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Questions to ask your service partners

Our panel of experts weighed in on the questions that your crew should definitely be asking of service providers.


Jason Morgan is the editor of Fleet Equipment. He has more than 14 years of B2B journalism experience covering the likes of trucking and construction equipment, real estate, movies and craft beer industries.


“Fleet managers are very astute and many have advised their staff of the most important questions to ask prior to arriving at the dealership,” said Brett Fincham, director of field service, national accounts with Daimler Trucks North America.

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Our panel of experts weighed in on the questions that your crew should definitely be asking of service providers:

  • What are your hours of service, especially nights and weekends?
  • Do you have qualified technicians for engine, transmission and aftertreatment on all shifts?
  • Can you provide me with a quick or Express Assessment of my truck so I can make a decision on the load?
  • Does the repair facility have all the tools necessary, including diagnostic and repair software, to work on any model/make of vehicle?
  • Once the diagnostic tests have been completed, how long will it take to work up an estimate on the repair time and parts that will be needed?
  • If the technician who performed the diagnostics will not be performing the repairs, what is the expected wait time before the repairs will begin?
  • If parts needed are not in stock, can they be ordered for delivery the following morning, and if so, what additional charges will be incurred?
  • How often will I be updated as to the status of the repair?
  • Can you look up my warranty history? Can you perform any relevant recalls or campaigns while my truck is in the bay?
  • How will you bill me? Do you offer/participate in a centralized billing program?
  • If the repairs are not warrantable, what forms of payment are accepted by the repairing location?

“If the repairs are being performed by an independent repair facility,” noted John Crichton, director of field support with Navistar, “Ask: Does that facility have access to the manufacturer’s repair information?


“Much of the repair information that once was only available to OEM dealers is now available to independent repair facilities. It is important that technicians at independent repair facilities have access to the latest diagnostic and repair procedures to ensure that the repairs are performed properly.”

Wondering if it’s time to start your own service operation? Check out our full story on the topic here.


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