BELLEVUE, WA - PACCAR Leasing (PacLease) is celebrating 30 years of helping companies improve fleet operations and overcome the business challenges associated with transportation management.
A recent company celebration recognized the company's stellar growth from 17 locations in 1980 to more than 400 locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Germany. Over the same time period, PacLease's customer fleet has grown to over 30,000 vehicles around the world.
"PacLease was founded on the idea that companies should concentrate on their core business and leave the financing and management of trucks to a company that specializes in spec'ing and maintaining them," said PacLease President Bob Southern.
When PacLease began its full-service leasing business 30 years ago, deregulation in the trucking industry allowed many new carriers to enter the transportation business.
"The increased competition drove down rates to levels attractive to private companies, but it also eroded service levels," Southern said. "That led many private companies to consider running their own trucking operations. But they needed expert assistance with managing the maintenance and operation of their trucks, and that's where the newly formed PacLease offered a simple solution.
"Thirty years later, companies face new challenges with their private fleets," continued Southern. "They must adopt new truck technologies, meet stricter state and federal emission regulations and deal with fluctuating fuel prices driven by changing global supply and demand."
As a result of global demand, PacLease expanded beyond the U.S. and Canadian borders beginning in the mid-90s, Southern said. PacLease entered the Mexican full-service leasing market in April of 1996. Eleven years later, the company entered the European full-service leasing market by acquiring a German truck leasing company.
"With over 30 full-service leasing locations in Mexico, business in the country has grown exponentially and is a significant part of our success," he said. "In Europe, PacLease broadened its reach and service capability for European and global customers requiring premium full service lease and rental products. International expansion continues to present significant growth opportunities for PacLease as more customers look for global transportation services.
"Customer needs drive our business and our growth in the full service lease and commercial truck rental business can be attributed to our valuable customers," Southern added. "The fact that PacLease does business with many of the top private fleets in North America offers a strong testament to the importance and success of full-service leasing for many private fleets.
"In addition, increased demand for premium PACCAR products manufactured by Peterbilt, Kenworth and DAF, combined with the commitment of past and present employees and award-winning dealers, have fueled growth and success at PacLease."

One such dealer, Peterbilt of Wisconsin, joined the PacLease system on Dec. 17, 1980, with one location in Waukesha, Wis. The leasing division, JX PacLease, now has 12 locations in Illinois and Wisconsin. Eric Jorgensen, president and CEO of JX Enterprises said their leasing business has grown tenfold since 2004.
"After we committed our company's goals to include full-service leasing, our leasing business grew because PacLease offered our customers a competitive leasing product," Jorgensen said. "We showed our customers the advantages of leasing premium Peterbilt trucks through PacLease: decreased downtime, higher driver satisfaction, and improved company image.
"Our customers also appreciated that they could deal with a locally-owned business backed by a strong company and a strong dealer network. That meant our people could get to know and develop long-term working relationships with our customers," he added.
Jorgensen said despite the recent recession, he sees a bright future ahead with PacLease and full-service leasing.

"Already, we're seeing an incredible amount of interest in full-service leasing because of concerns over regulations and the increasingly more complex systems on trucks," he added. "We're so pleased to be a part of the PacLease system after nearly 30 years."

Larry Price, director of operations for Palmer Leasing, also sees a bright future.
"Many companies are talking to us because they're concerned about the training and the technological expertise required for servicing and maintaining the engine emission control technology to meet 2010 federal emission standards," he said.
Palmer Leasing joined the PacLease system on May 27, 1981, with six rental trucks in two locations, Kenworth of Indianapolis and Kenworth of Cincinnati. Palmer now has eight locations in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, with over 800 vehicles under lease contracts and hundreds more on contract maintenance programs.
"Our company's founder, Eldon Palmer, and Frank Walter, our leasing company president, started the leasing business in a modular office trailer and a two-bay garage at our current location in Indianapolis," Price said. "Since then, we've expanded at that location three times and we've added seven more locations.
"I don't think anyone really anticipated the kind of growth we've experienced over the years," he added. "Offering full-service leasing was a response to a need among our customers. We found that they wanted delivery control of their products. But they didn't want the hassle of dealing with their own maintenance facility and all of the administrative tasks that accompany a trucking operation, such as fuel tax reporting. Our franchise's growth clearly showed that the need for full-service leasing was great and that we've been able to fulfill that need.
"We've been pleased to be a part of the PacLease system from the beginning and we look forward to continuing that successful relationship," Price said.
Franchises like JX PacLease and Palmer Leasing are well positioned to serve the market because PacLease's parent company, PACCAR Inc, continues to develop and deliver premium transportation equipment with cutting-edge technology to the market, such as the PACCAR MX and PX series engines.  
According to the National Private Truck Council, private fleets operate more than 4 million medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks in the United States alone, representing more than 80 percent of all commercial trucks on the highway. "That represents a huge growth potential market for full-service leasing. As fleets continue to shift towards full-service lease products as their fleet management strategy, PacLease and its franchises are in a good position to take more advantage of the resulting growth potential," Southern said.