3.Convenient: Alongside with the maintenance benefit, there is also a convenience benefit as well. “[Through PLM] you get mobile services all the time,” says PLM’s Durm. “We can do all of the basic preventative maintenance right there at your facility and that drives out cost.”
Leasing Vs. Owning
Some food companies may not fully distinguish if leasing their fleet is the right decision for their business. “A Ryder food industry specialist can offer a lease vs. ownership analysis,” says Melluzzo. Doing a lease vs. ownership analysis will help determine the best solution for your company, he adds.
Evaluating longevity: Understanding a trailers’ average lifespan will also help you decide whether or not leasing is right for your company. “With really good maintenance and preventative maintenance practices, you can see trailers last anywhere from 10 to 15 years and it depends an awful lot on the application if it’s a very difficult application in a [harsh] environment,” says Maccio.
There are many determining factors such as the cargo, how it is being loaded and off loaded, annual mileage driven, annual refrigerated hours, and whether the trailer is equipped with a railgate, says Ryder’s Melluzzo
“On average, a lifespan of a refrigerated trailer is eight years and 10 years for a dry van depending on the quality of maintenance through its life,” Melluzzo continues.
“The trailer insulation degradation within the first five years can be as much as 40 percent,” says PLM’s Durm. “So that means the refrigeration trailer has to run longer to chill down the product—at some point it loses its capacity to do that and then you start to have product integrity issues.”
“A number of companies today will lease their tractors but not their trailers, which is a little bit backwards,” states Durm. “The most highly depreciable piece of equipment they have is that refrigerated trailer.” Durm also mentions that unlike the tractor, a refrigerated trailer never gets a break.
No credit strain: When considering a dry/refrigerated trailer lease, one may wonder what this may do to the leasers’ credit. “Typically a lease is structured in line with a company’s financial strategy and financial goals, so depending on how the lease is structured, it can take the strain off of a customer’s credit or balance sheet because it’s a footnote still,” explains PacLease’s Maccio.
Better gas mileage: With the ongoing increase in gas prices, there is a noticeable difference the when utilizing newer equipment vs. older equipment. “A brand new refrigeration unit uses approximately 0.7 gallons per runtime hour; an older unit will run about 1.2 to 1.4 gallons per runtime hour, and that’s a huge-huge difference,” says PLM’s Durm.
“All of the monitoring and technology that has gone into refrigerated equipment has improved fuel economy as well as the power,” states Maccio.
Trailer temperature controls: As the capabilities of refrigerated trailers become more advanced, it also becomes easier to maintain the temperatures of your fleet. For example, PLM offers a service called Cold-Link. “Cold-Link enables you take a look at where the trailer’s at in the delivery route and also monitor the temperature,” says Durm. “The service notifies you via computer or smart phone if the temperatures change.”p
Focus on customer needs: Searching for the right kind of lease program is essential in order to take advantage of the best program possible. PLM offers customizable leasing programs to fully assist in the customers’ needs. “PLM is willing to tailor any of our programs to a customer’s specific need, so we’re not locked into the what’s-on-the-shelf type of leasing program,” comments PLM’s Durm. “What we do is we listen to the customer, and they tell us what their needs are and the business challenges and we tailor make a leasing program to it that need.”
Leasing trailers are not only cost effective for your company, but are convenient and customizable to fit your needs. “You get back to what you do best, which is deliver the food product within the compliance of your contract. You’re not in the trucking business anymore, because we’re taking care of that end of the business for you,” concludes Durm.