When upgrading (also known as upfitting) your vehicle, there are some key things to look out for.
As the upfitting market is less regulated than the rest of the car market, it’s important that you do some due diligence yourself, to ensure that the product you end up with is safe, reliable, and up to the standards you should be getting. From crumple zones to driver’s partitions, here are some key things to look out for.
Does the upfitter have industry approval?
Premium upfitters will work to an incredibly high standard, and will generally be certified by the manufacturer of the cars that they work with. If the provider you’re working with claims that they’re certified, check up on this claim. You can generally do this by contacting the manufacturer directly – it will only take a quick email or phone call, and could save you trouble later on.
Is the vehicle overweight?
All vehicles have a maximum weight restriction set by the manufacturer, and vehicles are also required by law to not exceed the weight of their class. Adding lots of additional features can end up increasing the weight by a significant amount, making it important that you check the weight of the end vehicle to ensure that it’s legally compliant. When weighing the vehicle, you also need to ensure that you’ve left enough leeway in your calculations so that it won’t be overweight once you add passengers.
Is the crumple zone compromised?
Vehicles are designed in a specific way to ensure that they’re as safe as possible in the event of a collision. When buying a vehicle with a lot of added features, you need to ensure that the crumple zones are in no way compromised by the upfitter. Not only could this make your insurance invalid, but it also puts the occupants of the vehicle at increased risk of injury or death.
Is the driver’s partition safe?
A surprising number of aftermarket driver’s partitions are thrown together in a haphazard manner that can be difficult to spot. You need to check and see if it’s passed an ISO load test – this is often a legal requirement, and is necessary in order to ensure the safety of the driver and co-driver if an accident were to occur.
Does the driver have enough room?
In some cases, upfitters will design a car that’s wonderful to be a passenger in but absolutely dreadful to drive. You need to ensure that the driver still has enough space to adjust their seat for their driving position; if the redesign compromises this in any way, you’re putting the driver and passengers at risk of crashing. Ideally, you’ll have the person who will be driving the car come and test out the position, to ensure that they will be comfortable.
As you can see, there are a fair few things to keep in mind when looking at upfitting services like Senzati. It may seem like a bit of a hassle, but in order to ensure that you don’t compromise on essentials like safety and build quality, these checks are absolutely essential.