Schneider revamps tractor leasing program for owner-operators

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Schneider National has announced changes to its owner-operator tractor leasing program to support driver success in the face of rising fuel costs. The new Owner-Operator Success Lease Program is offered by Schneider Finance, a truck financing subsidiary of Schneider National. Through the program, all new units leased or sold by Schneider Finance will include Thermo King TriPac heating and cooling units in aerodynamic Freightliner Century, Kenworth T2000, Volvo 780, and Peterbilt 386 and 387 tractors.

Schneider Finance says it’s the first company to include the TriPac heating and cooling unit as a standard feature on its tractors. The TriPac unit also will be installed on Schneider Finance’s low-mileage used tractor inventory. Use of the TriPac unit will nearly eliminate the need for idling, delivering even greater fuel savings while keeping the cab comfortable year-round, according to Schneider Finance.

At current fuel price levels, a TriPac unit can save an owner-operator $500 to $700 per month in fuel while preheating the truck engine, charging the battery and providing four-season climate control in the truck sleeper, Schneider Finance says. Additionally, the fuel economy of the aerodynamic tractors is as much as one mile per gallon better than a square-nosed tractor, which results in significant cost savings — up to $1,000 per month at current fuel prices, according to Schneider Finance.

“We cannot ignore the fact that owner-operators are struggling with today’s high fuel prices,” says Steven Crear, general manager of Schneider Finance. “Owner-operators contribute greatly to Schneider’s success, and the new tractor leasing program, along with recent improvements to Schneider’s Fuel Surcharge program, enable them to maintain stability amid rising costs and ultimately become more profitable.” Owner-operators taking advantage of the Success Lease Program can look forward to an estimated total savings of $18,000 to $20,400 per year when moving from a non-aerodynamic tractor without a TriPac unit, Crear says.

As added incentive, Schneider Finance created an $8,400 bonus program that is offered to company drivers interested in transitioning into ownership of TriPac-equipped tractors. The cost of the TriPac heating and cooling unit is included in the lease financing contract with Schneider Finance. Schneider National, based in Green Bay, Wis., began installing Webasto heating units in company tractors in 2004 and continues to evaluate the most appropriate cooling technology for its company trucks.