An adaptable arrangement
As part of a major global equipment manufacturer, PacLease is in a position to flex and change in line with industry and customer requirements across its fleet of rental and leased assets.
Ancient philosophy cites that ‘the only certainty is change’. Though the insight far pre-dates commercial road transport, it certainly rings true for the constantly evolving industry. Transport is subject to change not only on a grand scale in terms of disruptive technologies, but also on a day-to-day basis.
As such, fluctuating demand and unplanned downtime are sources of heartache for many an Australian road transport operator. The variables in the amount of work being done can result in inconsistent cash flow, which can impact businesses working in an industry with such low profit margins. Aiming to offer operators a way to manage their erratic fleet requirements in a flexible manner, PACCAR introduced its rental and leasing division, PacLease, to the Australian market at the Brisbane Truck Show in 2015.
Olen Hunter, Director of PacLease Australia, says the service’s launch was met with considerable interest from numerous fleets. “Fleets were looking for a reliable source of late-model equipment to help them during peak delivery seasons and when they have a truck off the road,” Olen says. “The reception was excellent and interest continues to build.”
According to Olen, although every customer has a different rationale for leasing from PacLease, they typically fall into two or three different brackets: customers looking to control costs through a predictable pricing structure; customers seeking to use their capital in other areas of their business for investments that will return a higher ROI; or leasing equipment to match the life of a new work contract.
To meet the varied needs of fleets, PacLease has its range of vehicles available in customiseable packages, from one day rentals all the way to six or seven year full service leases. Two years since the launch in Brisbane, Olen describes PacLease as a company that is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the industry. “When we first launched PacLease we were focusing on local regional hauliers and our DAF product fit the bill very well for those segments,” Olen says. “We started with a fleet of DAF LF 14-pallet rigid trucks, DAF CF85 single trailer prime movers and DAF XF105 double trailer prime movers.”
Olen explains that the company’s rental and leasing fleet makeup has grown and changed significantly since the launch. Now, alongside the DAF options, the company also offers the full Kenworth line, ranging from the K200 cabovers to the new Kenworth T610 bonneted prime movers.
“Very quickly we found a strong demand for high horsepower B-double registered prime movers in the greater than 70-tonne market so we quickly began adding Kenworth prime movers to our equipment line-up,” Olen says. “The uptake rate on our new T610 prime movers, which feature a new 2.1m-width cab and best in class interior, has been amazing. As soon as we get a new one in the fleet it’s one on a long-term rent.”
Though every customer has a different lease agreement and vehicle, Olen says they each share similar demands for uptime. “They have a job to do with that equipment and they don’t want to be dealing with trucks that are constantly going into the shop,” he says – revealing that reliability is therefore a key quality of all components specified across its fleet. “In our business we depend on component suppliers that stand behind their product and are there if we need help,” he adds.
For example, the majority of the PacLease prime movers are fitted with a SAF-Holland fifth wheel. “The product is very dependable. We haven’t had any drama with the SAF-Holland fifth wheels we’ve spec’d,” Olen says. “After consulting with the experts at SAF-Holland we have selected two primary configurations for our equipment. First, we use a G36 fifth wheel on our DAF products, as the turntable mates well with the equipment, provides low tare weight and has a very light pull on the release handle.”
The majority of Kenworth prime movers in the fleet are fitted with the FW351 fifth wheel, which Olen says will match the duty cycle of its Kenworth gear. “We have several units equipped with a single-row ball race configuration as well to fit our customers’ requirements,” Olen adds. “The SAF-Holland sales and service teams work very closely with us to match the correct products with each customer’s rental application.”
Olen says the SAF-Holland team is also proactive in approaching PacLease with its new technology, understanding that the rental and leasing company is constantly adjusting its fleet to improve equipment performance, and reduce equipment downtime and costs.
Olen says each change that is made to the PacLease range is driven by customer requirements, and advised with the help of trusted suppliers like SAF-Holland. This way, he says PacLease can ensure the rental and leasing company can offer an up-to-date and flexible solution as customer needs fluctuate and technology advances.
“One thing is for certain and that’s change,” Olen says. “Change will happen and we will be there to address the needs of the transport industry with our products and services as the industry evolves. One of the benefits of being part of a major global equipment manufacturer is that you get to work with the brightest and best in the industry and we get the opportunity to leverage the new technologies they develop.”
One of the key practices at PacLease is to provide an equipment orientation at every rental and leasing truck handover, says Olen Hunter, Director of PacLease Australia. “We review all of the features and benefits of the truck to ensure the customer knows how to properly operate the vehicle,” Olen says. “All Full Service Lease trucks get despatched as new vehicles and customers really do treat them as one of their own whilst they are out on lease.”