When you own any type of business, there may come a time when you need to have a truck for it. Perhaps you need to pick up supplies, deliver goods to your customers, or you want to offer transportation for your employees or customers. You do not always need a semi-truck for it to be a commercial vehicle. A simple pick-up truck or cargo van might suit your purposes well. However, before you head to a commercial truck dealer, there are a few things you need to keep in mind so you don't get in over your head or buy a truck that won't do what you need it to do.
Of course, one of the biggest considerations when buying a commercial vehicle is size. You need to know exactly what and how much you will be hauling in the truck. There are specific limitations on the size of what you can haul without the need for extra permits. If you buy a truck with a bed that is too short or narrow, you will need signs, permits, and flags to do the work.
You don't want to be hauling customers around in the bed of a pick-up truck, or food items in a regular cargo van. Make sure a van has the seats you need for transporting passengers or has a refrigeration unit to keep foods at the proper temperature to remain safe. If you are carting around things like stones or dirt, make sure the truck bed sides are high enough to keep the cargo from flying out.
A commercial truck dealer can usually help you with your insurance needs. You need to be upfront with the dealer and tell him or her that the vehicle will be used for commercial purposes and not just as a private truck. He or she will be able to give you a general estimate on how much the insurance is going to cost so you do not end up having bills higher than you anticipated or can afford.
Even though the truck or van may look like a private vehicle, and you may even use it privately when not at work, the minute you start using it for business it falls under the commercial category. Ask the dealer what this will mean as far as getting the tags and registration because each state has different laws and regulations regarding this. You should also ask the dealer if the drive will need any special type of licensing you don't want to get the truck back to the shop to find out no one can drive it.