Originally appeared in Fleet Owner

Fleets need more than capital to succeed. A fleet’s finance sources should be strategic partners that understand the trucking industry and the economic trends that affect it.

The trucking industry is facing many challenges—driver and technician shortages, supply chain disruptions leaving fleets running trucks longer, upcoming emissions regulations, pressure to reduce emissions, a variety of new powertrain options under development, and high fuel prices.

On top of that are economic issues like rising inflation and the possibility of an economic slowdown. And new equipment costs are high and expected to go even higher.

Given all that, it makes sense for fleets to expect more from their truck finance sources. What fleets need in a financing source is someone that really understands the fleet’s business today as well as all the factors that will be affecting the fleet in both the short and the long term.

See also: Stability could be fleets’ best tool for weathering economic storms ahead

Fleets don’t just need someone to lend them money to purchase their assets. They need a strategic partner that can help them understand all the factors that need to be considered in order to make the right decision when it comes to acquiring new equipment and determining the right life cycle for each piece of equipment.

Given the complexity of the truck purchase decision, your bank may not be the best choice for financing new assets. What you need is a finance partner that takes on a more strategic role in their relationship with you.

You want a lender that will work with you throughout the asset replacement and planning process and provide guidance when it comes to asset specifications. They should be aware of market shifts that have led to an increased emphasis on last-mile delivery as well as a shift to more regional haul to meet drivers’ desires to be home more often. At the very least, these issues require a review of existing specs, if not a change in the mix of the type of equipment you operate.

See also: As recession concerns rise, driver shortage figures stall

You also want your lender to understand the used truck market and factors that impact the residual value of an asset. A strategic finance partner will help you maximize the resale value of your asset and work with you to achieve the lowest total cost of operation over the life of the asset.

It’s a big ask to expect your finance partner to not only have mastery of all available financing options but also to understand your operating parameters and the developments in the trucking industry that could affect your operations. Yet those are all things that a strategic partner can do. When it comes to vehicle financing, having a strategic partner can make all the difference in your profitability.

At Corcentric, we stand ready to help any fleet bridge that gap.  To learn how we can help, contact Corcentric today.