Ready To Roll

Leasing helps distributors avoid maintenance headaches.


In addition to the basic maintenance considerations, Carson says the continued constraint on truck capacity, a reluctance to commit vitally needed capital and long wait times to get new trucks are driving many companies that once only purchased equipment to explore renting and leasing options.

It Just Makes Sense "In any economic climate, it makes sense for fleets to lease their trucks," says Peter Vroom, TRALA's president. "In a bad economy, companies often lease to leverage tight capital. In a good economy, they want to look after their company's capital but also want to avoid the hassles of owning and operating their vehicles."

Those hassles are a thing of the past for Shetakis. Through the company's lease arrangement with Preferred, "I have to make only one phone call and Preferred says they will take care of what I need and they do it. Preferred twice a week inspects our trucks at our site and takes care of the needed maintenance. Every repair or maintenance, except for two, has been done at our facility, and those two were handled at Preferred," Winburn says. "We don't have to pay a driver overtime to shuttle a truck to a distant repair facility.

"If we call in a maintenance problem, it is taken care of by the next morning at our site by a night technician or a substitute truck is driven to us," he adds. "We never miss a beat with Preferred and PacLease.

If Shetakis hadn't chosen to lease its trucks, Winburn says he would have had to hire a transportation manager to handle maintenance, fuel tax reporting, daily vehicle inspection reports and more. "When I look at our head count, and for our size of operation, full-service leasing is the most effective way to go," he says.

As a company, Andrews was not always a firm believer in leasing. "Now we do both and it makes us more efficient and profitable," he says.

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