If you’re starting out as a tradie, or expanding your business, your ute is one of your most important purchases. It’s your daily driver and your workhorse, taking you to and from every job. When buying a ute for work, there’s more to consider than power and torque – you’ll need to find a vehicle that fits your needs day to day. In this tradie vehicle buying guide, we break down the key factors to consider when making your purchase.
When buying a ute, you’ll need to choose between a single cab or dual cab model. This will depend on how many passengers you need to carry. Dual cab utes have room for up to 5 people, while single cabs usually only seat 2. If you’re planning to use your ute as the family car, or to transport contractors to or from jobs, a dual cab is likely to be the better choice. Dual cabs also have more secure spaces to store tools and gear, and can fit a larger roof rack. If you’re sure you won’t be carrying more than one passenger, single cabs can offer better weight distribution and load placement than a dual cab.
Cargo and towing capacity
Consider the equipment, tools, and materials you’ll need to transport, and find a vehicle with enough space and payload capacity for the job. Different vehicles have different sized load beds, so you’ll need to check the dimensions are large enough for your needs. Also look for integrated cargo hooks, to easily secure down your loads.
If you’ll need to tow materials or equipment in a trailer then consider whether a ute’s towing capacity is sufficient for your needs. If you will frequently tow heavy loads, it may be useful to look for a ute with stable handling, and different 4WD modes. For example, the Mitsubishi Triton has the Super Select II, which allows you to switch between 2WD and 4WD modes at up to 100km/h so you can make sure you get the traction you need. Utes like the Triton also have Trailer Stability Assist that engages when sensors detect trailer sway, and applies brake and engine force to stabilise the motion.
Speaking of 4WD, this capability is a must if you’ll need to take your vehicle to off-road work sites, or even if you’re planning a bush holiday with the family. Look for a vehicle that is dependable and well-equipped for rugged terrain. Having good ground clearance will make it easier to avoid rocks on the undercarriage, and keep you confident no matter the terrain.
When you’re towing or carrying heavy loads, safety features become even more important. Check the ANCAP safety rating, and look for a rating as close to five stars as possible. You should also look for the latest safety technology that will help you stay safe on the road. Mitsubishi vehicles have a suite of MiTEC features such as Blind Sport Warning, Lane Change Assist, and Hill Descent Control that can make a big difference when conditions get tough.
Don’t underestimate the importance of comfort, especially if you’re using your ute on long drives, or family road trips. If you’re opting for a dual cab for the family, make sure there’s comfortable seating for everyone and good climate control. Many models like the Mitsubishi Triton will also allow you to upgrade to leather, as well as heated front seats. Along with this, features like the Smartphone link Display Audio that can connect to your mobile phone can be great for work phone calls on the go.
Pricing and Value
Lastly, pricing and value can also play a part in deciding which ute to buy. Know your budget, and don’t forget to account for the cost of any accessories you’ll want to fit. It’s also worth thinking about estimated operating costs of the ute you plan to purchase. A good fuel economy is invaluable, especially if you’re planning to tow or carry heavy loads.