Before the beginning of every school year, school districts analyze their annual budgets, review their routes and determine how large (or small) their school bus fleet needs to be for the coming year. Although some school districts have the benefit of updating their fleet with multiple newer school buses, many other districts rely on the purchase of one or two new school buses a year.
On the flip side, when school bus contractors go through similar motions, the addition of a new school contract can send any contractor, large or small, into a scramble to bolster their fleet quickly. To meet customer demand, contractors are relying more and more on financing to expand their fleet while keeping their cash flow freed up for other expenses. To them, financing isn’t just a way to get by, it’s a strategic business decision that allows them to easily expand their businesses, minimize costs and meet customers’ needs.
From contractors who are starting out to those who have been in business for more than 50 years, financing is integral to their success. Here are a few of their stories.
Olympic Transportation Goes from Zero to 60 with Financing
Olympic Transportation, located in North Carolina, is a fairly new school bus contractor, which is what makes this story unique. Shortly after the business began, Olympic Transportation needed to ramp up quickly as contracts with schools started rolling in. Not knowing where to turn, they relied heavily on their Thomas Built dealer and advisors from Daimler Truck Financial.
“Starting Olympic Transportation was a new venture for me,” said Lori Pasewaldt, president. “I wanted to be comfortable with investing in my company enough to allow for scalable growth, but not enough to be in over my head. Daimler Truck Financial and Carolina Thomas worked one-on-one with me and served as consultants to guide me through the best buses for my business and also the best financial package to meet my needs. They walked me through a plan to quickly scale up my business and add buses to my fleet.”
“We worked with Olympic Transportation to create a custom trac-lease, which provided low monthly payments and a flexible repayment schedule,” said Dave McAvoy, district finance manager, southeast, for Daimler Truck Financial.”
Through a relationship with Daimler Truck Financial, Olympic Transportation’s business was able to take off, literally from zero to 60, with nothing holding it back.
Financing Keeps a Family Legacy Alive
Rill’s Bus Service in Westminster, Maryland, has been in business for 50 years. Even as a thriving school bus contractor, the company is still very much a family business, with four generations working under the same roof. In 1968, Rill’s Bus Service began with one school bus. Today, it operates 41 Thomas Built Buses and utilizes financing options to keep the business thriving.
Working with Daimler Trucks Financial, Rill’s Bus Service is able to consider customized financing options including but not limited to skip payments to account for seasonality, custom payment plans and even TRAC -leases customized specifically for their needs.
“We used to go through local banks. But that required deposits on our buses, which was difficult because of the way that we are paid through our county,” said Dianne Grote, operations manager of Rill’s Bus Service. “Daimler Truck Financial provides customized financing options that always works best for us and our business.”
First Time’s a Charm
Hammond’s Transportation, located in New Orleans, Louisiana was a first-time customer of Thomas Built Buses and Daimler Truck Financial. As a mid-sized school bus contractor who transports children to charter schools, Hammond’s had a school bus fleet of more than 80 school buses, but the fleet was aging quickly and needed to be refreshed. New to Daimler Truck Financial, Hammond’s relied heavily on communication and flexibility to finance a sizeable number of new school buses for their fleet. And they were not disappointed.
“We loved working with Hammond’s Transportation,” said Doug Rechner, district finance manager, southwest, for Daimler Truck Financial. “Like many other contractors, they needed to update their fleet, but wanted to do so on manageable terms. I worked with the owner at Hammond’s to come up with a financing strategy that worked for him. The financing came through easily and Hammond’s was able to update nearly a quarter of their fleet in one fell swoop. We could not be happier to provide a solution that worked for such a great company.”
Daimler Truck Financial, a business unit of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC, provides a broad range of financial and insurance products and services for Daimler Trucks North America’s commercial vehicle brands, which include Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built Buses, Mitsubishi Fuso and Sprinter. For more than 40 years, the company has been a trusted partner in the industry, creating specialized finance solutions tailored to specific customer needs.
©2018 Daimler Truck Financial is a business unit of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC. All Rights Reserved.