Smaller trucks, big opportunity
That’s just another opportunity to build customer loyalty, he says.
“It would be ideal to stock everything, but physically it’s just not possible and money-wise it doesn’t make sense,” Thompson says. “The best thing you can do is have a great relationship with your suppliers, and know who you can contact to get that part the next day.”
He adds, “The customer can’t wait on that truck. They may have no other way to do business.”
That might be the most important thing to remember about the medium-duty marketplace. Medium-duty customers don’t always have the luxury of returning to a garage for another truck, or the financial flexibility to rent one when their vehicle breaks down.
Most are reliant on the aftermarket in a way average heavy-duty fleet customers are not — completely and without an option.
“I think they are more appreciative to the service and what you can provide to them,” says Amoroso. “If they only have 12 trucks they need all 12 of them to go. When you help them do that, they are pretty quick to build a strong relationship.”
Those are good customers to have, and they are part of a growing marketplace to boot.
To pull them in, Wenger recommends an active approach.
“Be active and visible in your community and present yourself as a medium-duty vehicle solutions provider that can be trusted for dependable service and a comprehensive parts supply relationship,” he says.
Customers will come to your business if they believe you can help, says Messina.
“I think people need to look more at this market and help these c