This Opinion piece appears in the Feb. 18 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.
By Jack Boetefuer
CEO, Arsenault Associates
There’s no real mystery as to why otherwise intelligent fleet operators so often negotiate full-service leases using only big, round numbers. Reason No. 1 is that they simply don’t know their actual, detailed maintenance costs. That’s a pity because in that situation, the fleet operator’s lack of knowledge virtually hands the negotiating advantage to the leasing company.
I recall a fleet-maintenance panel discussion when one question after another from the floor dealt with costs. Leasing representatives on the panel were peppered with questions like, “How far will a clutch go?” and “How much can we get out of a transmission?”
The leasing panelists said the answers depended on the drivers and other operating circumstances. Those responses were true enough, yet unsatisfying.