A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a live step-by-step demonstration is worth a lot more. Especially when that demo clearly illustrates how seemingly separate products pull together to deliver one larger service.
This was the case in late September when Goodyear took some of its truck tire dealers, key fleets and tire and trucking media through a comprehensive demonstration of its package of fleetHQ products.
Using an emergency road service call situation as the focal point, Goodyear pinpointed areas where fleetHQ helps both fleets and dealers, a live simulation that helped attendees gain a greater understanding of fleetHQ and its palate of programs.
The demonstration was held outside of the tiremaker’s Danville, Va., truck tire plant, which the attendees were able to tour and see how Goodyear’s proprietary DuraSeal technology is installed during production.
In addition to Goodyear and Dunlop medium truck tires and premium retreads, fleetHQ provides 24/7/365 roadside assistance and a variety of other services and tools to address fleet needs.
“We wanted to demonstrate all of fleetHQ’s many components, which, when fully leveraged and working together, can help fleets make better business decisions, improve truck uptime and drive down their cost of operation,” said Bruce Woodruff, director of business solutions marketing.
FleetHQ benefits are available to fleets of all sizes and types, from owner-operators to the largest national fleets, noted Woodruff. Goodyear fleetHQ includes:
A preferred fleet program with nationwide pricing and billing available through the fleet or owner-operator’s home tire dealer. “Once you establish your tire and service program with your local fleetHQ dealer,” said Woodruff, “you will pay the same price for covered fleetHQ tires and services, regardless of where you get service throughout the fleetHQ network. For preferred fleets, billing is handled through their hometown dealer, so drivers don’t need to carry cash for emergencies.”
The fleetHQ Solution Center, functionally a dedicated call center where trained tire professionals work around the clock to help get trucks back up and running by dispatching service technicians from one of more than 2,000 dealer locations to downed trucks’ locations.
FleetHQ users can contact the Solution Center via a dedicated phone number, online at fleethq.com, or through a smartphone app available at http://m.fleethq.net. “A driver’s smartphone’s built-in GPS can pass their location to the fleetHQ Solution Center, where the staff can quickly dispatch road service technicians,” he said. “The application is available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry users.”
TV Track, an online tire management tool that helps fleets and owner-operators monitor their tire performance. TV Track can also capture vehicle information, tire wear conditions and more. Individual fleet reports are available online.
Gold Medallion retreaded tires, available in six of the most popular medium truck tire sizes, and using only well-kept premium Goodyear, Dunlop, Bridgestone or Michelin brand casings.
TirePix, a service that provides photos of tires that were replaced during a road service call, giving fleets proof of actual performance so there are no questions about tire condition or service necessity.
In addition to participating commercial tire dealers, the program is supported by the fleetHQ Truck Stop Network, which includes more than 300 locations. Participants include Wingfoot Truck Care Centers, Travel Centers of America, Petro Truck Stops, PTP Truckstop Network and Boss Truck Shops.
“Many benefits, such as the fleetHQ Solution Center, are offered at no cost to the fleet,” said Woodruff. “The fleetHQ program including its diverse and powerful components demonstrates Goodyear’s ongoing commitment to help our customers save time and money.”
In Canada, the current Goodyear Truckwise program is transitioning to fleetHQ, Woodruff said, but this will take some time to accomplish. FleetHQ, however, is currently taking and servicing calls from Canadian dealers and fleets.
Bringing It Together
So how does Goodyear’s fleetHQ work in real life? Frankly, it appears few things could be easier.
If a driver experiences a tire problem while on the road, for example, all he needs to do is find a safe place to pull off the road and then call a toll-free number connecting him directly to the fleetHQ call center in Ft. Smith, Ark. If the driver is using a GPS-equipped smartphone, that’s all the better because fleetHQ can use that signal to direct the nearest fleetHQ tire dealer right to the downed vehicle.
There are some 2,000 tire dealers in the program, and those providing emergency road service in the program must now meet strict standards so that fleet customers across the country can “enjoy consistent, professional service” no matter which dealer handles the call or which road service tech is involved. The new standards, employed as of this year, include dealer road service techs having TIA training and certification, and that they use calibrated torque wrenches when servicing tires.
Once the call is placed, fleetHQ finds the nearest program dealer and dispatches one of its service trucks to the scene. Any necessary new or retreaded tires are brought along based on the fleet or owner-operator’s specific requirements. Tire changes are accomplished as quickly as possible and the truck is placed back into service.
Because product and service prices were negotiated and agreed between the fleet/owner-operator with their home tire dealer, there should be no billing surprises. And the pricing is good whether the on-road service was provided by a dealer or by a member of the fleetHQ Truckstop Network.
Since the program launched three years ago, the 24/7/365 fleetHQ call center has successfully handled half a million calls. The highlight came this past June, a blistering month heat-wise, which saw the program handle a record 22,000 tire-related service calls.
The call center typically assists around 700 trucks a day, but “there were several days in June when fleetHQ’s Solution Center helped put more than 900 downed trucks back on the road,” said Roy Sutfin, vice president of fleetHQ.
Whether in the heat of summer or the depth of winter, Goodyear measures program efficiency by “‘roll time,’ which begins when a truck driver calls us, and ends when his or her truck is rolling again,” Sutfin said. fleetHQ currently is running roll times of 2:10 on average. “We’re making a concentrated effort to shorten that span. Downtime can mean lost revenue, and we want to help our customers maximize their profits.”
Goodyear also is measuring dealer road service call “decline rates” the number of times a servicing dealer refuses to take a road service call and the reasons behind the decision. Plus, Goodyear obtains feedback from fleets about their experience working with dealers to make sure fleetHQ dealers are representing the program as intended and to established standards.
Just in 2010, the fleetHQ Solution Center helped more than 164,000 customers get their trucks back on the road, up 60% from 2009, noted Tony Starling, general manager of fleetHQ. “And, we got them back on the road fast. We track each and every call in real time, and that information is easily available to fleet managers through fleetHQ.com.”
fleetHQ is more than an emergency road service system, Starling said. “We offer a portfolio of business solutions that includes online information systems providing 24/7 access to services in progress, retread history, repair data and tire purchase histories. That can save fleet managers and truck operators time in reviewing invoices and service reports.”
A Step Beyond
Tim Miller, who in real life serves as marketing communications manager for Goodyear’s commercial tire business, served as the pretend truck driver for the demonstration road service call. He also is a knowledgeable truck tire expert, and serves as the “Tire Man” for the fleetHQ “Ask The Tire Answer Man” blog, which can be followed at blog.fleethq.com.
The blog offers a variety of features, including regularly updated entries by Miller on a range of truck and truck tire-related topics; a calendar that lists “The Answer Man’s” live trade show appearances; a comment section where readers can submit questions or comments; an interactive poll; and a rundown of current trucking industry news and links to trucking trade journal websites.