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A new lease on (business) life

Some people are just made for certain jobs and Kevin Miller is one of them. As the owner of KCM Enterprises, an excavating and trucking business, his love for getting his hands dirty comes naturally and always has.

“As a kid I loved to play in the dirt and make roads with my toy trucks,” said Miller.

That passion continued into his adult years, when he worked for various trucking and contracting companies around Alaska. But a few years after moving to Anchorage from Bethel, Miller wanted more stability in his life. He came to the conclusion that he could have that if he worked for himself. So in 2005 he and a partner started their own business, King of Diamonds Excavating.

“We worked on driveways, septic systems, roads – all sorts of different jobs.”

Loading up on the right tools

But for each one of those projects, a semi-truck, or tractor as it’s called in the trucking world, with a trailer in the back was essential to haul materials to and from job sites. That left Miller and his partner with the burden of having to outsource part of the work and, in turn, meant revenue was leaving the business. It also left the company less competitive than they could be when bidding on jobs.

Miller decided to launch a second business, T&A Trucking, to use in conjunction with King of Diamonds jobs. This way, Miller could do the hauling himself.

“The first thing I did was buy a tractor and started fixing it up.”

Miller still needed a trailer to hitch on the back of his tractor, but didn’t have the funds to buy one on his own. He was already a long-time First National customer, having opened his first savings account at the bank in 1978. So he went directly to his loan officer, Siri Hill, for help.

Digging deeper for a better solution

Hill sat down with Miller and discussed his options for obtaining the trailer. Since an equipment loan requires a sizeable down payment, it was not a feasible option for Miller. Hill instead recommended an equipment lease, which could potentially offer him 100 percent financing for the trailer.

Miller was also aware there could be other advantages to equipment leasing for his specific business. He had previously leased equipment through different businesses and knew a lease would advance his company’s bonding capabilities because, unlike a loan, a lease wouldn’t show up on his financial statements as a liability.

He says another nice part of his lease is that once it expires, he has the option to purchase the equipment for a dollar or use it as a down payment on newer equipment. On top of it all, Miller says he appreciates how uncomplicated the process was.

“With the help of Siri, the lease was so easy to set up. All I had to do was qualify and First National sent me the paperwork and I signed it.”

Building new business

Miller recently took over sole ownership of the excavating business and rolled it together with his trucking company under the name KCM Enterprises. Thanks to the equipment lease through First National, Miller uses his tractor-trailer on jobs all over Southcentral, where he continues to play in the dirt for a living.

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