Recently, we asked our Rapid Solutions Facebook community for hints and tips on the best pest control truck setup. We recognise that every pest control business is different so knew it was worthwhile collecting opinions from various in-the-know sources. Some prefer one vehicle over another and others have a setup that works for them but not for others. We hope this article – put together from our community’s advice and insights (thank you!) – can help you configure your pest control truck in a way that works best for your unique needs.
A well-considered setup will help things run more smoothly, make it easier to safely store equipment and chemicals, and present a professional and organised image to your customers. It may even save you money by helping to prevent breakdowns and adding to the life of your equipment.
Read on for a collection of words of wisdom from our social media respondents:
Pest control truck setup: Get the right vehicle
A good pest control truck setup – one of the most important parts of your business – starts with your choice of vehicle. This will have enough space for properly storing everything you need, while still being durable and fuel efficient. Utes and utility vans are some of the most popular choices for these reasons.
Here are some factors to think of before you purchase a vehicle:
The vehicle you choose should be able to carry the weight of the equipment and supplies without overloading.
You’ll be racking up plenty of kilometres on call-outs. Make sure you’ve reckoned in the amount petrol or diesel that will take and then consider whether your choice of vehicle is the most efficient.
With all the driving and stopping at jobs you’ll be doing, your vehicle should be easy to manoeuvre and park. Think about this especially if you work in urban or suburban areas where there may be tight spaces.
Given the constant use and hauling materials and equipment in and out, your vehicle should be durable and able to withstand the wear and tear of daily use.
It’s a good idea to get a vehicle that has space for branding and/or advertising your business. Not only can this lead to more clients, but it gives off a professional image. (Read more marketing tips in our property services business marketing article.
Some vehicles can be used for both your business and your family life – is that something you need to consider?
Says Rapid Solutions Facebook community member David Oats: “If anyone is trying to set up a spray rig they need to be able to remove if they want to utilise their vehicle for camping or family life, here’s what I came up with. Wind up the legs, slide into the frame that the spray rig sits on, unbolt the frame, wind down the legs and wheel the whole unit away.”
If you’re considering a new vehicle, check out this article: Common Business Car Finance Options Explained.
Be bunding conscious
As you know, bunding is the barrier or containment area around a storage tank or container. It’s there for safety – to prevent leaks or spills, to protect the environment and comply with rules around storing chemicals. A good pest control truck setup reckons in the space needed for bunding.
Says Chris Pianto: “Bunding is often overlooked in utes but is very important. Make sure your chemical and spray equipment box is fully sealed at the base. Store bottles and sprayers in a tub or tray as well.” Here’s some more handy info on bunding:
Pest control truck setup: Organize and maximise
Wherever possible, use shelves and compartments to maximise the space available on your truck. You can either construct your own storage spaces or approach a specialist. Some even make steel holders to hold stardust containers and aerosols.
Says Michelle Brown: “Leaving room for backpacks for quick access and so they can easily be lifted onto your back is a good idea. Find somewhere to put your Gotcha pole where it’s easy to clip on and off.”
This setup uses wooden cabinets to organise the equipment:
Consider a canopy
A canopy has several benefits, including protecting equipment and supplies from the elements, increasing your storage space, better securing your tools and supplies while you drive, and making it easier to organise everything.
“I’m a convert to canopies,” says Marshall Blacklock. “You can double your floor space by putting in shelving, which protects everything from the weather and thieves, and gives great advertising space and presentation. You can easily move from one vehicle to the next.”
Speaking of theft, you might like to check out our article on theft prevention tips to lessen the likelihood of your pest control truck being stolen.
Andrew Critchley provided an image of his canopy setup, adding, “And big open doors to keep you in the shade/out of the rain. They’re just awesome to work out of.”
Keep it consistent
If you have more than one pest control truck, make sure it’s set up similar to the others. This will help employees to quickly find what they’re looking for, no matter the vehicle they’re in. It will speed up service and make things more organised.
Says Rhiannon Brown: “We’re very particular about every ute being set up the same so the guys can switch between them.” (To hear more from Rhiannon, read the article we wrote on her after she won an AEPMA pest control award.)
Keep it adaptable
As much as it can be vital to keep your pest control setup consistent, you should also make sure it’s adaptable. Your workload and scope might change a few times through the life of your truck. If your setup is too permanent, you might find it isn’t suitable anymore and you can’t easily do a refit.
Pest control truck setup: Consider safety issues
Michelle Downs, AEPMA’s 2020 Female Pest Controller of the Year mentions the importance of thinking about safety in setting up your truck.
She says, “Ute setups should not only be built to suit any pest technician. They should be set up to suit all heights and specifics to the technician’s scope of work. What works for a 6 foot tall technician doesn’t work for the 5 foot tall technician. This brings up safety issues at times. For instance, starting your pump on a ute that’s already at height will mean a 5 foot person is then pulling above their shoulders and head and has less pull, so more pulls are required, which is more awkward and carries higher risk of injury. A taller person would be pulling at the right angle and height. So the positioning of your pumps, the ladder height and additional steps may be required.”
She adds, “My ideal canopy would be entirely cooled or refrigerated 24/7 for Queensland weather to keep all my products from heat in the summer months.”
Though a US video, this truck setup offers plenty of ideas on maximising space and organizing your equipment:
Would you like to set up your own pest control company? Read our article for tips on starting a pest control business in 2023.
You may have the best pest control truck setup in Australia, but your business isn’t complete without proper insurance. Without it, if anything goes wrong – like a job that didn’t deliver on promises or one that results in damage to property, people or pets – your business can be held liable for a LOT of money. Contact Rapid Solutions today to find out about cost-effective professional indemnity insurance and general liability insurance and how much cover this can provide your business.