Truckstar, PJ’s Express
This Truckstar is a long time satisfied customer and friend! He gave us an insider’s view into the advantages of leasing a truck as well as H.K. Truck Center’s relationship with its customers. It came as no surprise that he was chosen as a TruckStar, and we thoroughly enjoyed talking to him!
Tell us a little about your business:
“We warehouse and distribute kitchen cabinets. We’ve got a 43,000 square foot warehouse in Hillsborough here. When the customers are ready for it, we load them up on our trucks with a two man team and deliver the merchandise wherever our customers want it.”
“Yes, through H.K. Truck Center.”
When did you first start working with H.K. Truck Center?
“With H.K.? I started working with them maybe twenty years ago? Long time, I’ve been with Bert and I’ve been with Hank a long time.”
Was it always purchasing trucks?
“I purchased a lot of trucks from them, I leased a lot of trucks from them, and I have a other trucks that I don’t lease or I buy outright and they take good care of them.”
How many trucks do you have in operation?
What has your experience been in terms of leasing vs. maintaining an older fleet?
“I keep my older fleet up to date. My guys, we don’t put a lot of weight in the trucks, just kitchen cabinets, and my guys take good care of the vehicles as if they are their own vehicles themselves. That’s why when Bert looks at the trucks when the lease is up I add another lease onto them because the trucks are in great shape. There’s no damage done to them. We don’t really put that many miles on them, maybe 40,000-50,000 miles a year.”
Do you have Hino or Fuso trucks?
“I have Hino trucks and I own a Mitsubishi which I purchased from them, an 18 ft. truck. That’s still on the road. It’s a 2009.”
Are you happy with the Hino brand?
“I’m happy with everything. If I’m not, it would have been gone.”
So why did you choose leasing over immediate purchase and financing?
“I used to purchase my trucks. I had Volvo’s back then years ago. It just got to the point with the repairs on them, and every time they break down you had to have a tow truck. It just seemed more cost-efficient to lease them. Every four or five years I get a good truck. There’s less money if you put down for a truck. You can use it for capital improvements for the business. They’re responsible for the truck because they repair the truck. They service the truck. They’ll service my truck faster than anyone because they are their trucks.”
So there’s responsibility on the part of H.K. Truck Center to maintain a good truck?
“Yes. I dealt with Ryder, they’re a local office. They were horrible. They know you as just a number. With H.K. Truck Center, they know you as Ron from PJ’s express.”
So it was Bert who helped you with the lease? Are you happy with the support he’s given you?
Have you worked with the service department as frequently? And are you happy with the service they have given you?
“Yes. Service department is very good. They bend over backwards for you.”
Who is your primary contact at Service?
And are you happy with how he has treated you?
“Yes. Oh yea. Charlie, he’s good. There are other guys in there that are good. It’s a very good company. They take care of you. In business today, especially logistics, you need a company to be behind you when there’s something wrong. If there’s something wrong with one of my trucks they have a loaner truck; not a rental truck, but a loaner truck right then and there. I don’t have to go out and rent the truck.”
So if you were talking to a friend and business associate who was thinking in investing and leasing a truck, what would you recommend as far as the process goes and the experience?
“I’d recommend leasing to them. In fact, I did have this conversation with a friend of mine. He has a business and he said ‘Well, I’ll buy the trucks’. Why buy the trucks? Lease the trucks. Then they are responsible for it. Anything happens they come out and repair it.”
interview by Three Summers Creative
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