PGT Trucking, Inc., a multi-service transportation firm offering flatbed, dedicated, international and specialized services, announced that it selected Penske Truck Leasing as its provider of choice for comprehensive fleet maintenance solutions. This strategic move enables PGT to streamline its resources on driving innovative and sustainable solutions in the transportation industry.

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Penske Truck Leasing today announced it has completed the acquisition of the assets of Rochester, New York-based DeCarolis Truck Rental, Inc., a transportation company providing full-service truck leasing, rental, maintenance and repair services to a variety of customers primarily in the food processing and distribution, consumer distribution, and freight-hauling industries.

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Glen Raven Logistics

Glen Raven is a world-class manufacturer and distributor of innovative fabric based, market driven solutions. Their flagship brand, Sunbrella®, is a leading manufacturer of performance fabrics specifically designed to create lasting protection in a range of environments including outdoor furniture, indoor furniture, window treatments, boats, and more. To transport their products from coast to coast, Glen Raven relies on their own top-notch logistics company.

Yet in 2019, Glen Raven sought ways to optimize their logistics operations even further. "We wanted a partner who could help us go from good to great," said Steven Losiewicz, VP of Operations for the North Carolina-based Glen Raven Logistics.

With lanes on the East Coast, Laredo, Texas, Southern California and Mexico, Glen Raven needed a partner that covered a large footprint. "Penske has a facility four or five miles away from our terminal in Ridgefield, New Jersey, and one a couple of miles away from Laredo," Losiewicz said. "There was natural geographic synergy."

Optimizing Fleet Maintenance

In October 2019, Glen Raven turned over management of its on-site maintenance program to Penske. "The most important part of that transition was transitioning our technicians to Penske employees," Losiewicz said. "We knew this move would help enhance their careers."

The partnership gave Glen Raven's existing technicians a better work-life balance. A small-but-mighty team that worked close to 70 hours a week could now work fewer hours with industry-standard compensation and better support. In addition, Penske provided resources to help Glen Raven expand their shop's hours of operation and enhance their tools, technology and safety. And Penske brought Glen Raven 24/7 roadside assistance as well as the ability to easily find high-quality rental trucks in a pinch.

"Two years ago, if a driver ran into trouble on the road on a weekend, we had only one or two techs who would cover the phones," Losiewicz said. "Now our drivers call Penske and can get round-the-clock service faster for breakdowns. That's helped us get exceptional, near perfect uptime. And our drivers know that between Glen Raven and Penske, somebody always has their back."

Updating Their Fleet With Ease

One year later, when Glen Raven sought ways to dispose of its older trucks and upgrade to newer, more reliable equipment, they chose to enter a full-service lease with Penske.

"Penske's Sell2Lease program was incredibly instrumental," Losiewicz said. "Penske was able to get our fleet into newer, more reliable equipment by allowing us to take advantage of their favorable production slots with the major Original Equipment Manufacturers. The reinvention of our fleet would have taken two to three times longer had we done it on our own."

A partnership with Penske also allows Glen Raven to leverage the latest technology, including electric vehicles. "We are very excited to be a forward-thinking, early adapter of electric vehicles," Losiewicz said. "We're confident in how it will help Glen Raven meet its sustainability goals."

Safeguarding Fuel Supply

When a massive cyberattack shut down one of the nation's largest pipelines in May 2021 and caused fuel shortages in the heart of Glen Raven's shipping territory, their drivers didn't have to worry about where to find fuel thanks to Penske.

"Being able to visit a Penske fuel station helped us significantly hedge against fuel shortages," Losiewicz said. "It gave us a solid backup plan and our drivers didn't have to wait in the long lines that were happening throughout the Southeast."

Partnering to Reach Future Goals

Glen Raven's goal is to have the safest, most technologically advanced fleet in the market and they're confident Penske will help them achieve it. "Their professionalism and partnership have been a real asset to our operations," Losiewicz says. "Penske gives us a partner we can rely on for asset management so that we can focus on growth and scale."

Roadside repairs can be costly, delay drivers and result in missed deliveries. Data collected as part of the American Trucking Associations' Technology & Maintenance Council/FleetNet America Vertical Benchmarking Program found fleets averaged 29,506 miles of operation between unscheduled road repairs in the first quarter of 2021, down 18.7% from the fourth quarter of 2020.

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For the past 17 years, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has released its yearly report on the top issues facing the transportation industry.

The annual report is based on ATRI's vigorous surveying system, a cumulation of responses from truck drivers, motor carriers and other industry stakeholders. Each respondent ranks their top three concerns from a list of 30 pre-determined topics – along with their top three preferred approaches to address each main issue head on.

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Penske Truck Leasing has introduced remote service check-in via its Penske Driver™ mobile app. The new feature of the Penske Driver App provides commercial truck drivers with greater convenience and speed and enables them to maximize social distancing by remotely checking-in their vehicles for scheduled preventive maintenance or repairs via the mobile app. The new in-app process enhances the company's existing in-person and kiosk processes.

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Penske Truck Leasing has outgrown its original facility in Hamilton, Ontario, and opened a new consumer and commercial truck rental, full-service truck leasing and contract truck fleet maintenance facility at 510 South Service Road.

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Leasing or buying a truck: how do you choose?

It's a decision fleet managers have had to make for years, going back and forth with weighing the pros and cons associated with each of them. But the decision between the two doesn't have to be one or the other, says Penske Truck Leasing Senior Vice President of Sales Jim Lager.

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Penske Truck Leasing recently celebrated the relocation of its Dubuque, Iowa, facility. To accommodate a growing customer-base, Penske built a new state-of-the-art facility that offers full-service truck leasing, consumer and commercial truck rental, contract truck fleet maintenance and connected fleet solutions, a value-added resource to help customers address issues and options related to onboard technology systems (ELDs, telematics, onboard cameras, etc.).

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Penske Truck Leasing will return to the NAFA 2019 Institute & Expo April 15-17 in Louisville, Kentucky. Presented by the NAFA Fleet Management Association, the expo is a comprehensive three-day event where fleet managers learn about innovations in process automation, mobility, connectivity and other emerging technologies.

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Each year, hot dogs and peanuts – classic staples of Americana – take center stage at festive celebrations such as family gatherings, holidays and even “Opening Day” baseball games.

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Some of the most severe Class 8 vehicle malfunctions, such as truck fires, brake failures and defective tires, can be prevented through regular, thorough fleet maintenance services. That not only improves vehicle uptime but also reduces the risk of costly crashes, large-scale equipment failure and roadside violations under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrations Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.

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Starting June 4 through June 6 the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will hold its annual Roadcheck event. This year's Roadcheck places a special focus on enforcement of traffic law violations (e.g., speeding, unsafe lane changes, etc.) in addition to inspections. Truck drivers and fleet operators may download the free CVSA checklist.

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