In 2015, the aftermarket repair industry and truck and engine makers reached an agreement on the sharing of heavy-duty vehicle service information. While sometimes called Right to Repair, the issue was really a problem with access to the information needed to make certain repairs.
The resulting memorandum of understanding covers access to heavy-duty service information on model year 2010 and later trucks and buses over 10,000 pounds sold in the U.S. and Canada.
To help make sure fleets, owner-operators, and repair outlets get the information they are entitled to and need, the National Automotive Service Task Force has what Managing Director Holly Wolfe calls “a hyperlink forum” that allows fleet maintenance people and others who repair vehicles to come to one place to find specific information for the vehicles they’re working on.
NASTF’s mission, according to Wolfe, is “to find, identify and correct any gaps that might exist in availability and accessibility of automotive service information. This includes service training, diagnostic tools and equipment, and also information for automotive service professionals.”
In a nutshell, NASTF is a way for the aftermarket to be able to find the service information it needs to repair vehicles. The NASTF website (www.nastf.org) has information on automobiles as well as heavy-duty trucks and buses.
The organization is in the process of overhauling its website to make it easier for repair professionals to access information. Sheila Andrews of the Auto Care Association, and aftermarket co-chair of NASTF’s heavy-duty task force, says, “Overhauling the website gives NASTF an opportunity to remind fleets of this free resource that is available to them.”
Wolfe says one of the big changes will be the ability to “personalize what our users can get out of the website. For example, users will be able to subscribe to specific topics or brands and will receive updates in a more tailored fashion, as opposed to coming to the website and clicking around until they find the right brand or the right tool.”
In addition to links to OEM and Tier 1 supplier maintenance and repair information, the website also allows users to submit a Service Information Request (SIR) when they are having an issue obtaining the necessary repair information that they are due under Right to Repair, Andrews explains.
“They can come to the website and see what other SIRs have been filed and what the response has been. If they are having an issue that someone else in the fleet repair business has found, they might be able to locate the solution,” she says. “But if there is no information available, they can file the SIR and put it out to a vast network of experts, either from OEMs or component manufacturers, or to other professional service providers or fleet maintenance professionals that are working on that particular equipment.”
NASTF is looking for volunteers to review existing heavy-duty content and suggest content that needs to be updated or even new content that should be added. “Our volunteer partners are important to ensure that our information is up to date, because things change so rapidly,” Wolfe says.
Andrews says, “It would be wonderful to have more service maintenance managers from fleets, independent repair shops and dealers come to the table so we can identify not just which manufacturers have not provided a portal, but where there are gaps in the information that is available on the portal.”
She adds, “This is really an opportunity for the industry as a whole to come together to make sure that the ROI on vehicles is strong for the ultimate customers — the fleets and the owner-operators.”