Spotlight: CAP Fleet’s upfits contribute to keeping officers safe in service-ready vehicle
To have a fleet that is built well, consistent and delivered in a timely manner is key to an agency's successful operations
Company name: CAP Fleet
Headquarters: Belton, Texas
Signature product: Upfitting
1. Where did your company name originate from?
The CAP in CAP Fleet were the initials of the original ownership group who started the company. Our current ownership group is USA Automotive. As the CAP Fleet name had been established in the industry for over 10 years, the decision was made to stay with it.
2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
Our parent company had been in the business of selling vehicles to the government for years, posting some of the largest government fleet sales for Ford and Chevrolet. At that time, the upfits were performed by independent companies. Our dealerships had little to no control over how long it took to complete an upfit or the quality of the upfit. Realizing that there was a need to be consistent and timely, the owners decided to start CAP Fleet. Since our start, we have added a Dodge/RAM/Jeep dealership.
3. What is your signature product and how does it work?
Upfitting. Our goal is to provide our customers with a service-ready vehicle upon delivery, regardless of the equipment they need. From the simplest upfit of just a few lights and a siren to a complete emergency response command vehicle with lights, siren, computers, radio and command boxes. A total of 90% of our builds are vehicles built for uniform patrol and K-9 operations. We work with our customers to ensure there is consistency between their vehicles so that any officer can operate the vehicle without having to search for a button or key.
4. Why do you believe your products are essential to the police community?
To have a fleet that is built well, consistent and delivered in a timely manner is key to an agency's successful operations. Rarely is a government fleet supplied with the number of vehicles it truly needs. The last thing an agency needs is a delay with delivery of a vehicle or a vehicle out of service because of a minor issue with upfitted equipment.
5. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?
Finding qualified upfit technicians. As technology increases in both the vehicles and the equipment we install, the need for Qualified Upfit Technicians is increasing. To solve this, we have instituted an intense technician training program, where we hire inexperienced workers and train them on the job. We also recently started a two-year program with our local school district, where high school juniors can enter the program and at the end of the second year be a trained technician.
6. What makes your company unique?
I think the variety of our employee’s experience. We have employees that have been involved in upfitting for over 30 years. We have former public safety vendor representatives, former police officers who have served through all different assignments and ranks, including a police chief and a former city administrator. We truly understand the issues of our customers as many of us have had to deal with the same issues. Additionally, to improve our production capabilities, we have added experts in industrial production and LEAN inventory control.
7. What do your customers like best about you and your products?
I think there are multiple factors our customers like about us. One is the responsiveness of our sales team and that they work with the customer to ensure the customers get what they want. Unlike some in the industry, we will not push the customer to use any certain brand, nor will we change suppliers without the full knowledge of our customer. Another is how we stand behind our builds. When we do make a mistake, we act as fast as possible to correct it, knowing the importance of getting that unit back in service. We also maintain great relationships with our vendors and can assist customers with their warranty claims.
8. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?
Most officers will spend the majority of their working day in their vehicle and using components of the upfit to do their job. Knowing that we are supplying an officer with one of the most important pieces of equipment they will use and have contributed to keeping officers safe and helping them keep their communities safe is a great reward.
9. Do you support any charitable organizations within public safety or the community? Tell us more.
In 2021, we formed our own organization called CAP Cares, which helps aid the families of fallen or severely injured police officers and firefighters. This fund is solely funded by our company. This independence allows CAP Cares to respond to requests for assistance quickly. We also support many other groups who advocate for public safety employees.
10. Is there any fun fact or trivia that you’d like to share with our users about you or your company?
This year, we were able to support a local amateur golfer with a sponsorship. His name is Sam Bennett from Texas A&M and as the winner of the U.S. Amateur he was invited to The Masters Tournament. Sam did exceptionally well, placing third through three rounds and making the final cut. During the tournament Sam wore the CAP Fleet logo on his shirt sleeve, causing us to get quite a few phone calls and text messages from vendors and customers.
11. What’s next for your company? Any upcoming new projects or initiatives?
We currently have a 120,000-square foot facility under construction in Caldwell, Texas, with anticipated completion in the first quarter of 2024. This facility will be our main production facility, along with other facilities in Houston and Belton, Texas.