We decided to try out 2010 engines because it was an opportunity for us to get a look into the future before anyone else,” says Efren Hurtado, assistant branch manager at TCI Leasing in Fontana, Calif. “Today, especially with government agencies like the California Air Resources Board constantly changing guidelines, we feel we have to be on the cutting edge of technology so we can inform our clients of the facts and provide long lasting solutions.
“TCI Leasing takes great pride in always striving to be the best at what we do,” Hurtado states. “We want to be known as the company that genuinely cares about its customers, whether they operate one truck or 100 units from us. It’s for that reason that we partnered with Hino Trucks to gain some firsthand experience with their 2010 engines and the efficiency and environmental protection innovations that are completely new to the market.”
The TCI Leasing fleet, Hurtado reports, includes a mix of 18- to 26-ft. 2005 through 2010 model Hino straight trucks equipped with refrigerated, dry freight and stake bodies. The Hino models are in use in a variety of applications, including bakeries, produce companies, retail, steel, lumber, building materials and distribution operations.
Hino Trucks, a Toyota Group Co., has elected to utilize selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to meet the stringent 2010 emissions regulations and is reporting excellent results in customer field tests, including those conducted by TCI Leasing. The company also reports that diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) will be available through all 176 of its dealers.
“We have had a great partnership with Hino and very good experience with their products,” Hurtado relates. “Supplier relationships are key to our success. We can buy a truck from anyone, just as our clients can lease or rent a truck from anyone, but we are not in the industry to capitalize on a quick sale. We expect the same in return from our suppliers, and we know that if we get good service from our vendors then our job is made easier. With great relationships we can work more efficiently, and in turn provide our clients with valuable services.”
In addition to its Hino truck models and its testing of the manufacturer’s 2010 EPA pilot trucks, TCI Leasing fields a mix of Freightliner, International, Isuzu and Volvo vehicles in its 1,036-unit fleet. Included are 15- to 26-ft. straight trucks with van and refrigerated bodies and stake beds, and two- and three-axle day cab and sleeper equipped tractors, as well as Ottawa and Capacity yard tractors.
There are also 376 trailers in the TCI Leasing fleet ranging from 28- to 53-ft. dry and refrigerated, flatbed, and specialized livestock models. Morgan, Supreme, Marathon and General supply bodies for the TCI Leasing truck fleet and Maxon rail and tuck-a-way lift gates are offered on most truck bodies and trailers.
Meeting customer needs
“We have a variety of equipment because our largest factor in purchasing is meeting customer needs,” Hurtado says. “If our client has a special request we always try to accommodate it.
“When we’re making vehicle purchasing decisions,” Hurtado continues, “we consider reliability, resale value, warranty support, parts availability, dealer support, past experience and pricing. Another major factor for us is utilization. The average age of our fleet is 3.6 years for power units and 6.1 years for trailers.
“We budget and factor into every deal a set dollar amount for each vehicle,” Hurtado explains further. “We then monitor our vehicles and look for spikes in spending. Once a high cost area is identified we dissect the vehicle’s maintenance history and determine if there is a pattern we should be concerned about. We rectify any issues we find during this process by implementing policy or procedural changes, and in extreme cases, we look at modification and or purchasing of a different part, brand or model.”
TCI Leasing also offers customized maintenance programs to a broad variety of clients. “We currently service and maintain over 3,000 units,” says Alex Sosa, service manager in Fontana. “We provide preventive maintenance, warranty repair and processing, major overhauls including in-frames, rebuilds and transmission work, and tire servicing. All of our major locations have an extensive parts inventory and we have full-service fuel islands at many of our locations, as well as wash bays.”
Sosa is also quick to credit TCI Leasing’s highly trained technicians for the company’s successful maintenance program offerings. “To ensure low downtime for our customers,” he states, “we have worked for years to develop efficient and effective maintenance practices. We provide this service in our own eight major facilities, in captive on-site shops for customers and with mobile service units. We staff our maintenance departments 24/7 and have in-house capabilities on the weekends as well.”
TCI Leasing’s complete package of services ranges from vehicle spec’ing, financing and purchasing to maintenance and disposal. Also offered are safety and regulatory compliance, licensing, fuel purchasing and fuel tax reporting programs. The company is part of the Nationalease Network as well, which has over 700 partner locations across the country.
“From start to finish, we work with our customers to design the right vehicles and package of services for their businesses, and to lower their total costs,” Hurtado says. “The majority of the time our customers rely on our expertise and experience. We always strive to have a positive attitude and commitment to their business, and to exhibit our professionalism, integrity and the belief in fostering and developing genuine partnerships.” FE
TCI Leasing Truck Spec’s
Model: Hino 268A
GVWR: 25,950 lbs.
Wheelbase: 253 in. CA: 167.6 in.
Engine: Hino J08E-TV, 7.7-L, 220 HP, 520 lbs.-ft. of torque
Transmission: Allison 2200RDS
Front Axle: Meritor MFS-10 Series; 10,000-lb. capacity
Rear Axle: Meritor RS-19-145 Series; 19,000-lb. capacity
Headquartered in Commerce, Calif., TCI Leasing is one of two business units of TCI, a diversified transportation services company with branches in Commerce, Fontana, City of Industry, Bakersfield, Hayward and Stockton, Calif., as well as in Phoenix and Las Vegas. TCI Leasing offers full service truck leasing, truck rental, contract maintenance and pre-owned truck sales. TCI Transportation offers dedicated services.