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Downtime is the enemy

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“Established maintenance processes consistently from location to location.” “No surprises – we help our customers make decisions in advance.” “Excessive downtime is not acceptable – time is our enemy in service.” These are all passionate, meaningful statements from a savvy industry veteran and President and Chief Executive Officer of WheelTime LLC, Mike Delaney.

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“Established maintenance processes consistently from location to location.” “No surprises—we help our customers make decisions in advance.” “Excessive downtime is not acceptable—time is our enemy in service.” These are all passionate, meaningful statements from a savvy industry veteran and President and Chief Executive Officer of WheelTime LLC, Mike Delaney. He and his colleagues work the issues as one team and are laser-focused on stepping up vehicle service quality for all sizes of truck operations.

“Customer retention is key, and in our eyes, there’s no difference between big and small truck operations. They trust us, and all are treated the same, with respect and speed of quality repair,” said Delaney, who joined the firm in 2009 and is making wise use of his proven truck and trailer management expertise.

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Since its creation nine years ago, the network—comprised of 18 independently-owned companies—has relied on six key promises: An initial diagnosis within two hours; fast turnaround times; prompt notification of repair completion; on budget as quoted; notification within 30 minutes of completion; and a truck that’s fixed right the first time…backed by a warranty.

Aside from its people, WheelTime’s central nervous system is the robust, proprietary relationship management software developed and tailored by Decisiv six years ago. Performance and survey data is constantly studied to make smart advancements.

Results to date include: 200 locations in U.S. and Canada; more than 20,000 repair orders monthly, 4,000 trained technicians; 2,800 service bays; 1,500 service trucks for mobile service; and 33 training centers.

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“Our broad network works and our processes are consistent from one location to another, that’s so vital,” Delaney emphasized. “Fleets are exploring outsourcing and looking for real partners who understand their businesses. We’re able to keep their trucks on the road, fix them quickly and correctly, with consistent practices and methods, and assure them highest efficiency. It doesn’t matter if that person is down the street or across the country.”

Fleets have choices for service, dealers, WDs and independent service garages. One WheelTime customer said, “Equipment utilization is the name of the game. Anytime we have a truck down, we must decide what to do with the driver, the tractor, the load and the trailer. To us, service means communications, accurate billing, hitting our time estimates and following up.”

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“The customers don’t want surprises, and our 18 facilities customer service champions strive for that every day,” Delaney explained. “We must save them time and get them up and running wherever they are.”

WW Williams, a WheelTime network facility, operates ten service bays in Savannah, Ga., where Ron Vandegrift is the customer support manager (also for Charleston, SC, facility). He and his team work closely with Daimler Trucks, Freightliner of Savannah, and other local OEM dealers.

“We service and support more than 200 different customers,” said Vandegrift, “and we know and respect that their time is equal to money.” Each customer’s vehicle receives a detailed, free 41-point visual inspection, covering tires, cab, under-hood, fluid leaks and chassis inspection.

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“We urge our customers to inspect their vehicles daily, to keep good maintenance records, and we’ll suggest optimum service practices to save them time and money in the long run,” Vandegrift said.

As for ample parts inventory, “We have the everyday items our customers need, plus the off-the-wall parts they might require, “ said Luke Demarest, parts manager, WW Williams. “And we stand behind our parts with a one-year warranty.”

The facility has noticed an increased acceptance of remanufactured components, like starters, alternators, differentials, transmissions, water pumps, and brake shoes.

As for future advancements for WheelTime’s customers, Delaney said you bet. The company will add improved diagnostics tools, even one for all-makes and compatibility with multiple ECUs; more quality measurements; still improved, efficient parts inventories; software enhancements; and greater focus on less downtime and new ways to reduce fleets costs.

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