On Demand Blog

By: Benjamin Chacon, Editor at Media Planet

This article first appeared in Infrastructure Canada on January 26, 2015.

More and more, construction companies are choosing to lease and it’s no wonder why. With lower cost of ownership and increasingly flexible payment options, leasing construction equipment offers a number of distinct advantages over buying equipment.

1. Lower total cost of ownership
One of the biggest advantages of leasing is the lower cost of ownership. While buying new equipment often requires large down payments and expensive monthly installments, lease agreements almost never require down payments and leasing companies often provide a variety of flexible payment options that can be tailored to fit their clients’ specific needs.

“Leasing usually results in lower monthly payments than a loan or straight financing,” explains Carol Stubits, General Manager of Ontario Sales at National Leasing. “This, coupled with no down payment, really frees up your cash flow. Your assets also move [...]

Driving the International PayStar with UltraShift Plus MXP

How heavy is too heavy for automated manual transmissions? According to Eaton, there’s no such thing.

AJAX, Ont. — “That was Grumpy,” Frank Naccarato said as he closed his flip phone. “The driver you’re going out with today.”

“You call him Grumpy?” I asked.

“He’s just grumpy today.”

Oh, good. Naccarato is the fleet manager of Ajax, Ont.-based C&G Haulage, which runs about 15 company trucks and enlists the help of some 35 brokers. He had agreed to let me ride along in – and potentially drive – one of the company’s newest additions, an International PayStar with 500-hp Cummins engine and 18-speed Eaton UltraShift Plus MXP (Multipurpose Extreme Performance) transmission. We’d be grossing close to the provincial limit of 63,500 kgs (139,700 lbs) pulling a load of gravel from a Dufferin Concrete gravel pit near Mosport, an hour east of Toronto, to a cement plant on Woodbine Ave. north of the city. It was a tri-axle PayStar dump truck with a pony pup in tow, but the purpose of the [...]

PREPARING FOR THE BIG CHILL

FIVE PREVENTIVE-MAINTENANCE TIPS TO KEEP YOUR TRUCKS IN TOP CONDITION THIS WINTER.

By: Patrick Dunn

Although good truck maintenance is important all year round, fall is an especially crucial time to make sure you’re prepared for the challenging weather to come. Freezing temperatures and hazardous roads can be tough on your vehicle, but some basic preventive measures will help you rest easier through the winter months.

“Preventive maintenance is about being proactive and trying to anticipate some of the things that might create challenges during the actual snowfall,” says Bryan Flansburg, vice president of the NAFA Fleet Management Association and director of transportation services at the University of Colorado. We asked Flansburg for five tips to get you and your truck through the winter.

FIND THE RIGHT TIRES
It’s important to fit your truck with tires that will perform well in winter conditions, but the type you choose should depend on the conditions you’ll be tackling. “We, for the most part, put all-season tires on our [...]

International DuraStar: Ready for Anything

It's time for a truck that will handle the most demanding job out there: yours.

Now available with the N9 engine, International DuraStar® is able to take on the toughest of vocational applications safely and efficiently. It’s built entirely of commercial-grade components and materials, so your crew stays safe on the job, while the air-ride cab and smooth suspension system provide first-class comfort. Features like the tighter turning radius and Diamond Logic® electrical system maximize efficiency and safety, so that your business can improve its bottom line, day in and day out.

1. WORKSITE DEFENDER
The DuraStar is made completely of commercial-grade components, from its huck-bolted chassis to the low-alloy galvanized steel cab. Whatever the job, your truck and crew will be properly protected.

2. EFFICIENCY EXPERT
Navistar’s Diamond Logic® Electrical System offers over 200 customizable body-integration features to provide better communication and control for a safer and more efficient worksite.

3. PROVEN WORKHORSE
The N9 engine with SCR technology is purpose-built for vocational applications, while the best-selling [...]

BREAKING IT DOWN: LEASING VS. BUYING

A LOOK AT THE BENEFITS OF EACH FLEET OPERATION OPTION.

By: Patrick Dunn

Any business that relies on getting a product from point to point has a big decision to make: to lease trucks or to buy them? Having a fleet at your disposal is crucial, but it can be difficult to choose between the cheaper short-term commitment of leasing and the pricier long-term investment of owning. We broke down the pros and cons of each option, and the types of businesses and financial situations best suited to them.

THE CASE FOR LEASING
Leasing can be a good solution for companies that either don’t specialize in transporting goods or that oversee a fleet so large that they need a more flexible solution to manage their overall capital expenditures. “First and foremost, companies need to determine the best place to invest their precious capital,” says Marc Thibeau, senior vice president of sales at Ryder. “Leasing allows companies to focus on their core business. It frees [...]

THE DETAILS MATTER
Fuel is often a fleet’s largest expense. With rising diesel prices and market volatility, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to manage operating costs. However, heavy-duty commercial trucks are running more efficiently than ever. So much so that even fractional improvements can pay dividends to a fleet’s bottom line over the life of a vehicle.
At International, we understand that even the smallest detail matters. From the meticulous design and testing of our aerodynamic cab to the continuous optimization of our powertrain to even the tiniest tweaks to components and electronic parameters—we have you covered.

Finding your Perfect match
A truck spec’d for optimal fuel economy is not one-size-fits-all. Variables such as load type, length of haul, driver behavior and geographic operating area all play a factor in spec’ing a truck that’s right for your unique application. With millions of possible combinations, it can be a daunting experience to spec [...]

ProStar: Efficiency Experts

Navistar engineers have designed the most fuel-efficient truck spec on the market: ProStar ES.

It’s official: International has been hard at work designing, testing and tweaking an Efficiency Spec of its acclaimed ProStar® model, and it’s now on the market.

“Every customer is interested in making a dollar or saving one,” says Aaron Peterson, head of Performance Engineering, heavy duty platform. “And we wanted to see exactly how much efficiency we could squeeze out of this ProStar.”

Capable of over 9 mpg with an improvement in fuel economy of up to 11% compared with the previous generation, ProStar ES delivers.

Because fuel is often a freight company’s No. 1 cost of operation, the race toward efficiency now drives the entire competitive landscape. Peterson, who has 18 years of experience as an engineer doing everything from drawing parts to launching products, helped assemble a team of expert designers who dived headlong into optimizing the truck’s aerodynamics, drivetrain and onboard diagnostics system.

The result? “We have the highest-quality truck on [...]

A Small Business Solution

Construction company turns to International for tougher trucks and solid service

WHEN JIM HAWKINS STARTED his own water transportation and construction company eight years ago, he didn’t expect the amount of business he’s attracted.

“I have 11 drivers,” Hawkins says. “I only wanted five initially, but I’ve been fortunate, and I’ve gotten more and more business by word of mouth.” Hawkins’ company, J Hawk Water Service, works with the oil industry, hauling brine production water and fresh water from producing wells, as well as doing repairs and installation of surface equipment.

Though he was a Mack man when he first bought trucks for his company, Hawkins recently ran into some problems and started considering other options. “We were really having issues with the diesel exhaust fluid in the Macks,” Hawkins explains. “Our mechanic is very loyal to International, so I said, ‘You know what, we’re going to try International.’ ”

All it took was a test vehicle to convince Hawkins to begin to switch his fleet [...]

Trucking Giant Needs Versatility

David Williams, VP at Knight Transportation, explains why engine choice in the ProStar® makes sense.

WHEN YOU’RE IN CHARGE OF one of the country’s largest company-owned truck fleets, the decision about which truck and engine package to purchase is a very serious one. For the folks at Knight Transportation, that choice comes down to a number of key factors.

“Obviously there’s an emotional attachment to buying trucks,” says David Williams, Vice President of Equipment at Knight Transportation. “But, most importantly, it’s a business decision. We look at things like acquisition price, operating cost and residual value as a package, and then work to determine whether or not that fits within our business model.”

Knight’s key objective is to provide cost-effective solutions for its transportation customers. Since its inception in 1990, the company has focused on safe, sensible growth through a customer-centric approach that emphasizes efficiency at every stage of the transportation process. “Our goal is really to add value wherever we can,” says Williams. “To our customers, we really believe [...]

Telematics will change trucks and trucking

The key will be using analytics to generate useful intelligence while addressing data privacy and security concerns, panelists said.

A panel discussion at the recent American Trucking Associations (ATA) Management Conference & Exhibition (MC&E) in Philadelphia explored how telematics is going to change trucks and the trucking industry, largely by offering opportunities created by data analysis to reshape vehicles and operations for greater efficiencies.

“Connectivity is the biggest enabler of a lot of potential benefits for this industry,” argued Wallace Lau, an industry analyst with the automotive & transportation practice at global consulting firm Frost & Sullivan; benefits such as increased fuel economy, less vehicle downtime, higher productivity and – ultimately – trucks that drive themselves. Learn more about Connected Vehicles.

“There’s also a lot of money to made through offering more connected trucks,” he stressed, noting that his firm predicts some 35 million light, medium and heavy-duty trucks featuring some sort of telematics connectivity will be on the road by 2020.

Right now the “connectivity market” is worth $3.5 billion annually, Lau said, [...]

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