It’s -25 degrees Fahrenheit 250 miles outside the Arctic Circle in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. The ground is layered in snow and ice. The environment is unwelcoming. Inside the Delta Leasing office, two workers are about to head to Kuparuk, an oil field on the North Slope. Their pickup is out front, running, waiting to take them safely to their destination.
Prudhoe Bay is not for the faint of heart. Weather conditions in Prudhoe Bay are severe and can be—without the proper equipment—deadly. “Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, is like doing business on the face of the moon. It’s probably some of the toughest conditions on the planet,” says Rudy Von Imhof, president, Delta Leasing. Regardless of the rough conditions, there is still work that must be done. For those workers who must bold Prudhoe Bay’s harsh climate and not-so-friendly terrain, Delta Leasing is on hand to assist.
Delta Leasing is a commercial leasing business providing trucks and equipment to customers in the oil and gas, construction, and transportation industries. “Delta Leasing was formed in 2002 as a need for oil field support,” says Von Imhof. “The big companies are in the business to drill for oil; they’re not in the business to provide vehicles and service vehicles. Out of that need, we were successful. It’s just kind of been off-to-the-races since.”
It takes a tough vehicle to navigate the snow and ice-laden Alaskan tundra. While Delta Leasing has a mixed fleet, the company has acquired more GMC Sierra pickups over the last few years. “We run 24/7/365. If you don’t have a reliable vehicle in Prudhoe Bay, you aren’t going anywhere. The GMC Sierra holds up the best of any of the vehicles we’ve had,” says Sam Amato, vice president, Delta Leasing.
Sierra’s proven performance and capability has spurred an increase in customer demand, as well. “In Alaska, your pickup truck is like the Wild West with your horse—everybody is really attached to their pickup truck. More and more of our customers were requesting the GMC Sierra trucks,” says Von Imhof. And Delta Leasing was ready to oblige.
Featured Image: Delta Leasing supports the North Slope region with its fleet of GMC Sierras and maintenance services.
Above: The GMC Sierra’s ability to stand up to the harsh Alaskan terrain motivated Delta Leasing to acquiring more of the pickups.
DANGEROUS ENVIRONMENT VS GM FLEET SUPPORT
Delta Leasing’s transition to the Sierra pickups is based not only on the pickup’s ability to excel in the treacherous Alaskan environment, it’s based on the support GM Fleet offers. A product is only as good as the people who stand behind it and with the Sierra, Delta Leasing is getting a whole support system. “Alaska is very unique in the fact that the vehicle is basically the lifeline in many areas. The first time I actually visited there, Rudy and I were talking about some of the concerns they may have, such as what to do when somebody is locked out of a vehicle,” says Kurt Moats, fleet account manager for Delta Leasing. “We talked about OnStar.”
OnStar-equipped fleet vehicles offer peace of mind, connecting the driver to a highly trained advisor with the push of a button. OnStar features Roadside Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Assistance, and—maybe the most important for Delta Leasing’s customers—Remote Door Unlock. Getting locked out of a vehicle is a common problem in the North Slope region; a problem that can potentially cause serious health risks. “People don’t take their keys out of the vehicle up here for safety reasons. The most common phone call we get is people locking themselves out,” explains Amato. “With the mobile app, they’re able to unlock their vehicles with OnStar.”
Moats was able to help Delta Leasing get set up with OnStar technology: “He was instrumental in getting OnStar for our entire fleet, which has really benefited us from both a safety standpoint and with fleet management in general,” says Von Imhof.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SERVICE
While the company does provide vehicles, Delta Leasing is no one-trick pony. The company is a certified Dodge and GM warranty center and provides superior, timely maintenance services. Delta Leasing performs most required maintenance services in its shop and with two lube/mechanic trucks, the shop can go to its customers. According to the company: “Delta Leasing is a certified Warranty Repair Station servicing Chevrolet, GMC, and Dodge vehicles for the entire North Slope region. Our mechanics are factory and ASE-certified technicians who are supported by General Motors and Dodge Technical Assistance Centers.”
Even Delta Leasing needs its own support at times, though, and the GMC side of GM Fleet was at its service. “The factory support from GMC was outstanding. As a result, over the past years we’ve evolved to—almost exclusively now—running a fleet of GMC Sierra trucks,” says Von Imhof.
All photos ©General Motors.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Find out more about Delta Leasing, visit www.deltaleasing.com. For more on GM Fleets, including the GMC Sierra, visit www.gmfleet.com.
MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS: JANUARY 2016 ISSUE
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