Delivery vehicles for taxidermists — what to buy .

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One subject that rarely gets covered in the taxidermy industry is vehicles for delivering clients completed mounts. Most shops eventually get  hit with the dilemma of having to deliver finished customer pieces . There are a number of approaches you can take to this issue. I will discuss some options in this article and expound on our choice.

Option 1 — Let the customer take care of it 

This is the easiest way to handle the issue, but presents a lot of problems for you and your client. Making the customer deal with getting a trailer/ vehicle is an inconvenience for them and the chances of them damaging the mount in transit and unloading means you may be heading to their place to fix it .

Option 2 — Rent what you need 

This can be a good way to handle things , especially if your just starting out in business . You can rent trailers and cube vans for a relativity low cost for a day or two . The down side is you are using a rental vehicle that is not branded for your company and that can look cheap . You also have to deal with used equipment that may not be in the best shape for hauling delicate taxidermy mounts.

Option 3 — Buy a trailer 

Most taxidermists that need to make deliveries on a regular basis have a trailer. You can get a ” good ” trailer for around $6000 that a 1500 truck can pull under most conditions . However, for hauling delicate taxidermy mounts with scenes you should invest in an upgraded suspension and consider getting a goose neck . We also have a 2500 truck and have found it is much better in the long run to have the extra pulling power . Having your own trailer also lets you brand it with decals and wraps . This makes your business look more professional and is great for advertising . The downsides to the trailer is trying to back it in tight residential areas and the ride — even with good suspension the ride can be bumpy. Buying a trailer is a great way to go, but there may be an even better option…

Option 4 — Box Trucks

In our opinion, this is the best option for delivering finished taxidermy mounts. The ride is smoother than a trailer, they are easier to back and maneuver in tight places, it is easier to watch the load in transit, and box trucks are also easier to secure. A box truck also gives you a ton of advertising potential .  Our box truck is a 2017, 3500 Chevy express with a 15′ box. It has a wood interior in the box which helps to adsorb some of the shock and makes for easy attachment of mounts. We had the sides wrapped with an outdoor scene and decals on the front and rear doors . The back has a step up to get into the box and a pull out ramp . The only downside to getting a box truck is the cost. It is substantially higher than a trailer . However, if you are planning on doing a lot of deliveries a box truck or cube van might be the best choice. Always charge for the delivery service– you need to cover your costs and it is well worth it to the customer !

Here are some pictures of our truck  :

 

 

 

 

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Aaron Stehling is a second-generation full time taxidermist from Jefferson, WI. He is co-owner, with his brother Austin, of Stehling’s Taxidermy, LLC, a studio that specializes in wholesale/sub contract work that has been in operation for over 40 years. Stehling’s Taxidermy also offers a turkey head freeze dry service. You can learn more about his services at www.stehlingstaxidermy.com or check out their online video training web site, www.taxidermyinsider.com. Aaron is also the administrator on www.taxidermytalk.com forums. He is a regular contributing author for Taxidermy Today Magazine.You can contact him at 920.674.3724 or email a.n.stehling@gmail.com.