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Choose your financial source wisely

April 4, 2023
Choosing a finance partner with trucking industry knowledge can better help fleets navigate market swings and pending regulations.

Given the recent failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Financial and resulting concerns Americans have in the banking industry, now seems like a great time to revisit the characteristics you should look for in your financing source.

Whether you purchase or lease your assets, your financing source needs to be a strategic partner—one that can help ensure you are spec’ing assets properly for your duty cycles and for the best total cost of operation (TCO). This will become increasingly important as we move into a cleaner transportation future with more powertrain options available for fleets to choose from.

See also: Ways fleets can set themselves up for financial success

Trucking is one of those industries that attracts people when business is going strong or when new technological developments are at play. Currently there are a lot of people interested in trucking that have not been in the past. And that brings me to my first piece of advice.  

Select a finance source with industry knowledge. Trucking is cyclical, and it is one of the first industries to be impacted by an economic downturn and, conversely, is often one of the first to benefit coming out of the downturn.

Trucking is also a highly regulated industry, and often those regulations—especially those surrounding emissions—will have a deep impact on buying cycles. Any finance source you partner with needs to understand these swings and be able to help you navigate through them. You need a financing partner that is going to be comfortable with some uncertainty as we move to battery-electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for which we have limited data on reliability, durability, and resale value.

See also: Pre-Trip: Breaking down trucking regs worth watching

Beyond understanding trucking on a broad level, your finance source needs to understand the intricacies of your business. Your fleet isn’t like any other, and you most likely have varying operating dynamics within your fleet. Those dynamics will influence the type of assets you need as well as the types of financing that might be best for those various applications.

The ideal finance source will offer flexible financing options that allow you to adjust asset life cycles to respond to changing market conditions. They have to offer different financing choices for different types of assets or even for similar assets that are operating in different duty cycles. As in almost every aspect of trucking, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for asset financing.

Choosing the right finance partner is critical to your success and their role will become increasingly important given all the changes—both short and long term—that the trucking industry is facing.

Patrick Gaskins, SVP of Corcentric Fleet Solutions, oversees both sales and operations for the company's fleet offerings. Gaskins joined the company in 2010, bringing more than 30 years of experience as a financial services professional in the transportation industry. He leads a team that works with a supply base of more than 160 manufacturers to help the country’s largest fleets manage all aspects of their fleet operations and fleet-related spending.

About the Author

Patrick Gaskins | Senior vice president, Fleet Solutions

Patrick Gaskins is a financial services professional serving the transportation industry for over 30 years. Gaskins earned his BBA in Finance from the University of Miami, FL in 1989, and received his CTP certification from the National Private Truck Council in 2002. He has held positions with GE Capital, TCF Equipment Finance, and various small independent lessors. 

He began his career with Corcentric in 2010 as Vice President of Financial Services, was promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations, and is now taking the role of Senior Vice President, Fleet Solutions.  In his new role he will lead Corcentric’s Captial Equipment Solutions, Fleet Procurement, Supply Management, and Remarketing teams. Gaskins will bring to the Fleet practice his expertise in developing data driven solutions to complex transportation transactions, driving efficiencies, and reducing expenses for Corcentric’s customers.

The Fleet Solutions practice leverages technology and the purchasing power of over 1,700 member fleets operating approximately 800,000 assets to provide its members with access to cost effective national account purchasing programs, fleet financing, asset management, and remarketing services.

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