First, the phone number: (800) 4-PETERBILT. You can call it 24/7, from anywhere in the United States or Canada, for emergency roadside service (ERS), or just to schedule routine maintenance. And the truck doesn’t even have to be a Pete.
Although Peterbilt launched TruckCare in 1995, an outside vendor administered the customer-assistance program until the company brought the service in-house in 1999. Today, 20 full-time TruckCare operators – some of whom are bilingual – handle over 1,200 inbound and outbound calls a day concerning medium and heavy-duty trucks.
“The calls are approximately a 60/40 mix of ERS requests and calls for information or to schedule maintenance,” says Tom Clevinger, general marketing manager for parent company Paccar. In the event of an ERS request, customer-assistance representatives use computerized mapping technology to pinpoint a truck’s location. They then contact the nearest Peterbilt dealer or TruckCare provider to have assistance dispatched.
“We’re also offering different levels of routine maintenance,” adds Dick Von Lehman, Paccar’s national sales and marketing manager, service. He cites, for example, custom maintenance for long-haul fleets – “so trucks don’t have to be brought home for the service they need” – and a managed maintenance option that provides a flat-rate cost per mile for maintenance management. “We can even pre-screen services for warranty eligibility and provide service reminders and warranty alerts,” Von Lehman says.
Other products and services tied to the TruckCare program include:
- The TruckCare Services Card. Fleets with five or more trucks can customize the card’s purchasing power and use it to pay for some or all over-the-road expenses, including fuel.
- QuickCare services. Routine maintenance, such as oil changes or A/C recharging, begins within an hour after a truck is brought in.
- TruckCare Connect, which links your shop’s parts inventory to your Peterbilt dealer’s parts department. TruckCare manages your inventory for you.
- ECat (electronic catalog), which gives your technicians instant access to service information, including repair procedures, parts identification and illustrations.
Fletcher, N.C.-based Youngblood Transportation uses TruckCare as a substitute for multiple service locations. “We needed a way to get trucks serviced at remote locations,” says Curtis Youngblood, president of the 48-state carrier.
“We chose not to go with independent service contractors, since they’re not in a position to get involved with warranty work,” Youngblood says.