December 30, 2021
What’s Best for Your Fleet? Own, Lease or a Managed Maintenance Program
By Michael Willey, PacLease Assistant General Manager, CTP
In a recent survey by the National Private Truck Council, there was an open-ended question that asked: “What is the primary reason your company operates a private fleet?” For most, the answer wasn’t surprising. More than 90% responded it was “customer service.” In the same survey, many respondents viewed their fleet as a core competency.
This all means running reliable, top-notch equipment and hiring industry-best drivers. The question is, what’s the best way to make it all work?
For most, full-service leasing is a great choice for those who want simplified cost accounting, ultra-reliable trucks with minimal downtime thanks to meticulous maintenance programs provided by PacLease, equipment that drivers want to drive, and no hassles with vehicle disposal at the end of the lease.
There is also another scenario playing out with some fleets, and that’s a hybrid model. We have several customers who own and lease. As these customers have expanded, they’ve kept their legacy maintenance programs in place – keeping their own technicians employed. But, as they’ve added trucks, they’ve put those into a full-service lease – not having to worry about maintenance, or hiring new technicians.
The later part – hiring technicians who will need constant training, along with trucks that are getting more sophisticated and harder to work on – has been a driver toward many in the move toward full-service leasing.
That leads us to one more scenario, and that’s a managed maintenance program. For many, owning trucks is company culture. They have complete control over the financial aspect of the purchase – perhaps they’re cash flush – plus they want the flexibility to run the trucks as long as they wish and don’t mind finding the next buyer. Yet, those who own are finding the other aspects of running their own equipment less appealing. They want to own, but want the benefits of leasing. That’s where our managed maintenance program comes in. In essence, it’s what we also call an unbundled lease. Within this program, companies can pick and choose the type of maintenance program they’d like. If they start with brand new trucks, they can set up maintenance just as if the trucks were on lease. This would be over an agreed upon time period. If there is downtime, replacement vehicles can be part of the package. Our PacCentral emergency roadside service can also be part of the equation, along with arranging for service at other network locations dotting North America. PacLease can also keep DOT records and provide maintenance support for CSA and DOT regulatory compliance. It’s great blanket protection. This option locks in your price over the duration of your maintenance program.
Another option is to work out a contract where the parts and service rates are guaranteed. This “pay as you go” model gives flexibility – you can choose to use PacLease exclusively, or you can have another company (or your own shop) handle minor issues – more of a blended maintenance program. But, when you use PacLease, you’re assured of the rates during the duration of the contract.
One big benefit of working with us on a managed maintenance program is record keeping, synchronized PMs, and repairs when fault codes are activated. We also use onboard diagnostics and telematics to schedule when maintenance is due, and where it should be conducted (especially if trucks are constantly on the road and need out-of-area servicing). And, through remote diagnostics, we (and you) can understand exactly what’s going on with a truck if a fault code is activated. This allows us to figure out the best way to get the problem solved with parts and service often ready when the truck pulls into a satellite location.
When it comes to transportation, we know that a “one size fits all” approach isn’t always the best. Transportation is a huge component in your operation, so weigh your options carefully to make the best decision. Whether leasing, or contracting out your maintenance program with PacLease, we are here to support your every need.
Visit the PacLease blog for more great blogs.