PacLease celebrating 35th anniversary this month

Paccar Leasing Co. (PacLease) is celebrating its 35th anniversary of offering rental and leasing services this month. The Bellevue, WA-based company, part of Paccar, has nearly 40,000 trucks and over 550 locations.

It is the fourth largest rental and leasing company, it said, and last month opened its first location Australia.

“We launched PacLease in 1980 as an extension of the Kenworth and Peterbilt dealership retail arms,” said Neil Vonnahme, president of PacLease. “We wanted to assist Paccar dealerships with rental and leasing opportunities in the United States and Canada, so they could offer their customers a full suite of equipment and services. And, we felt we could offer a competitive advantage by leasing custom-spec’d medium- and heavy-duty Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks.”

After its first year, the PacLease network consisted of 17 franchises with 100 trucks on full-service leases. One of the first dealerships to welcome PacLease was Palmer Leasing Group in Indianapolis.

“We wanted to augment truck sales with leasing to provide a turnkey solution to any customer coming into our truck dealership,” recalled Frank Walter, who served as general manager of the startup PacLease franchise (today, he is president of Palmer Leasing Group). “I remember we started slowly – having three or four rental trucks and only a couple units in a full-service lease after our first year. But we saw the future as being very bright. What we offered customers then, and still offer today, is rapid decision-making and local ownership, backed by the presence of Paccar – one of the strongest companies in the world.”

Vonnahme attributes PacLease’s success to the number of programs and services offered.

“Our dedicated emergency call center (PacCentral) was established to support our customers when PacLease was relatively young,” he said. “And our national accounts program, which began in 1987, has been instrumental in helping our customers who have multiple locations. We were one of the first leasing companies that offered telematics solutions through our PacTrac system, and in 2011, we were one of the first leasing companies to offer natural gas vehicles.”

Other PacLease milestones that have fostered growth include entering the Mexican market in 1996, Europe in 2007, and most recently, Australia, Vonnahme noted. “The flexibility of the PacLease model has proved successful,” he said. “We’re very customer focused and aggressively provide premium service to match premium Paccar products.”

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