Truck repair and truck washes can be valuable profit centers that also meet professional drivers’ critical needs, but there are several key factors business owners must consider before expanding into the maintenance and truck wash business. One of the biggest decisions operators must make is whether they should run the shop themselves, outsource it to a local provider, or invite in one of the chain operators to franchise or operate the location.
To help operators answer this question and more, the NATSO Foundation worked with industry experts to answer frequently asked questions about these two profit centers in the newly launched 18 FAQs on Shop Repair & Truck Washes Toolkit.
Read on for a few excerpts from the new toolkit and download the 18 FAQS on Shop Repair & Truck Washes Toolkit at www.natso.com/ShopRepairToolkit.
Read Three Answers From the 18 FAQS ON SHOP REPAIR & TRUCK WASHES TOOLKIT
Q I am a single-store operator. Why should I consider placing a shop on my lot?
A All business owners with adequate room on their lot should consider adding truck service and repair to their operation. The more services you offer, the more traffic you will attract to your business, plus there is a significant profit opportunity that comes from operating a truck repair business.
Q What width would you recommend for the mechanic/ lube bays when building a new truck repair shop?
A When building a new shop location, you should discuss the shop equipment layout to help determine the final design. With equipment such as a wheel balancer, tire cages, welder, torch, toolboxes, workbenches, etc., strategic placement is critical at the beginning of the building and layout process. Additionally, if the shop will do alignments or other specialty types of work, that will require additional space inside your shop.
Q What distance do you recommend between mechanical bays in a shop?
A We have seen locations with bays as wide as 25 feet, which typically is too much for mechanical bays. As a reminder, trailers are 102-inches wide or 8.5-feet. Depending on the space needed, 18-foot to 20-foot bays typically allow ample workspace between trucks inside the bay.
Another consideration would be overhead door sizing, which should be at 16 feet in height. There are several reasons for the higher clearance, such as flatbed loads that sometimes exceed the 13-feet 6-inch height limit on commercial motor vehicles set by most states. Don’t forget to discuss door opener hardware mounting and its impact on clearance.
Door width, along with carefully placed bollards, should be 14 feet, especially if your site has limited room for trucks to maneuver. With the higher and wider doors, you will still have someone scrape the side of their truck or trailer on your building, but maybe a little less often with increased clearances.
NATSO Foundation. The 18 FAQS on Shop Repair & Truck Washes Toolkit was created by the NATSO Foundation—the NATSO Foundation is the research, education and public outreach subsidiary of NATSO Inc. The NATSO Foundation provides programs and products aimed at strengthening travel plazas’ ability to meet the needs of the traveling public through improved operational performance and business planning. The foundation is completely autonomous and relies solely on donations. Please consider a donation to the NATSO Foundation to enable the continued success of these programs. Donate to the NATSO Foundation here.
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