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.

Truckload carriers averaged 21,856 miles between breakdowns, a 13.1% decrease in miles from the previous quarter. The time between breakdowns for less-than-truckload carriers dropped 18.7% to 44,380 miles in the first quarter, from 54,556 in the final quarter of 2021. The tank truck sector saw a slight improvement, running 17,420 miles in the first quarter, down from 19,905 in the previous quarter.

"The data tells us that if, for example, the truckload carriers running the average miles between breakdowns could reach best-in-class performance, they would increase their miles between breakdowns by 89%, and that would result in overall lower costs," said Emily Hurst, manager of data and analytics at FleetNet America.

Reducing the Risk of a Roadside Event

Penske focuses on preventive maintenance to help increase vehicle uptime and strives to have trucks go from one PM event to the next PM event without ever having to come back. However, preventive maintenance is more than changing oil and fluids. It is inspecting the items that can give customers issues and getting ahead of any problems.

As part of its full-service leasing agreements, Penske Truck Leasing provides maintenance for its customers and follows a rigorous maintenance schedule that includes the use of advanced system analytics to identify potential failures before they occur.

With dynamic preventive maintenance routines, Penske's technicians can adjust inspections based on failure rates and a vehicle's history. Penske Truck Leasing captures and analyzes maintenance and vehicle data throughout its entire fleet, creating a thorough base of knowledge that allows technicians to identify problems early and prevent more extensive issues.

The biggest benefit of addressing repairs during scheduled, planned intervals is that drivers aren't faced with unexpected downtime due to an equipment failure. Keeping drivers moving as planned is especially crucial as hours-of-service regulations have placed strict limits on driving time.

Getting Back on the Road Quickly

If a roadside repair is needed, Penske offers 24/7 roadside assistance for its customers and gets drivers and their loads back on the road typically within two hours. The Penske 24/7 Roadside Assistance call center is staffed by experienced, in-house Penske personnel who have detailed knowledge of Class 8 trucks and understand the specific problems drivers may be experiencing.

Updated October 2021

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.

Avoid Thermal Events With Routine Fleet Maintenance

Mike Hasinec, vice president of maintenance support at Penske Truck Leasing, said something as simple as the improper routing and clipping of electrical, fuel or air lines could lead to truck fires, also called thermal events. Fires can destroy a Class 8 tractor, cause thousands of dollars in cargo and place professional drivers as well as the traveling public at risk.

"Sometimes a component is a root cause, but sometimes you have an electrical line or fuel line rub against something and chafe over time. Next thing you know you have a thermal event," Hasinec said, adding that Penske technicians inspect wiring, as well as fuel and air lines, to ensure they are routed and secured properly and eliminate or remove areas where something is rubbing or has too sharp of a turn. Air lines that are chafing can cause a sudden loss of air pressure, locking up the brakes and causing a potential thermal event at the wheel end.

Chaffing is also a top CSA violation, so eliminating the risk of chaffing can improve fleets’ safety scores. Air leaks and tire and brake violations are also high on the CSA list.

Equipment Failures Often Lead to Larger Truck Fleet Repairs

During the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliances 2018 Roadcheck inspection blitz, the top vehicle out-of-service (OOS) conditions were for brake systems, tires and wheels, and brake adjustment. OOS criteria prohibits a motor carrier or driver from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a specified period or until the condition is corrected, which can result in significant downtime.

Even if there is no regulatory action taken against a fleet, equipment failures can lead to more time consuming and unscheduled truck fleet repairs, causing delays and disrupting deliveries. "These are mechanical devices, and without periodic inspections, there could be a serious breakdown where you’re out of service for several days resulting in downtime," Hasinec said.

Moreover, improperly maintained equipment could lead to a truck crash, which could lead to costly repairs, extended litigation and negative publicity for a carrier.

Understanding the Average Cost of a Crash

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that accidents related to trucks and buses cost the economy about $99 billion a year, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said that costs from a single catastrophic crash could exceed $1 million. OSHA estimates that the average crash costs employers $16,500 in expenses. When a worker has an on-the-job crash that results in an injury, the cost to their employer is $74,000, and OSHA estimates costs can exceed $500,000 when a fatality is involved.

In addition, the financial impact to the professional driver if he or she is unable to work after an accident, as well as the emotional impact a safety event can have on a single driver or the entire fleet’s workforce, can be devastating.

Investing in a proper fleet maintenance service, such as those offered by Penske Truck Leasing, can decrease the risks related to accidents, safety violations and downtime, providing immediate tangible and intangible benefits for a motor carrier.

March 2019

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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