With its service technicians carrying heavy loads on a daily basis, Payne Pest Management needed a dependable truck that would be good on fuel economy and could handle the daily weight load.
“We have technicians carrying ladders, chemicals, tanks and power tools on a daily basis,” says Jason Payne, chief operating officer.
Payne Pest Management found that in the Chevrolet Silverado. The pest control technicians can put as many as 800 miles per week — or about 40,000 miles per year — driving to customers’ homes.
In addition to providing dependable vehicles, General Motors’ lending arm provided financing to Payne Pest Management when it first started in 2006. Walter McGrath, a Chevrolet fleet and commercial sales specialist at Bob Stall Chevrolet in San Diego, helped the Payne family purchase its first company vehicles.
“Access to credit is a challenge for many businesses as they launch, and this was true for us in 2006,” says Willie Payne, chairman and CEO. “Since Walter and the Chevrolet commercial vehicle team treated us with respect when we needed it most, our business partnership continues to grow today.”
Today, Payne Pest Management has grown to three offices in Southern California (San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County) and has a fleet of 50 Chevy vehicles, including the Silverado and Chevy Cruze sedan.
Currently, 25 service technicians drive Silverados, which can handle the company’s heavy payload, according to Payne.
On a daily basis, termite technicians carry power tools, 50- to 100-gallon tanks for termite treatments and three to four different sized ladders for wood repair work. Pest control technicians need room for a 3- to 4-gallon backpack for spraying, a 1-gallon compressed air sprayer, liquid chemicals, snap traps and a 19-pound bucket of rodent bait.
“The weight can be extremely heavy when the tanks are full of water and chemicals,” says Jason Payne. “We needed a truck that could put up with the wear and tear of the weight on a daily basis.”
In the last three years, the company switched its sales team to the Chevy Cruze, which has enough space to accommodate equipment while realizing the better fuel economy of a sedan over a pickup. “The Chevy Cruze has cut our gas mileage in half; we are getting almost twice as many miles to the gallon as the Silverado,” says Payne. “And when the seats fold down, we can fit a full 6-foot ladder from the trunk to the back of the seat.”
By keeping up with preventive maintenance, the company has been able to keep the trucks for five to six years without any major issues, according to Payne. In fact, one of the company’s original Silverados is still running at 225,000 miles.
“All of our Chevrolet vehicles are dependable, and it’s nice to know that I don’t have to worry about our vehicles performing while on the job,” says Payne. “This allows me to focus on growing my business.”
Owing to the company’s longstanding relationship with McGrath, ordering new vehicles is done in one phone call.
“He automatically knows what each truck needs,” says Payne. “He will get the ladder rack, cross box and side box put on each new truck. He will then deliver the truck to our office. He’s a one-stop shop.”
By working with Chevy, Payne is able to spend more time on the business instead of having to make several calls for each step of the vehicle-buying process. Plus, Payne appreciates the attentive customer service provided by McGrath.
“The customer service has been a great part of the partnership with Chevrolet, but what’s even better is the quality of the vehicles,” says Payne. “If we had to worry about the vehicle breaking down, it would have a significant impact on our revenue and production; it would put a technician out of business that day and we can’t get that time back.”