When Freightliner Corp. first announced plans to offer service in Travel Centers of America locations, many expressed doubt about the success of the venture. But today, after many months of preparation, locations such as the TA in Tooele, Utah are proving them wrong.
ServicePoint, as the program is named, is now available at 145 TA locations around the country.
The trucking press was hosted by Freightliner president Jim Hebe yesterday at the Tooele site, just outside Salt Lake City, to show the progress that has been made.
"This was a big undertaking for us," Hebe said. "We've had all the TA shop managers in Portland for hours of training and we've installed ServicePro maintenance software at all 145 locations."
Hebe said the ServicePoint locations are there to do minor warranty work and deal with recall notices for Freightliner vehicles. "The idea is to get trucks in out of the shop as quickly as possible," he said. "We have agreed that the truckstops do warranty work if it’s 1 1/2 hours or less. If it's over that time frame, the truck is sent to the nearest Freightliner dealer."
The ServicePro software allows a TA technician to enter the VIN of a Freightliner into his computer and check warranty history and recalls. Hebe believes the quick service will allow the company to take care of more recall work. "The typical recall response rate is 70% because many truckers don’t have the time to get trucks to the dealer. ServicePoint makes it a lot easier."
Ray Jenkins, general manager of the TA in Tooele, said ServicePoint has provided his location with an additional $5,000 to $10,000 in monthly income. "We have a good relationship with the Freightliner dealer in Salt Lake City, 13 miles down the road," he said. "They supply us with parts and we send them service work which will take too long." Jenkins said less than 15% of the work on Freightliners coming in to his shop is warranty work. Of those that do, his shop will handle 40% of the work.