Reflections on Upfitting Trends in the Era of Supply Chain Challenges

May 29, 2023

Like thousands of other manufacturers across the country, we’ve had to develop creative solutions for the ongoing supply chain, product shortage or labor shortage challenges we’ve all faced over the last few years. And the challenges vary– sometimes only one small part is in high demand and hard to procure, while in other circumstances we’re seeing new trends evolve as a reaction to industry-wide challenges. Here are a few of the trends (and solutions) we’ve seen as truck equipment manufacturers and upfitters:

Usurping The Supply Chain

The chassis supply chain has been incredibly interrupted, and manufacturers are still working through long order backlogs. Customers have had a difficult time investing in new work vehicles, while facing uncertain completion times. In support of our customer’s needs, we’ve created a solution that allows our customers to continue to advance their businesses, expand their service offerings, and grow their teams, all while offering the right trucks and equipment to ensure long term success through our Upfitting Program. This program uses the chassis our customers already own; we then upfit it in order to build a fully realized work truck. This allows our customers to upgrade the investments they have already made instead of purchasing a new chassis and going through the traditional upfitting process, while addressing the scheduling and budgetary challenges we’ve seen in the past few years.

Going Light

Contractors, fleet managers and business owners are trending toward investing in light and medium-duty trucks in applicable situations and industries.  Light and medium-duty trucks offer decreased prices in initial investment and truck maintenance over the years. Additionally, the lighter weight improves fuel economy, saving money at the pump for years. For those who haul a lot of equipment or material, the lightweight increases your carry capacity. Every pound that is eliminated from the build can be utilized by your equipment, while staying safe and within regulation. Another benefit of light or medium-duty trucks is more flexibility in the workforce. Without a CDL requirement, there’s a bigger labor pool to choose from. Overall the benefits are undeniable, and light and medium-duty trucks are worth exploring when applicable. 

Continued Labor Struggles (And Solutions!) 

As mentioned above, labor challenges are affecting just about every industry right now, and are especially troublesome in construction, the trades, agriculture, manufacturing, and other roles that citizens across the world rely on every day. As upfitters, we can’t create a larger workforce, but we can create solutions that allow your existing team to work more strategically and efficiently. Our dump, service and platform and tow bodies can be personalized with upfitting options that help your team increase effectiveness and ease. Versatility and safety options can be built into your truck through customizable side, liftgate, storage and underbody options. When fitted with one of our top performing BOSS plows or spreaders, your team can work year round, taking on more business without a bigger workload. 

Focus on Safety and Wellbeing

When you invest in a work truck, you expect it to work well for you for years. Well, now customers are investing in themselves, too. When your work is demanding, and your movement is repetitious, you can end up with strains, discomfort, and even long term injuries. Protecting your wellbeing is just as important as protecting your truck and equipment. One of the best long-term investments a contractor can make for themselves is upfitting their work truck with ergonomic upfits that reduce strain, difficult movements or extended stress.  Ergonomic upfits can protect your long term safety and comfort by alleviating issues like lower back pain and stiff neck and shoulders and pain from repetitive movement. Monroe Truck Equipment’s line of “mTEC” products include our StepMate and SmoothRide, two of our innovations that we created based on the safety needs of our customers. The StepMate features a step-height pooched bumper that helps eliminate slippage and aids in getting you in and out of service trucks without risk. It’s a three-point contact system with grab handles to increase ease. Our SmoothRide™ produces a 50% reduction in max G-Force impact by decreasing shock impact to drivers and passengers for safe and comfortable transport in their medium-duty truck. 

Lean On The Experts

At Monroe Truck Equipment, we believe in developing true and trusted partnerships with our customers. We serve commercial dealerships and contractor end-users in communities across the country and work to find solutions for their most pressing needs. While priorities may shift over time, a reliable manufacturer and upfitting partner will always be valuable when you’re working toward your long-term goals. If you want to learn more about upfitting options for your next work truck investment, please reach out to our team today at