BELLEVUE, Wash. – PacLease’s truck rental market has noticed an upward trend in the last four months.
According to the company’s national director of rental operations, Chachi Hernandez, “In Class 8 rentals, we’ve seen a 20% jump across the country, with the West Coast being the hottest market – with a 25% increase over the past four months. Prior to the spike, there were a lot of unknowns with where the economy was headed. But confidence has strengthened and the economy is growing. Increased rental activity signals an increase in leasing and sales of trucks. PacLease is well positioned with our customers – over the past five years our franchise rental fleet has been growing at an annual 8% clip.”
Growth in the Class 6/7 medium duty segment is also heating up, he said.
“Being driven in part by the seasonal need of the agricultural business,”Hernandez explained. “Overall it’s strong too.”
Hernandez said rental customers have unique needs and reasons to rent.
“Traditionally, customers might have a truck in the shop and need a short-term replacement; or they get a new customer who needs immediate servicing now, and secure a rental unit to handle the business while they shop for a new truck. We’re also finding some customers who have ordered new trucks and use rental trucks as a bridge. Older trucks will have maintenance needs – many fleets trade them in when they order, or put them up for sale themselves. Those customers want the fuel efficiency and driver comforts a new truck offers. PacLease Kenworth or Peterbilt rentals provide these benefits since we only carry new and late model units.”
Hernandez added PacLease is also seeing a steady climb in customers who rent before they lease.
“It makes great sense and we encourage it for those who are considering leasing for the first time,” he said. “You test drive a car before you buy it. The same approach works well for leasing. You should rent the truck you’re interested in leasing; see how well the lease/rental company takes care of that equipment and you; and how well your drivers like the truck. It takes the risk out of the commitment and helps a fleet make a smart business decision.”
Still other renters see an uptick in business that may or may not turn into steady business. “In those cases a rental makes great sense. Rentals provide flexibility since you get a late model truck, and shorter-term options,” said Hernandez. “We also have customers who just like to rent – they want no risk at all in terms of truck ownership, or in having a multi-year commitment with leasing.”