“If we take care of our people, our people will take care of our customers and our business will always be sound,” says Jordan Knoll. “From interns to apprentices to veteran technicians, we’re always focused on grooming everyone to ensure that we provide the best possible customer service at all times.”
As the service manager at MHC Kenworth of Greensboro, N.C., Knoll manages a shop that employs 21 technicians on three shifts. The facility is open around the clock, seven days a week to meet the service needs of any sized fleet and owner-operators with all makes and models of equipment.
“We see everything because there are a number of diverse fleets based here and we’re located on an east-west Interstate that is a major shipping corridor and has a lot of truck traffic,” Knoll says. “While our location gives us a lot of business, it also presents a challenge when it comes to hiring enough qualified technicians to fill the demand.”
To address the need for technicians, Knoll works with area high schools and technical schools and is routinely involved with local events that present the opportunity to showcase career paths at the dealership. His involvement often includes teaching students about truck maintenance career opportunities.
Looking for star performers
“With the competitive landscape in our area,” Knoll says, “finding new technicians can be tough. We are always looking for the up-and-coming star performers that have the right attitude and willingness to learn from some of the best tenured technicians in the industry.”
Another part of Knoll’s approach is an internship program for local students to get experience around their class schedules and learn from some of the best technicians, and eventually joining MHC Kenworth as apprentices after they graduate. After internships, they begin a fast track training program aiding them in becoming master certified Kenworth technicians.
Once technicians join MHC Kenworth—Greensboro, they work at a 15 bay shop, which includes a drive-through wash facility that is often used for service work. The shop is also equipped with a parts cleaning system and a ceramic kiln for servicing aftertreatment devices. The shop’s technicians work from three mobile maintenance units to provide on-site service for local companies and to handle breakdowns.
Service tools in use at the MHC shop cover all OEM makes and models. “All vendors have stepped up their technology game,” Knoll says. “The ability to use advanced troubleshooting and diagnostics solutions makes our job easier and decreases downtime for customers.”
Knoll is also a proponent of Kenworth’s TruckTech+ Remote Diagnostics system, which provides fault codes so the shop can plan an effective course of action and service can be completed quickly and efficiently.
While MHC has over 100 dealerships in 16 states, Knoll is quick to point out that each location is its own business. “At the same time,” he says, “this is a relationship-based industry, so we work with everyone to get service and repairs done quickly and correctly. We share best practices through MHC and Kenworth service manager meetings and rely on each other to serve customers.”
That kind of effort is something Knoll says he learned working in agriculture and trucking his entire life. Hailing from southern Illinois, he grew up around farmers and truckers, including his father who had a long career in the trucking industry.
“Initially, I got into trucking through agribusiness, and was actually an MHC customer when I ran a small agricultural fleet in the Kansas City area,” Knoll relates. “In 2016, I joined an MHC dealership and eventually took the lead on a mobile service team and then became an assistant service manager. I moved to MHC Kenworth – Greensboro to become its service manager about 18 months ago.
“Regardless of my role or location, the one common thread that has guided my career at MHC has been a business model that’s all about customer satisfaction,” Knoll adds. “Uptime is everything to customers, and with the right people and processes in place, we can always make that happen.”