So your refuse fleet needs a long-overdue upgrade, which isn’t surprising coming out of the worst global economic downturn since the Great Depression. As a survival tactic, many fleets put off buying new garbage trucks and equipment for years to save desperately needed cash for other expenses.

As a result, the numbers of new heavy-duty trucks produced in the United States took a nose dive, dropping from 133,000 units in 2008 to 95,000 units in 2009 before climbing back to only 110,000 units by the end of last year, according to the Washington-based National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). As a result, the average age of a heavy-duty commercial truck in the United States is now more than six years as opposed to about four years a decade ago, according to Portland, Ore.-based Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA). In specialized vocational niches like refuse, the average age of a fleet’s truck can reach 10 years in some cases.

But now you’re finally ready to add a new garbage truck to your operation. What can you expect when looking for new trucks? Increased prices, for starters, and that may make leasing vehicles an appealing alternative in certain situations. But leasing is far from a one-size-fits-all solution for refuse fleets.