks and vans shouldn’t be an overwhelming process. While, at times, the vast array of options available can be daunting, when you simplify your search, you simplify the entire process. So, begin with what you know you need and narrow your choices to only the vehicles that meet those needs.

Understand Your Choices Truck Body Choices

Service bodies come in all shapes and sizes. They can vary by material, configuration, and several other options. When you get started with choosing a service body, you’ll have a lot of decisions to make, such as:


When buying a new truck service body, the type of material you go with makes a significant difference in the function of your vehicle. This decision comes down to two major materials: aluminum versus steel. But what’s the difference between aluminum and steel service bodies?

Aluminum’s primary claim to fame is weight reduction. Despite being a strong, reliable material for the build of your service body, it weighs approximately one third the weight of steel. It’s still rough and ready for any job, but opens a lot of doors when it comes to managing your vehicle’s payload. This could mean heavier loads without going over legal road limits!

On top of that, the lighter weight of aluminum simply makes your vehicle work less than steel. This translates into better fuel mileage when unloaded, less strain on systems like your tires or engine, and overall improved lifespan of the vehicle and its parts.

Steel, on the other hand, primarily offers a savings in cost. A steel service body can be as much as 30 percent cheaper than an aluminum alternative. The actual cost varies, but overall, you’re likely to save on your initial investment with a steel vehicle. This can be important for smaller businesses trying to get their footing in their local market.

Of course, safety is another important factor, and steel has an edge here too. Steel, while being heavier, is also more resilient. That means a steel vehicle offers a bit more protection than its aluminum counterpart. However, it’s important to mention that aluminum is certainly still safe – in fact, the difference between the two isn’t as big of a gap as you might think!

Truck Body Type

Service trucks enjoy a wide-range of customization options. But the base model makes a huge impact on the function of your vehicle. That means when shopping for a new service truck, it’s critical that you know the body type you need for the specific function you intend to use it. Service body types include:

Traditional Service Bodies

The basic service body for a truck offers versatility and works well for a wide range of vocations and industries. A service body truck will generally offer you storage space with more organization than a standard pickup truck might. This leaves a lot of room for you to upfit and customize as you need, while being a bit limiting for specialized purposes that other truck service bodies will fulfil.

Enclosed Bodies

As the name implies, an enclosed body is service truck with a roof. It offers an “interior” section for your truck, giving you a range of benefits from improved security for your equipment, safe storage for weather-vulnerable materials, and a place to work anywhere you go.

Crane Bodies

Crane bodies on service trucks offer you the ability to reach high places or attach unique towing or lifting equipment anywhere you can park your vehicle. A service truck with a crane body is specially designed to safely manage the unusual weight distribution a heavy-duty crane can put on the vehicle.

These powerful vehicles can manage cranes weighing thousands of pounds, while still maintaining the maneuverability you need to get from job to job.

Landscape or Dump Bodies

Many vocations that need service bodies primarily work by loading up their truck bed with the intent of unloading the payload quickly. That’s where dump bodies excel. The integrated mechanisms of a dump body let you tilt and unload your truck bed right from the driver’s seat.

These types of vehicles are ideal for moving large amounts of loose material, like dirt or gravel. It’s no surprise that landscaping companies find a lot of use out of their dump bodies!

Platform Bodies

Platform or flatbed trucks are a lot like their semi-truck counterparts. By converting the bed into an open flatbed, it opens a lot of possibilities for carrying equipment or materials that would otherwise be unsafe or impossible to move in a typical truck or service body.

Platform bodies offer a great deal of versatility for your business. Anything that can be fit on the flatbed and tied down can be transported. Stake rack bodies are like flatbeds, but incorporate extra safety and protection for your payload with a framing stake rack around the bed.

Look into Tax Saving Opportunities

When you are buying new service trucks or vans for commercial purposes there are substantial benefits when compared to personal vehicle purchases. It is quite possible that you will save your business a considerable amount of money. However, it is important to do your homework. Better yet, work with a tax professional. That way you’ll be sure to maximize your tax savings and take advantage of any incentives that may be available. 

Don’t forget there is a balance between the unique incentives that certain vehicle types may carry and the value of the vehicle itself. Be sure the vehicle meets your business needs. If what your business needs is a dozen eggs, you wouldn’t buy 1,000 chickens just because there was a fantastic “feathered fowl” tax incentive; it wouldn’t make sense. Likewise, saving big isn’t really a good business decision if it’s for a vehicle that won’t serve your business well.

Pay Attention to Storage Space & Access

Storing and accessing your equipment is an important part of how efficiently your business runs. Certain types of service bodies provide better ease of access than others depending on your needs. Investing in a service vehicle that accommodates easy access is a smart use of funds and something to keep in mind when buying new service trucks and vans, especially if you’ll be climbing in the back of your vehicle all the time!

In the same manner, the size of the vehicle is important. You need a vehicle that offers adequate space for your equipment. There’s a sweet spot when buying new service trucks and vans. If your vehicle is too big, you’ll not only be wasting money on unnecessary fuel, but on space that isn’t being used. Conversely, if your vehicle is too small, there won’t be enough room for all of your equipment so you may end up wasting time loading and unloading after each job based on what you need and the space available to carry it. When it comes to time and fuel economy, you don’t want to be the biggest loser!

Think About Customization

It isn’t inconceivable that you could find a vehicle that is perfect for all of your needs right off the lot, but chances are highly unlikely. Nearly any vehicle can benefit from customization, which is something to keep in mind when buying new service trucks and vans.

Each driver is unique, so the needs for each vehicle will be unique in order for your business to run as efficiently as possible. When it comes to customizing vehicles, Semi Service specializes in personalizing vehicles from top to bottom and bumper to bumper. You can see some of the custom jobs we’ve done in the past, and know that your business can benefit when we make your new service vehicle fit like a glove – tailoring it specifically for your drivers’ needs.

Contact Semi Service Today

We service, repair, install, and upfit all types of trucks, vans, and trailers. Don’t know where to start? We can answer your questions and help you find what you need. Contact us online or give us a call at (801) 895-4419 to get started today!

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