Should You Lease or Own Trucks Should You Lease or Own Your Trucks? 3 Cases with Proven Results

Customized WB Mason Truck

The way a company manages its fleet impacts its overall business strategy and success going forward. This holds true whether you lease or own your fleet. For many businesses small and large, fleet management is not a core competency, making the decision to operate a fleet in-house even more pressing because of the significant impact it has on customers and the business.

This report illustrates the results achieved by three different companies when they questioned whether it was better to lease or own their truck fleet. How did their decision affect not only their transportation costs, but how their business runs?

Today’s business environment is full of challenges for fleet owners, and it is only getting more complicated. When you look at the options of truck leasing or owning a fleet, both have their benefits. Deciding which is best for your company depends on many factors: type of operation, truck configuration, managing preferences, routes, capacity, and financing.

When considering whether to lease or own your fleet you should ask:

  • Do I spend too much time and money managing my fleet?
  • Am I up-to-date on the complexities of engine technology, regulations, and emissions standards?
  • Can I drive more value from my fleet while gaining time to focus on my business and customers?

Many company owners feel owning their vehicles is the only way they can brand their fleet, benefit from tax deductions, and have total control among other things. But these can all be attained through a truck lease as well.

The truth is, owning, running, and maintaining a fleet can be costly. Unpredictable costs, breakdowns, and hidden risk can take your focus away from your business and your customers. With a full service truck lease, you get a fleet you can rely on, predictable monthly costs, built-in truck maintenance, substitute vehicles, and time to focus on your business.

Your monthly payment can actually be less than what you are paying by owning your fleet. You also limit your risk should your vehicle breakdown, as truck maintenance is covered through the life of your lease.

By collaborating with Ryder, you can put the complexities of managing your fleet behind you and focus on your business or other value drivers. You won’t have to worry about acquiring, managing, and disposing of the vehicle. Flexible financing options, vehicle specification, repair, and preventive maintenance are also included.

What you get is a reliable fleet, customized to your business with a predictable monthly payment. See how a full service lease benefited these three unique businesses.

Case 1: W.B. Mason

For W.B. Mason, delivering office supplies is about much more than making sure that packages arrive on time. Because customer service is critical to survival and growth in the office supply industry, they hire expert drivers with excellent customer service skills. And when they need vehicles for their elite drivers, they call Ryder.

In 1981, W.B. Mason began leasing two of its five-vehicle fleet from Ryder. Now, with more than 1,100 trucks in over 60 locations and 24 states, W.B. Mason has an on-time delivery rate of over 99 percent.

Ryder performs more than 2,500 preventative maintenance inspections on W.B. Mason’s vehicles each year, preventing downtime and delays.

When inclement weather conditions arise, Ryder technicians scrutinize tires, wipers, and other problematic areas, seamlessly switching vehicles and parts as needed. To further alleviate liability and promote caution on the road, Ryder also provides safety seminars for W.B. Mason’s drivers.

W.B. Mason’s record-setting efficiency is due to more than well-maintained vehicles and well-trained drivers. Ryder also provides customization solutions that allow for quick and easy loading and unloading. Angled shelving and adjustable racks and bins can be rearranged, allowing W.B. Mason to tailor truck interiors to each load. And because W.B. Mason’s loaders are able to arrange items in an order specific to the day’s route, drivers can unload cargo sequentially at each stop. This saves time and reduces delivery errors.

Case 2: Diaz Foods

Diaz Foods is unique: first, it delivers to both grocery outlets and restaurants, and second, many of the company’s exotic foods require precisely controlled temperatures in order to arrive in peak condition. Combine those needs with the company’s expanding scope of operations—its trucks travel 140,000 miles a week, delivering to locations in 28 states— and the result is a thriving business that would be impossible to manage effectively without Ryder.

Before partnering with Ryder, Diaz Foods had their own delivery fleet— and a host of problems. “We had a VW van that we blew the engine out of,” says Rene Diaz, CEO of Diaz Foods, “and a 1969 Mack truck with wooden floors complete with holes in them. We started breaking down, and we finally realized that we didn’t want to own trucks anymore. We couldn’t take time to constantly deal with repairs, because our customers needed our products.”

In 1993, after several years of using Ryder rentals to cover their own fleet breakdowns, Diaz Foods became a Ryder ChoiceLease Full Service customer. Today, Diaz Foods’ fleet has grown to more than 50 Ryder vehicles. Ryder has now become an indispensable link in the Diaz Foods supply chain, helping the company solve challenges, expand their business, and grow their profits.

Although Diaz cited many reasons why he loves working with Ryder, there are three primary benefits that keep them coming back: Working with Ryder offers Diaz Foods vehicle flexibility they’d never have otherwise, helps Diaz manage fuel costs, and delivers service savings.

Case 3: Ice Cream Club

Purveyors of more than 175 unique flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt, and other cold treats, The Ice Cream Club began as a single storefront in 1982. The Florida based company now produces one million gallons of their award-winning product for more than 500 ice cream shops, restaurants, and other clients across the Southeast U.S. and Caribbean Islands. Their meticulous attention to making ice cream accounts for this growing demand—but reaching The Ice Cream Club’s expanding customer base would be impossible without their close relationship with Ryder.

The logistics of moving ice cream products across the country are complicated. Many of The Ice Cream Club’s routes are overnight or longer, requiring mechanical refrigeration, not just cold packs. Ice cream has a specific setup, and it requires more than just a refrigerator truck or a box truck. It has to be a low-temperature ice cream truck. Because of the partnership with Ryder, The Ice Cream Club has quick and easy access to the vehicles they need.

Ryder’s access to specialized vehicles was a huge selling point for The Ice Cream Club—as was Ryder’s highly responsive maintenance infrastructure. “We have a lot of inventory on our trucks—$20,000 to $30,000 worth of invoiced ice cream going on these two- or three-day routes throughout the Southeast

U.S.,” says Rich Draper, CEO of Ice Cream Club. “We needed assurance that we’d have breakdown assistance. Having the Ryder network out there makes a big difference—not only for saving the immediate product, but saving the route.”

Ryder’s vast and flexible network of resources makes it easier for The Ice Cream Club to go the extra mile for their customers.

For these three companies, with unique needs, choosing a full service truck lease allowed them to get the vehicles needed, along with built-in truck maintenance to keep their businesses running more efficiently and at a lower predictable cost.

"Today’s business environment is full of challenges for fleet owners, and it is only getting more complicated."

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