If you’re weighing the benefits of leasing vs. ownership, listen to what the experts have to say.
Recently, Transport Topics ran an article entitled “Trucking Fleets Cite Maintenance Costs Among Benefits of Leasing Vehicles.” The article quotes a number of industry experts discussing the changes in fleets’ attitudes when it comes to the decision whether to purchase or lease.
Companies are trying to maintain and hopefully increase whatever profits they make by focusing on their core business. One way to do this is through leasing rather than owning a fleet; another is by outsourcing many traditional cost centers to expert providers. According to Dean Vicha, President of NationaLease, “Folks are starting to look at outsourcing [maintenance work] where before they had their own shops, but the commitment to technology and the issues with hiring good technicians is just much tougher than it was in the past.”
So how does leasing enter into the benefit here? To start with, in the most general sense, leasing a fleet is beneficial to companies in a number of ways. The high cost of new trucks, with all the new technology, has made companies question whether purchasing makes sense. With leasing, there is minimal upfront investment, so companies can use their capital to grow the business. Leasing companies offer detailed analysis on vehicle usage, helping businesses use only the types and quantities of vehicles necessary.
Many leasing companies now offering contract maintenance to their customers.
The Transport Topics article quotes Tom James, CEO of the Truck Renting and Leasing Association, who stated, “People are looking for transportation partners and that is what leasing companies are…Fixed monthly costs allow companies to focus on the core function of their business. From the operational standpoint, a typical lease fleet is not in a position to deal with the inherent risks associated with the ownership of trucks, [such as] unpredictable maintenance costs and the cost of hiring, training and keeping technicians.”
That’s why many leasing companies are now offering contract maintenance to their customers in addition to other services, such as emergency roadside assistance. As Vicha states, “Customers are trying to squeeze everything out of their transportation budget, so they are asking us to get creative in ways to cut costs.” There’s no question that outsourcing maintenance, in an era where truck complexity is increasing, is a significant way to cut those costs.
If you think leasing is right for your company, you need to look for a provider who handles more than just financing. Look for one that handles fleet logistics, staff management, preventive maintenance, emergency road service, safety programs, permitting and licensing, substitute vehicles, fuel-tax issues, and more. You’ll want a provider who is able to crunch the data and provide insights into more efficient ways to handle your fleet operations. The right provider will work with you to make sure you have the services and vehicles you need for optimum profitability.
The original blog post can be found on the AmeriQuest Blog Website.