PACCAR Leasing Company (PacLease) is one of the fastest-growing commercial truck leasing companies in the transportation industry. Founded in 1980, PacLease has both company-owned and independent leasing centers across the US and Canada. The company delivers custom full-service truck leasing, rental, and contract maintenance programs. Over the past few months, PacLease has experienced a 20-percent upswing in its Class 8 truck rentals across the country. Chachi Hernandez, PacLease’s national director of rental operations, attributes the growth to economic confidence and provides pointers for renting commercial trucks.
MWS: HOW IS THE HEAVY- AND MEDIUM-DUTY TRUCK RENTAL MARKET FARING—OR MORE APPROPRIATELY THRIVING—RIGHT NOW?
The heavy and medium-duty truck rental market is running on all cylinders with rental utilization in the PacLease system increasing markedly over the past four months. In Class 8 rentals, we’ve seen a 20-percent jump across the country, with the West Coast being the hottest market—a 25-percent increase over the past four months.
MWS: TO WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THIS NOTEWORTHY GROWTH?
Prior to the spike, there were a lot of unknowns with where the economy was headed. But confidence has strengthened and the economy is growing. Increased rental activity signals an increase in leasing and sales of trucks. PacLease is well positioned with our customers—over the past five years our franchise rental fleet has been growing at an annual eight-percent clip. Growth in the medium-duty segment is also heating up, being driven in part by the seasonal needs of the agricultural business.
MWS: WHAT ARE REASONS COMMERCIAL CUSTOMERS RENT TRUCKS?
Traditionally, customers might have a truck in the shop and need a short-term replacement, or they get a new customer who needs immediate servicing, and secure a rental unit to handle business while shopping for a new truck. We also have customers who have ordered new trucks and use rental trucks as a bridge. Older trucks have maintenance needs, and fleets trade them in or put them up for sale. Those customers want the fuel efficiency and driver comforts a new truck offers. PacLease Kenworth and Peterbilt rentals provide these benefits since we only carry new and late model units.
MWS: WHAT ADVICE IS AT THE TOP OF YOUR LIST FOR CUSTOMERS SHOPPING FOR A RENTAL TRUCK?
To preferably rent newer models. Even if customers plan to rent short term, they should get a rental that will perform best in their operation—they don’t need to compromise. Look for late model trucks to help ensure it is reliable and features the latest technology. Most national rental companies, like PacLease, buy new trucks for their rental fleets, but others take trucks coming off a full-service lease and put those in the rental fleet.
MWS: WHAT ARE OTHER IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS FOR SELECTING THE RIGHT TRUCKS?
Look for rental trucks that were spec’d by your local lease/rental company for their own market. Some companies offer the same trucks throughout the country, with the same specs. But, a driver in Florida has a different terrain to navigate than one in Colorado. For example, if you live in an area with hills and mountains, make sure you have the appropriate horsepower and torque. What’s more, if you have a specialized operation, your local rental company might not have the perfect truck—but someone in their network might. It’s not uncommon for a franchise to bring in a truck that works better for their customer.
MWS: WHAT ASSURANCES SHOULD A CUSTOMER ASK FOR BEFORE MAKING THE DECISION TO RENT FROM A PARTICULAR COMPANY?
Consider if your rental truck is going to be reliable and what happens if there is a problem on the road. A well-maintained truck is a must. That being said, trucks are mechanical and they can break down. If that happens, how will your rental company respond? You need to count on your rental company to provide immediate assistance—finding another truck and resolving any issues so you can complete your delivery.
MWS: HOW CAN A CUSTOMER “TEST DRIVE” A TRUCK THEY’RE CONSIDERING BEFORE MAKING THE COMMITMENT TO A LONG-TERM LEASE?
PacLease is seeing a steady climb in customers who rent before they lease. It makes great sense and we encourage it for those who are considering leasing for the first time. You test drive a car before you buy it. The same approach works well for leasing. See how well the lease/rental company takes care of that equipment and you; and how well your drivers like the truck. It takes the risk out of the commitment and helps a fleet make a smart business decision.
MWS: WHAT’S YOUR PARTING ADVICE FOR SELECTING THE BEST RENTAL AND LEASING ORGANIZATION FOR A COMPANY’S SPECIFIC NEEDS?
Forming a true business partnership will allow the rental company to focus on taking care of your fleet and give you more time to focus on taking care of your customers. Here’s an example—one of our customers, Allen Heath, owns Hotline Delivery, which runs “hot shot” local and regional deliveries within a 300-mile radius of Dallas, Texas. He rents from 10 to 15 trucks from us at a time. He has tried other rental companies, “…but PacLease was the only one that really understood my business and partnered with us,” Heath says.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
PACCAR Leasing is a part of the financial services group of PACCAR Inc., a global technology leader in the design, manufacture, and customer support of high-quality light-, medium-, and heavy-duty trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt, and DAF nameplates. Find out more, visit www.paccar.com.
MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS: NOVEMBER 2017 ISSUE
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