Sleeper supremacy: A focus on the customer has led to more fleets spec’ing large, decked-out sleepers

Sleeper supremacy: A focus on the customer has led to more fleets spec’ing large, decked-out sleepers

Across the business world, companies are becoming more and more interested in emulating the success of Amazon. It’s a model that many truck OEMs are now following as they sharpen their focus on fleet customers, learn what equipment will meet the customers’ needs and deliver the products that they want.

Peterbilt-sleeper-600x300

Across the business world, companies are becoming more and more interested in emulating the success of Amazon. And who can blame them? Amazon is, after all, one of the biggest business success stories of the 21st century, leading to its owner becoming the richest person in the world. If that’s not a model to follow, I don’t know what is.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive officer, has said that the “secret sauce” of his company’s success is a focus on the customer, not the competitor. The idea, in a nutshell, is that if you focus on delivering exactly what the customer wants and needs, regardless of what your competition is up to, success will follow.

It’s a model that many truck OEMs are now following as they sharpen their focus on fleet customers, learn what equipment will meet the customers’ needs and deliver the products that they want.

One example: In 2018, Peterbilt released the Model 579 UltraLoft, an 80-in. sleeper designed with drivers in mind. 

According to Wesley Slavin, Peterbilt’s on-highway marketing manager, Peterbilt knew it had to step up its sleeper game to fit in with the needs of increasingly driver-focused fleets.

“I think it’s clear that there was a need, at least from a Peterbilt customer standpoint, to have that kind of large sleeper that could support team drivers and also give a single driver some of the amenities that would enhance ride on the road.”

The OEM solicited the opinions of 400 drivers in the design stage of the truck, and more than 100 drivers were brought in for prototype feedback. Now that it has been on the road for more than a year, Peterbilt says the UltraLoft has delivered on its expectations. Slavin describes Peterbilt’s percentage of sleepers in its heavy-duty sales as “much higher than I’ve seen in a long time.”

Slavin highlights the comfortable drivers’ lounges many larger fleets have set up as one clear example of how fleets are valuing driver amenities—and one that Peterbilt wanted to emulate in the truck.

“Fleets are going above and beyond to make sure that the drivers are comfortable not only on the road, but when they get back, they have these luxury lounges with TV, free internet, free coffee and shower facilities,” he says. “You look at those and you get a sense for how much effort they’re putting into maintaining their driver pool and recruiting new drivers.”

The last thing you want is your drivers hopping in your trucks and immediately wishing that they were back in the lounge. So maintaining that level of comfort level in the truck was important to Peterbilt. “To build a product that can facilitate that same mentality was a goal of ours,” Slavin says.

It goes back to that idea of catering to your customers. If this is how fleets are treating their drivers, then it makes sense that OEMs should follow suit with their trucks.

And Slavin says this mentality has paid off for Peterbilt.  And Slavin says this mentality has paid off for Peterbilt. In the past, he shares, “we had several customers that were buying the discreet sleeper that expressed a lot of interest in an integral sleeper for their drivers, and they wanted that to be a Peterbilt product.” 

And once the UltraLoft came out? “They were lined up to take delivery of one.”

You May Also Like

HDA Truck Pride raises $35,000 for Kids Matter International

With a donation of $100, Kids Matter International provides up to $350 worth of new clothes and shoes to a child in need.

HDA-Truck-Pride-Kids-Matter-International-35000-donation

HDA Truck Pride raised $35,000 for Kids Matter International, an organization dedicated to brightening the lives of children in Grapevine, TX. The announcement of the donation happened at this year's HDA Truck Pride Annual Meeting.

Founded in 2006, Kids Matter International has been instrumental in providing essential resources and educational opportunities to children in need in the Grapevine area. From providing new clothing, shoes, books, and backpacks, to offering educational programs, Kids Matter International empowers children and instills hope for a brighter future.

Freightliner M2, SD Plus Series launch updates its medium-duty truck offering

Freightliner introduced the new Plus Series–enhanced versions of its M2 and SD models, including the M2 106 Plus, M2 112 Plus, 108SD Plus, and 114SD Plus. The enhanced models provide a major update to the interior and electrical systems of the M2 and SD models. The OEM noted that the Plus Series is designed to

Freightliner-MD-SD-Plus-Series-1400
Truck cruise control technology that looks at the road ahead

If you’ve ever visited the Northeast region of the country, you’ve most likely encountered intimidating terrain. The winding roads. The steep hills. The intricate routes that challenge any seasoned driver, and, most recently, advanced cruise control systems that aim to improve fuel efficiency and driver comfort.   Related Articles – Four ways A.I. can help cut

Four ways A.I. can help cut diesel fuel costs

The fluctuation of fuel prices has made it more challenging to operate day-to-day. Drivers get paid by the mile, and, when fuel costs go up, margins shrink, impacting how fleets profit and pay their employees. Intelligent technology can lessen the impact of high prices by improving overall fuel efficiency. Related Articles – New ways to

trucking-technology-hacking
Peterbilt GM Jason Skoog charts today’s truck support, tomorrow’s truck solutions

Peterbilt made headlines recently when it became the first major North American OEM to open orders for an electric truck, the Peterbilt 220EV. In this exclusive interview, Peterbilt General Manager and PACCAR Vice President Jason Skoog details the technology investments that are keeping fleets productive during this year’s trying pandemic and laying the groundwork for

Peterbilt General Manager PACCAR Technology Electric Truck

Other Posts

Peterbilt’s largest EV order comes from Einride

Einride placed an order for 150 Model 579EVs, which Peterbilt says is their largest U.S. EV order to date.

Peterbilt-Model-579EV-order-Einride
ACT Research: Preliminary May Class 8 orders beat expectations

Early data shows Class 8 orders climbed considerably both m/m and y/y, but ACT it’s a slightly different story for Classes 5-7.

ACT-Research-May-preliminary-class-8-orders
Kenworth offering PACCAR MX-13 CARB-compliant engine

The PACCAR MX-13 CARB-compliant engine will be available in the Kenworth T680, T880, and W990, with production slated for Q4 2024.

Kenworth-PACCAR-MX-13-CARB-compliant-engine
PepsiCo picks Tesla, Ford for California EV fleet

PBNA ordered 50 Class 8 Tesla Semi trucks, 75 Ford E-Transit electric vans to more than triple size of its EV fleet.

Pepsi-PBNA-Tesla-Semi