Leasing also allows companies to keep trucks only in the early years when they are most productive and then send them packing when they start to wear out. “When you lease you’re able to turn in the asset before the maintenance cost begins to increase,” says Oda. “And you can customize the lease term to your operating hours so that you balance the cost to maintain the asset.”
A major benefit of leasing is being able to get vehicles with the latest technologies—without laying out the cash. “Companies that regularly upgrade equipment due to changing operational demands typically value a leasing option because of the ability to capitalize on new products and technology,” says Gabriel.
“There’s changing technologies on forklifts and you’re not tied in if you are leasing; you are able to take advantage of the term of the lease and acquire new technology as it becomes available,” says Oda.
And when it’s time to dispose of your lift trucks at the end of its useful life, the leasing company takes care of that for you.
Most importantly, leasing allows grocery and foodservice distributors to focus on their number one priority—serving their customers. “The biggest benefit to leasing is that it keeps the distributor focused on their core competency and out of the lift truck businesses, so they can do what they do best,” says David Morzella, warehouse product sales manager of Toyota Material Handling USA, Irvine, CA.
Making It Work
Financial companies offer many types of leasing programs to suit your needs—the trick is finding the right program for your business. In addition to the right leasing terms, a good maintenance package will help you get the most out of your lease.
“Customers that choose to lease often prefer the cost certainty that comes with this decision,” states Tate. “Specifically, they will purchase a maintenance component as part of the lease so those costs are not variable during the term. Local service helps ensure the integrity of the maintenance as well as limit shipping costs of the forklift.”
To make the most out of your lease, experts recommend that you work closely with your lease company. “The most advantageous path is working with a single-source provider that can bring single invoicing, consistent maintenance and flexibility during or at the end of the lease,” says Tate.
“We take the time to sit down with customers to come up with the most beneficial plan. One size doesn’t fit all,” concludes NACCO’s Goodwin. d