Heavy Duty Trucking Supplements

Truck Dealer of The Year 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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T D Truck Dealer of theYear 2014 4 log on to their websites and enter information for invoicing, scheduling and so on," Treadway says. "So you can imagine a service writer has to be versed not just in our systems, our manufacturers' and suppliers' systems, we now have to understand dozens of customers' systems." On the other end of the scale, Treadway says, it's important for dealers to not forget about the small fleet and owner-operator in catering to the major customers. "In truth, the delay hurts the small guy more than the big guy, and they need our empathy and premium service. So we're constantly trying to provide that high level of service to everybody." Reilley's Lakeside International Trucks has invested nearly $400,000 in two mobile maintenance units to help address this issue. The units allow technicians to do diagnostics, electrical work, preventive maintenance, welding – most things other than major engine work. At Allstate Peterbilt, they are putting in "triage bays" in every location. "Why does a hospital have an emergency room?" Larson asks. These bays will help staff get trucks in and out of the shop more efficiently. Fyda Freightliner offers a Freightliner program called Express Assessment, designed to diagnose a truck within two hours of arrival then give the customer an assessment of how long it will take. "It gives [the customer] a clearer path of what he needs to do," Fyda says. Sometimes uptime is not about formal programs, but about someone doing what needs to be done to get the customer taken care of. Fyda cites an example of one good customer who had a front-end hub problem on a number of trucks he had bought. Late on a Friday night, he explains, "Our salesman put those hubs in the back of his SUV and HDT • FEBRUARY 2014 took them up to the customer so his shop could get them replaced and on the road the next morning." Figuring out whether it was a warranty claim or some type of customer damage, he says, could come later. "Customer satisfaction means different things to different people," notes Mike McMahon, CEO of McMahon Truck Centers based in Charlotte, N.C. "For an owner-operator with five trucks, fixing the truck right the first time is the most critical thing. For a fleet operator who may be headquartered in a different region, they need to have communication," and the definition of that differs depending on the customer. "A fleet person with 150 trucks in your area may have three, four or five trucks in your shop at any given time. Maybe they don't want to be called 100 times, maybe they just want e-mails. We try to understand the unique requirements of each customer." One thing all those customers do have in common, he says: "Nobody likes a broken truck, ever." Advances in telematics are helping in the uptime battle, McMahon notes. "So much of the burden of the shop anymore is tied up in diagnostics. With so many computers on the truck and communication becoming more and more cost-effective, if we can find out a malfunction light is coming on when the truck is 100 miles away and we can have the truck virtually if not completely diagnosed before it gets here, then we can do the easy part, which is getting the material and putting it on." Natural gas With several of this year's finalists located in natural gas boom areas, interest in it as a fuel is nearly a given, but it varies greatly by region. Fyda, who's located in the Marcellus Shale, says key areas for natural gas fuel include refuse, state/munici- 2014 TRUCK DEALER OF THE YEAR

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