If you want to drive fleet managers into a frenzy, just ask them if they should own or lease their trucks. There are decent arguments for both sides. But, as the face of the trucking industry changes, it's becoming more evident that leasing your fleet is the better option.
While owning your fleet does offer the tax advantage of depreciation on the trucks, this is a small benefit compared to all the powerful advantages that come from leasing your truck fleet.
Let's take a look at these advantages, and we'll also show how owning a vehicle could actually end up costing you a lot more than money.
Lower Maintenance Costs
Leasing a truck eases much of the maintenance burden from your company. Depending on the lease agreement, maintenance can be handled by the leasing company. This coverage could range from routine scheduled maintenance to roadside assistance in other states.
According to Truckinginfo.com, trucks are becoming more advanced in technology and safety. While this is good for the environment and driver safety, it also means trucks need to spend more time in the shop. If you are a small business owner, it's expensive to keep your truck fleet at the forefront of technology with purchased trucks.
However, there is a bigger problem that develops when you own your own fleet. You have to recruit, hire, and retain your own techs. As commercial truck engines become more technologically advanced, it becomes harder for companies to find and hire technicians.
By leasing your truck with a maintenance package, you are leaving that entire burden with the leasing company. You save money in both maintenance costs and saving by having a reduced payroll.
A real time saver and it takes a lot of pressure off of the business owner.
Easier Turnover of Your Fleet
Leasing your truck fleet allows you to turn each truck over quickly and with less delay than if you own the truck
First, understand that turnover of a fleet is natural. Trucks are mechanical, and they develop problems from normal wear and tear. There comes a point in every truck's life cycle when it must be replaced. If you are wondering if a truck needs to be replaced, read this article.
The question is, how you are going to replace an old truck? You may find you have to sell it first so you can use the capital to buy a new truck. The problem is the downtime in the productivity of the truck while you are taking the time to sell it and purchase another one. You would probably have to add more road hours to other trucks in order to meet the delivery schedule of the old truck.
Leasing a truck allows you to return the truck at the end of the lease. You don't have to worry about selling the truck, preparing it for sales, or spending time with potential buyers. You would also be able to drive a new truck off the lot on the same day, minimizing the time lost on the road.
Your Fleet Will Have Newer, Safer, Technologically Advanced Trucks
Newer advanced truck engines offer many advantages besides the savings on maintenance and fuel. Like automobiles, commercial trucks are becoming safer and more comfortable.
Additionally, their engines are more efficient and handle emissions better than trucks from even 5 years ago. Most companies cannot afford to purchase new trucks every time something better comes onto the market. However, with a lease it's possible for even smaller businesses to enjoy the benefits of newer trucks.
These benefits include:
- Better safety features, such as back-up cameras and sensors on the trucks to warn drivers about close vehicles.
- GPS tracking so you know where your trucks are throughout the day
- Increased comfort for drivers, including better seating, and sleeping quarters.
- Data-driven and real time maintenance tracking. Using computer sensors coupled with 24/7 connection to the internet, truck drivers, and your fleet manager, will receive instant notification for upcoming maintenance.
One Non-Logistical Benefit of New Trucks Many People Don't Consider
Trucking suffers from a problem many other industries also face. There is a shortage of qualified and reliable drivers. It's getting hard to find and recruit them, and it also becomes harder to retain them.
However, newer trucks are a powerful solution to the problem. Truckers like to drive new trucks. If your fleet is stocked with new trucks, you are going to find it a lot easier to not only recruit qualified drivers, but to also retain them for the long-term.
The Biggest Misconception We See With Our Clients
Speaking to small business owners over the years, we keep hearing the same argument against leasing a truck fleet.
Many owners say, "I have a small business, with only four trucks. It doesn't make sense to lease them."
Actually, the smaller your company, the more you rely on your fleet you get your product out to your customers. Newer trucks are more reliable, they will serve you longer, and you will save money on maintenance and fuel costs.
Larger fleets can absorb the downtime caused by mechanical problems and maintenance, they have more trucks, drivers, and resources. Smaller businesses cannot absorb the loss of a truck as easily.
Wilmar is the largest fleet maintenance and management company in the southeast United States. We offer a variety of services, including fleet leasing. We supply trucks for fleets ranging from 1 to 1000 trucks, so even if you are a small business, we can still help you.
We offer leasing terms that are easy to understand and afford, including:
- Capital and operating leases
- We can lease you used vehicles
- We'll help you select the right vehicles for your business
- If you want, you can add your company's logo to your leased truck
- We offer flexible plans for vehicle mileage, including unlimited miles
- You can lease for up to 72 months
If you are considering establishing your own trucking fleet, restructuring your logistics, or simply looking for a path to clear your table of the hassle of managing your own trucks, we encourage you to contact us.